Our firm offers bankruptcy as well as NON-bankruptcy programs to its clients. Our law firm is a “Debt Relief Agency” pursuant to 11 U.S.C. §101(12A). Our firm proudly offers an innovating NON-bankruptcy Debt Negotiations and Settlement program.
Our Commitment to you as a Client
Dedication and attentiveness to your cause.
High quality of work at competitive rates.
Ability to speak directly to your attorney.
Billing only for the actual work done.
You can come to us or we can travel to you.
Our firm and its founder Dmitry Merrit, Esq. have over 18 years of in-depth experience in representing individuals, business and not-for-profit entities as debtors, creditors and debtors in possessions in bankruptcies (chapter 7, chapter 11, including subchapter V for Small Businesses and chapter 13), adversary proceedings and bankruptcy appeals.
If you need legal representation in bankruptcy (debtor or creditor), we invite you to meet with us (FIRST CONSULTATION IS FREE) to evaluate the options available to you for the most cost-effective and result-driven solutions.
If you are overwhelmed with debt and trying to find a way out, we just might be the answer you are looking for. Our firm has successfully represented and assisted many hundreds of individuals and businesses to either eliminate, discharge and/or substantially reduce the underlying debt on the pass of a fresh start. Our firm is designated as Debt Relief Agency under the Bankruptcy Code within the definition of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (“BAPCA”) of 2005.
Our services include, but are not limited to, successfully defending objections to creditors’ proofs of claim, complaints for non-dischargeability, motions for relief from the automatic stay, objections to plan confirmation in reorganization cases, fraudulent conveyances and preferences, prosecuting avoiding and/or stripping junior liens and mortgages impairing exemptions on real properties, personal properties, wages, statutory liens, dealing with the IRS, state and local tax authorities, motions for sale and refinance formulating successful plans in chapter 11 and chapter 13 cases and disclosure statements in chapter 11 cases, representing parties in bankruptcy appeals.
If you are a creditor and a borrower has filed for bankruptcy, we should be able to represent your interest in the bankruptcy court. Our firm has successfully represented and assisted hundreds of creditors in recovering maximum amounts on Creditors claims and properties stayed by the bankruptcy law. Those services include, but are not limited to, prosecuting Motions for Relief from the Automatic Stay, including IN REM Relief, fraudulent conveyances and preferences, Objecting to Plan Confirmation in chapter 11 and chapter 13 reorganization cases, objecting to Debtor proposed Disclosure Statements and Plans in chapter 11 cases, filing Proofs of Claim and defending Debtors’ claim objections, lien avoiding and stripping motions, prosecuting bankruptcy appeals and assisting in navigating various stages of large chapter 11 cases.
Seeking the advice of a qualified attorney is strongly recommended because bankruptcy has long-term financial and legal outcomes.
What are the differences between chapters?
Chapter 7 – Liquidation Under the Bankruptcy Code
Chapter 7, of the Bankruptcy Code provides for the “liquidation” or sale of a debtor’s nonexempt property and the distribution of the proceeds to creditors. It is also commonly known as the “fresh start” type bankruptcy. In the case of an individual, the debtor is allowed to claim certain property as exempt. In exchange for this, the debtor gets a discharge, which means that the debtor does not have to pay certain types of debts. Corporations and partnerships do not receive a discharge.
Chapter 13 – Individual Debt Adjustment
Chapter 13, also known as a “wage earner’s plan,” enables individuals with regular income to develop a plan to repay all or part of their debts over a three to five year period. Payments are made to a chapter 13 standing trustee, who makes distributions to creditors according to the provisions of a confirmed plan. Filing a chapter 13 case allows debtors to keep valuable property – especially a home and car – which might otherwise be lost to foreclosure or repossession, if the debtor can make the payments which the bankruptcy law requires to be made to creditors.
Chapter 11 – Reorganization Under the Bankruptcy Code
Chapter 11, usually filed by businesses, but occasionally are utilized by individuals with significant assets. While the debtor maintains control of the day-to-day operations of the business or the individual’s estate, the creditors and the court work to approve a plan to repay the debts. There is no trustee unless the judge decides that one is necessary; if a trustee is appointed, the trustee takes control of the business and/or property.
