law office of Noel Shillito

Moving Beyond Bankruptcy

Tacoma's Premier Bankruptcy Lawyer

Thursday, August 28, 2014
People ask us why we call ourselves Tacoma’s Premier bankruptcy lawyers and the answer is simple. We do our job the best we can for every single client, family, and business we represent. We fight for you and our results show this to be true.

Being located in Tacoma, we have seen the ebb and flow of financial successes and struggles here in Pierce County. We know that sometimes finances get out of control and the only way out is to file for bankruptcy. That is why we strive with every client to take away the fear, stress and frustration of filing for bankruptcy with our honest, friendly approach.

With well over 60 years of experience helping the community file for Chapter 7, Chapter 11 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy, we feel confident in our abilities to get the best results for you. Take some time, give us a call and let us prove to you that we deserve the title of Tacoma’s Premier Bankruptcy Lawyers.

Help In Tacoma

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Here in Tacoma, we at Shillito Law are able to help you file for bankruptcy whether you are a large or small business or an individual who needs help. Located in Pierce County, we know the area well and have a strong, proud history of helping the community.

We are proud of our history and service to the great Puget Sound area and want to help you. We understand the decision to file for bankruptcy, whether it is for you and your family or for your business can be a difficult one, but our goal is to help you as best we can. We specialize in everything from debt collections to credit help and Chapters 7, 11 and 13 bankruptcies, and we do so out of care for the community. If you want to be represented by Tacoma’s Premier Bankruptcy Lawyers, give us a call today.

Here To Help

Thursday, August 28, 2014

The stress that comes from financial problems can sometimes delay the decision to file for bankruptcy. We understand that stress. We aren’t perfect, and often, we get in over our heads and don’t know what to do. Some people may view filing for bankruptcy as a failure, but that is incorrect. With Shillito Law, we help give you another chance.

If you are deciding that bankruptcy is needed, Shillito Law can help you. Whether you are in Seattle, Tacoma or anywhere in the Puget Sound, we are here for you. We consistently tell our clients that we try and take the fear away from bankruptcy, and we would like to do the same or you. We want to give you a friendly face, and understanding ear and a voice of wisdom. We are part of the community, right in Tacoma, and we are your neighbors. There are many bankruptcy attorney’s in Pierce County, but we are Tacoma’s Premier Banckruptcy Lawyers and will fight for you.

Contact us and we will do our best to help you.

Washington Bankruptcies By The Numbers

Thursday, August 28, 2014
According to the United States Department of Justice, the number of people filing for bankruptcy is steadily rising, despite a slight improvement in the numbers in 2006. While this chart shows the fluctuation of numbers from year to year, we can see that the numbers are growing steadily. In just three years, the number of Washington residents increased over 165%, or from 11,911 in 2006 to 31,536 in 2009. The numbers are now back to where they were during the economic turmoil of 2005.

While these numbers are increasing, we here at Shillito and Giske want to remind you that if you are having financial difficulties, you are not alone. Many people are waking up today in Tacoma, Pierce County, Seattle and the state of Washington knowing that bankruptcy can be the answer. You might not need to file for bankruptcy, but if you do, we can help. As the numbers above show, you aren’t alone and with more and more people around Washington State filing, you are not alone. Call us today and we can help.


Hostess Bankruptcy: 3 Months Later

Thursday, August 28, 2014
With Hostess claiming bankruptcy late last year, many have been wondering just what would happen to their foods and inventory. Many were worried that the brand, the taste and the history were being lost forever, but that is not the function of bankruptcy. While Hostess itself may no longer exist, their assets were sold off and their recipes went to the highest bidder. In proof that Hostess is gone, but not forgotten, a bakery called “Flower Foods” won a bid for $360 million. This bid means that Wonder Bread and other breads baked by Hostess are back.

Another “fear” that gripped the public when news of Hostess liquidating its assets was that the Twinkie was gone forever. However, according to local media, “On Jan. 30, a joint $410 million bid by Apollo Global Management and Metropoulos & Co. was similarly tapped as the leading bidder for the iconic Twinkies brand, the Dolly Madison line of snacks, as well as five bakeries and some of the equipment.”

The bankruptcy of Hostess was and is still huge news. When large companies file for bankruptcy, the public doesn’t always see the behind the scenes deals that happen. Hostess was a giant, but even giants find themselves in financial trouble. We here at Shillito Law can help you if you are a giant company, a small business or an family or individual.


You Are Not Alone!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Thinking you are alone in considering bankruptcy?

Often, our clients feel that what they are embarking on is foreign and not that common. On our initial meetings, we often hear about shame, embarrassment or feeling down about having to file for bankruptcy, however, this process is more common than you might think.

In 2012, nearly twenty-one thousand people filed for bankruptcy in the state of Washington alone. Out of these, nearly eighty percent were Chapter 7 bankruptcies. In the entire United States population, the number of bankruptcies was well over one million people.

Claiming bankruptcy is done daily around the state and the country, and with years of experience and a reputation for professionalism and results we here at Shillito and Giske can help you through this event in your life.

For more information on this data, you can follow the link: ( ) or you can contact us at the following:

Phone: (253) 572-4388


News Tribune Article

Thursday, August 28, 2014
A few years ago, we were interviewed by the Tacoma News Tribune. We would have put it on our blog and on our social media sites, but up until recently, we didn’t even have email addresses. A lot has changed in the past 5 years; we now have computers and email, but no matter how times may change us, we are still in the business of helping you. Please take some time and read the article, as our steadfast values and dedication are what we pride ourselves on.

