Salem Bankruptcy Made Simple

Why File With Michael Shurtleff?

Clients frequently comment on how personable and down to earth Michael is.  When you choose Michael Shurtleff you are choosing:

  • The most laid back and comfortable bankruptcy experience.
  • The most streamlined bankruptcy process available.
  • The best rated and reviewed bankruptcy attorney in Salem Oregon.
  • Direct access to your attorney and paralegal at all times with no middle man.

5 Ways Filing With Salem Law Is Easier

  • Michael handles every intake call himself so you get answers now.
  • Every client gets Michael’s personal cell phone number.
  • Our online bankruptcy preparation experience is second to none.
  • We are available until 9pm 6 days a week.
  • One easy payment plan.

What Are You Waiting For?

The Consultation is free and you are guaranteed to come away with helpful information even if bankruptcy is not right for you.

You have questions – We have answers. 

You need help – We are ready to take the weight off of your shoulders. 

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney Salem Oregon

Hi. I am glad you found your way to my site. I have been a Bankruptcy attorney in Salem Oregon for many years and have helped hundreds of families file successfully.

My driving passion is to provide an affordable, streamlined, experience for you. Because I focus solely on Chapter 7, I am able to help you file less expensively than other attorneys.

Take Advantage of our $100/month payment plan!

Many attorneys do not offer a payment plan, but we do. If you choose to file bankruptcy you will pay $250 down and then we will file your case. The rest of your court filing fees and attorney fees can be paid at $100 per month after your case is filed. This gives you the benefit of stopping any garnishments and collections without having to wait.

Same-Day Filings

If you need to file bankruptcy immediately to stop a garnishment or lawsuit we can file an emergency bankruptcy. In these cases we only require $100 down and we are able to file immediately, as long as you are able to provide the necessary documents and information.

If you are being garnished you may even get “Money Back” after you file.

One of the services we offer clients is garnishment recovery. We are almost always successful in getting people’s garnishments back. The reality is that all we usually have to do is send out a letter and make a few follow up calls and then the creditor sends us a check. We charge $150 for this service.

Many attorneys like to make this process sound really difficult and like to fleece their clients by hanging onto way more of the recovered funds than they ought to. They generally charge 30-40% of whatever they recover or simply keep the whole garnishment refund to cover their fees, even if the refund ends up being $2,000-$3000.

We simply apply the garnishment recovery to your regular fees and then cut you a check for the difference. We very often send clients checks for several hundred dollars. It feels good to file and then get a garnishment back to cover the cost of filing and even get a refund check on top of that.

Don’t let another lawyer charge you way too much for this service. Ask them up front how much they will be charging you to recover your garnished funds.

Do You Qualify to File?

Chapter 7 is the most common type of bankruptcy and is what most people think of when they are looking to wipe out their debts and start rebuilding their credit and their financial health. While many people are concerned that they might not qualify to file, the vast majority of people do qualify.

Will you lose your house or car if you file?

The most common misconception people have is that they may lose their home or their car if they file.

Fortunately, bankruptcy “exemptions” allow people to keep their possessions and still file as long as they don’t have equity above and beyond what is allowed. For instance, a married couple would have to have more than $60,000 equity in their home before they would be in any danger of losing it. An individual would have to have more than $50,000 of equity.

People who rent get to take their unused “homestead” exemption and apply it to protect anything else they want (including vehicles), so it is extremely rare that people who file ever have to surrender their car in a bankruptcy.

How to avoid Surprises when you file

Fortunately, as long as you are using a bankruptcy lawyer, and not trying to file on your own, you won’t have any surprises. Even if you do have a lot of equity in cars or homes your attorney can generally work something out with the trustee allowing you to pay some money to the Trustee rather than actually losing any of your possessions.

Of course, this is not specific legal advice. You should always talk to a lawyer – like me - before making any decisions about filing.

How to shop for an attorney

Because most people only ever file bankruptcy once or twice in a lifetime, shopping for a someone good isn’t something they have any experience with. Most attorneys websites focus heavily on “experience” and “affordability”. While these things are extremely important, there are a lot of other things that can make a huge difference to your overall experience.

Probably the biggest frustration clients face is not being able to get ahold of their attorney and feeling like they have been shuffled off to a staff person. As hard as it might be to believe, many attorneys are terrible about returning calls and emails. It doesn’t matter if your attorney has 30 years experience if you can never get ahold of him or her. One of the reasons Michael Shurtleff has more 5 star reviews than any other Salem Oregon Bankruptcy attorney is because he does every intake consultation himself and spends as much time as needed getting the whole picture and making sure he understands exactly what each client is facing. He also gives every client his cell phone number and he is available in the evenings and on Saturdays because he understands that that is when most people are home from work and able to talk about their case.

Not all Attorneys are equal! In other words – Don’t click on the first ad you see!

Most services we shop for are things we have shopped for before. A haircut, a lawn service, dog grooming, a mechanic, etc. We all know that it can be hard to get quality service and it may take work to find a good match. With bankruptcy, because people know so little about it, they are often prone to assume that it is what it is and one attorney is just like the other. Sometimes people just do a Google search and click on the first ad that pops up. That may not be the best idea. We recommend three things.

  1. Never choose a 1-800 number out-of-state firm. We know of some of them and they charge more and provide worse service than local Salem Oregon attorneys as a general rule.
  2. Don’t pay any attention to the ads. Look instead at the google reviews and read enough to get a feel for what it is that people are saying about the attorney.
  3. Use someone who you get to spend time with right off the bat. If a staff person is assigned to do your intake, Politely move on and find someone who has time for you.

  4. For other bankruptcy questions, give us a call: (503)798-8708