Chapter 12 – Family Farmer Bankruptcy
Chapter 12 – Like chapter 13, but it is only for family farmers and family fishermen.
For additional information on all chapters, please contact our office.
Do I need an attorney to file bankruptcy?
While it is possible for an individual debtor to file a bankruptcy case pro se, that is, without the assistance of an attorney, it may be difficult to do so. You may lose property or other rights if you do not know the law. Chapter 13 is quite complicated, and most people filing Chapter 13 cases without an attorney do not successfully complete them. It is strongly recommended that a person considering bankruptcy consult with a bankruptcy attorney prior to filing a case.
How long does a bankruptcy remain on my credit report?
The Fair Credit Reporting Act, Section 605, is the law that regulates credit reporting agencies. The law states that credit reporting agencies may not report a bankruptcy case on a person’s credit report after ten years from the date the bankruptcy case is filed.
Debtors must directly contact credit reporting agencies to discuss information on a credit report. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act the credit reporting agency (and the creditor) are required to correct inaccurate or incomplete information on a credit report. The credit bureau will re-verify the item in question with the creditor at no cost to the consumer.
The Bankruptcy Court has no jurisdiction over credit reporting agencies and does not report to any of the agencies. The bankruptcy petition, schedules, and other documents are public records. Credit reporting agencies regularly collect information from the petitions filed and report the information on their credit reporting services.
There are a number of educational publications that the Federal Trade Commission has on its website to help consumers.
Who is authorized to file documents electronically?
Only attorneys, trustees and examiners can register to file pleadings electronically through CM/ECF. Institutional creditors can register for an account that allows a limited number of documents to be filed electronically. Contact our office for further information.
What are the Credit Counseling and Financial Management requirements?
Individual debtors must complete two instructional courses to be entitled to a discharge – one before filing and one after filing. If spouses file a joint bankruptcy case, each spouse must take each class and obtain separate certificates of completion.
The Bankruptcy Code requires individual debtors to complete a course in credit counseling within 180 days before the bankruptcy filing. The briefing may be in-person, over the phone, or on the internet, and must be provided by a credit counseling agency approved by the United States Trustee. Once completed, the agency that provides the credit counseling service will provide you with a certificate for filing with your petition. The counseling agencies charge a small fee for their services which may be waived on a case-by-case basis; consult with the counselor about the availability of a waiver.
A list of approved credit counseling agencies is available in the Clerk’s Office or online at Approved Credit Counseling Agencies
Financial Management (Debtor Education)
After filing a bankruptcy case, you must also complete a financial management instructional course (debtor education) in order to receive a discharge. Failure to complete the course and file proof of completion will result in your case being closed without a discharge. As with the pre-bankruptcy counseling, there is a small fee for the course which may be waived on a case-by-case basis. Consult with the agency about the availability of a waiver.
A list of approved Debtor Education agencies is available in the Clerk’s Office or online at Approved Debtor Education Agencies
Motion For Waiver Of Credit Counseling Briefing And Financial Management Course
If you are incapacitated or disabled (as defined by the 11 U.S.C. §109(h)(4)), or are on active military duty in a military combat zone, the requirement for both credit counseling and financial management may be waived.
If I had a prior bankruptcy, how soon can I receive another discharge?
The court will deny a discharge in a later chapter 7 case if the debtor received a discharge under chapter 7 or chapter 11 in a case filed within eight years before the second petition is filed.
The court will also deny a chapter 7 discharge if the debtor previously received a discharge in a chapter 12 or chapter 13 case filed within six years before the date of the filing of the second case unless (1) the debtor paid all “allowed unsecured” claims in the earlier case in full, or (2) the debtor made payments under the plan in the earlier case totaling at least 70 percent of the allowed unsecured claims and the debtor’s plan was proposed in good faith and the payments represented the debtor’s best effort.
