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0103EN | June 2021 p. 1 Should I file for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?  Read this only if you live in the state of Washington.  You can find all the fact sheets we link to here at WashingtonLawHelp.org. What is bankruptcy? It is a legal process to help people who are unable to pay their outstanding debts. How are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies different? Chapter 7: the court cancels (discharges) your debt. Your bills “vanish.” You are no longer responsible for them. You get a clean slate and a chance to start over with no debt. Chapter 13: the court puts you on a 3 to 5-year payment plan to repay your debts. This can help you try to avoid foreclosure of your home or to pay off other debts, such as traffic tickets or legal financial obligations (LFOs), that you cannot discharge. My wages are being garnished. Can a bankruptcy help? Probably. The day you file for bankruptcy, the court issues a “stay”. This means all collection action, including garnishment, must stop immediately. Which ...