A debtor is ineligible for discharge under chapter 13 if he or she received a prior discharge in a chapter 7, 11, or 12 case filed four years before the current case or in a chapter 13 case filed two years before the current case.
For additional information on all chapters, please contact our office
Can I own anything after bankruptcy?
Yes. Many people believe they cannot own anything for a period of time after filing for bankruptcy. This is not true. You can keep your exempt property and anything you obtain after the bankruptcy is filed. However, if you receive an inheritance, a property settlement, or life insurance benefits within 180 days after filing for bankruptcy, that money or property may have to be paid to your creditors if the property or money is not exempt.
Working Hard to Protect Your Rights
If you are overwhelmed with debt and trying to find a way out, we might just be the answer you’re looking for. If you are a creditor and a borrower has filed for bankruptcy, we assist in recovering the maximum amount possible, depending on the facts of each case.
Evictions, Real Estate, Business, Commercial Litigations
As a part of our real-estate related services, we offer representation of tenants and landlords in evictions and unlawful detainers. We help in business formation and compliance and litigations.
We analyze clients’ financial statements and tax returns and render opinions on available programs and mechanisms to deal with those tax issues.
Personal Injury Law
Our firm offers representation in automobile accidents and injuries resulted from negligence of other parties.
Bankruptcy Basics - Educational Video Guides
Bankruptcy Basics – Part 1: Introduction
What is bankruptcy? What happens in a bankruptcy case? Bankruptcy is a legal process that provides relief for individuals who can no longer pay all of their debts. If you are considering bankruptcy, this video will give you basic information about the process, the relief it offers, and how to find the legal help you may need.
Bankruptcy Basics – Part 2: Types of Bankruptcy
A brief review of the three main types of bankruptcy cases for individuals chapters 7, 11, and 13. The most common types of bankruptcy are chapter 7, which are liquidating bankruptcy, and chapter 13 cases, often used by individuals who want to catch up on past due mortgage or car loan payments and keep their assets.
Bankruptcy Basics – Part 3: Limits of Bankruptcy
Certain types of debt, such as child support, alimony, and most student loans, cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. Wrongful conduct may make some debts non-dischargeable. Examples of such conduct are incurring credit card charges without the intent or ability to repay, or obtaining loans using false financial information.
Bankruptcy Basics – Part 4: Filing for Bankruptcy
How does someone file a bankruptcy case? In order to file for bankruptcy, an individual must take a credit counseling course to learn about alternatives to bankruptcy as well as accurately complete and file a number of documents.
Bankruptcy Basics – Part 5: Creditors’ Meeting
Every debtor is required to appear at a creditors’ meeting conducted by a trustee who asks the debtor questions about the debtor’s financial condition and gives creditors the opportunity to do the same.
Bankruptcy Basics – Part 6: Bankruptcy Crime
A debtor must be honest and accurate in dealing with the court or face serious consequences, including being charged with a bankruptcy crime.
Bankruptcy Basics – Part 7: Courts Hearings
In some cases, a debtor may be required to appear at hearings before a bankruptcy judge.
Bankruptcy Basics – Part 8: The Discharge
Debtors are usually able to discharge most or all of their debts. Once a debt is discharged, a creditor may not attempt to collect it from the debtor.
Bankruptcy Basics – Part 9: Legal Assistance
When does someone need a lawyer for a bankruptcy case? Individuals have a right to represent themselves in court, but bankruptcy is a complex area that involves many considerations including whether to file, what chapter to file under, and what exemptions to claim. It is important to understand all of the protections of the bankruptcy code in order to make full use of them.
Dedication, Commitment, Trustworthiness
Our Commitment to you as a Client
- Competitive and fair prices for a high quality of work.
- Dedication and attentiveness to your cause.
- Easy accessibility to speak to your attorney when needed.
- Only charging for the actual work done.
- You can come to us, or we can come to the place convenient for you.
14205 S.E. 36th Street, Suite 100, Bellevue, WA, 98006
Monday – Friday from 9:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M
What Our Clients Say
This guy saved my life!Posted by Brian - avvo.com
“I knew nothing about the bankruptcy process and was hesitant and a little scared. Dmitry came out to meet with me, we had a cup of coffee and the next thing I knew, with a few questions he had filed for my chapter 13. He saved my house and with his tremendous experience dealing with the IRS, he was able to correct an IRS debt that i didn't really owe. Trust me, you want this guy on your side.”
Saved my house!Posted by Maria G - avvo.com
“This bankruptcy attorney is great! I was on the verge of being evicted and my house was in process of foreclosure. Dmitry explained everything in detail, explained all my options and recommended the best course of action. He saved my house and decreased my debt significantly, for which I’m very grateful. Highly recommend this bankruptcy attorney.”
Expert in bankruptcy mattersPosted by Alberto - avvo.com
“When my wife and I hired Dmitry to help us, we knew nothing about bankruptcy practice. Mr Merrit was very thorough in explaining to us all the steps and pretty much held our hand until the end of road, which had a very positive outcome. He is not only an expert in what he does, but also very compassionate and understanding person. Highly recommend doing business with him (in fact we already recommended him to our friends)”
Great Bankruptcy attorneyPosted by Natalie - avvo.com
“Very knowledgeable. Easy to communicate with. Always easy to reach. Explains everything and helps choose the best alternative for the client, not just to charge more money.”
About the Founder.
DMITRY MERRIT, Esq., has been a practicing attorney since January of 2002. Dmitry Merrit is admitted to practice law and in good standing with the state bars of New York and Washington State. Dmitry Merrit is also admitted with the U.S. District Courts for the Western District of Washington, Southern District of New York and Eastern Districts of New York.
In May of 2001, Dmitry Merrit received his Juris Doctor Degree from RUTGERS UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW, CAMDEN NJ.
In June of 1998, Dmitry Merrit received his Bachelor of Art Degree in Law & Society from UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA AT SANTA BARBARA. He also completed course-work for the 2nd major in Accounting.
Dmitry Merrit represents numerous Creditors and Debtors in bankruptcy cases, contested matters and adversary proceedings in Chapter 7; 11 and 13 bankruptcy proceedings. He advises, provides title review and assists in drafting loan and contract documents in real estate transactions involving “hard money” and business financing. He guides, supervises, instructs and performs statutory compliance to the foreclosure trustee company in its every aspects of foreclosure proceedings. He assists borrowers in loan modifications and foreclosure defense. He drafts contracts and instruments in various business arrangements and transactions.
Prior to starting his own practice, Dmitry Merrit served as Bankruptcy, Foreclosure Attorney/Managing partner with the Law Offices of Khodorovsky & Merrit (Multistate Professional Practice: New York Branch). In his position, Dmitry Merrit assisted in representing debtors and creditors in hundreds of Chapter 7, 11 and 13 bankruptcy cases, adversary proceedings and appeals. He drafted and argued bankruptcy appeals in the U. S. Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the Ninth Circuit. He represented corporate creditors in a few publicized chapter 11 cases. He has also been involved in assisting legal counsel in representing debtors-in-possession in numerous chapter 11 cases.
Prior to working for the Law Offices of Khodorovsky & Merrit, Dmitry Merrit worked as a Tax Associate for Andersen (Arthur Andersen LLP), Tri-State Office. While at Andersen, Dmitry Merrit participated in developing tax saving techniques for the clients involved in Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Cases. He performed tax compliance work for the multiple path-through entities, REITs, individuals with the multistate sources of income.
During the third year of law school Dmitry Merrit did a non-paid Externship/Clerkship for the Honorable Gloria Bums, bankruptcy judge in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of New Jersey, Camden, N.J. Prior to the judicial externship/clerkship, Dmitry Merrit clerked for the Chapter 7 Standing Bankruptcy Trustee in the District of New Jersey.
OTHER QUALIFICATIONS: Memberships: Member of Washington State Bar Association, NYSBA and NYCBA.
Law School Scholastic Achievements: Top Student in Advance Bankruptcy Chapter 11 Course; Top Student in Corporate Tax Course.