Tacoma News Tribune, January 28,2008
Noel Shillito News Tribune Article

Section: Business
Page: B06
He gets lives back on track


Business attorney Noel Shillito works from the second floor of a North End Tacoma office, his large wood desk occupied by a phone, a pen and a yellow legal pad.

No computer of any kind; he’s never had one. Shillito got rid of his cell phone five years ago. His 70-hour weeks are spent largely with a gray headset fixed to his ear, talking to clients.

“I enjoy what I do, and I stick with what I’m good at,” said Shillito, 58, who’s been a lawyer for more than 30 years. “I have no intention of retiring anytime soon. It gets better every year. You ought to have joy in what you’re doing.”

About three-quarters of Shillito’s practice involves bankruptcy cases. Shillito sat down with The News Tribune on a recent afternoon to talk about how today’s housing market is impacting his business and how consumers can avoid bankruptcy.

Have you always worked in the bankruptcy arena? 

Almost. I was appointed a Chapter 7 trustee in February 1977. A now-retired but very distinguished judge, Robert Skidmore, he was kind enough to appoint me to that job, because I wasn’t qualified. He helped train me. I was a trustee until 1984.

What does a trustee do?

Right now we have six types of bankruptcy and three types of trustees. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which is a straight liquidation, the most popular bankruptcy, two-thirds of all bankruptcies . . . the trustees job is twofold. Number one, make sure the debtor doesn’t keep more than they’re allowed to keep, and the second purpose is to make sure the debtor hasn’t done anything wrong or bad prior to filing. For example, quit claiming five acres to his sister-in-law and pretending to be broke when they file. The most common problem is people have repaid old debts to friends or family prior to filing.

What appealed to you about working in bankruptcy law?

I enjoy it; I just thrive on it. What I like most is helping people overcome their financial obstacles, and it’s very challenging. It’s hard work in this sense: Pretend you’re a lawyer for a bank or a lender. You’ve got all the laws on your side. The challenge is, how do you do a lot with so little?

How do you help your clients overcome their financial obstacles?

Number one, you have to listen. Everyone has a story. You can’t make up what people have done. What I’ve learned is people, when they come in here all fear-based and emotionally paralyzed, they can’t and won’t listen to you until they’ve had a chance to vent and feel they’ve been heard. It’s no different than anything else, but nobody teaches you this at school. My initial meeting with a financially stressed-out person takes a long time. The first thing, you listen, and then you take the fear of the unknown out of their life, so they can stop hyperventilating.

Given today’s housing market, are you seeing an impact on your business?

Absolutely. Business has never been better.

What kind of situations are you seeing?

In the month of January, I’ve had three long-time Realtors come see me. They’ll be making bankruptcy filings. Two mortgage brokers, one who had 25 employees a year ago, and two builders. On the other side you’ve got all the consumers. Many of my clients have admitted to me they were leveraged high and they were taking a risk, but they figured they could refinance. But the market hasn’t kept up. And this is what’s really bad about our economy is that in the U.S. one of the primary pillars of our economy and financial stability is middle-class homeownership. If I can get into a home with no real investment, then I’m more likely to walk when the times get tight. And I’m seeing more of that than I have in my 31 years.

Is a person’s house protected when he or she files for bankruptcy?

Very few people lose their homes because a bankruptcy is filed. If they lose it, it’s because they can’t service the underlying debt.

Do you see common pitfalls among your clients on the road to bankruptcy?

Number one is lack of financial education. Number two is normally it’s a slow spiral. Loss of a job, even temporarily will throw most households in a panic. They start getting more and more behind and using credit cards for survival. Medical issues can trigger the same thing. Another class would be a catastrophic accident and they didn’t have any insurance or not enough. I’ve never seen anything in my 31 years that contradicts that people live paycheck to paycheck. In America, we’re optimistic. It’s a form of denial, but it’s the way we are.

Do you have advice for people who’d like to avoid bankruptcy?

Most people need to start saving money. They don’t. Better education and planning is the key in my book.

Devona Wells: 253-720-8935

Reestablish Credit After Bankruptcy

Thursday, August 28, 2014
Often, our customers will worry about having a smooth transition to life after filing for bankruptcy. Many of you wonder whether or not life will be the same. While we can’t promise that all of your problems will disappear, we can give you a few easy tips to make sure your credit builds as fast and strong as possible.

The first thing you should do, if you haven’t already, is to open a checking or savings account and try and save some money. This may be hard at first, but establishing your own savings will help change spending habits of the past.

Second, apply for store and gas cards that would usually be cash expenses. You will become more trustworthy in creditors eyes as you put aside money and pay these of monthly.

The third thing is to pay bill off in full for at least a year. This will again help show you are capable of payment.

Fourth is to try and purchase anything big with a co-signer. This will usually allow you to get some form of credit, as well as build back up your credit score.

Finally, remember to live within your means. Do not unnecessarily increase your debt to income ratio by taking on credit to purchase luxury items that you DO NOT NEED.

These 5 steps should be easy, as the vast majority of people who file for bankruptcy never do so again. For more questions, please contact us.

Credit After Bankruptcy?

Thursday, August 28, 2014
Sometimes we find links that can answer some of your questions in a way that doesn’t require you to come in and chat. We will occasionally post these here, so feel free to search the blog and maybe we can answer your questions at any hour!

One common question many bankruptcy lawyers hear is whether or not you will ever have a credit card again, once you file for bankruptcy.

While the temptation to get a card again is big, please enter into any credit card offers with the knowledge that your interest rates may be higher. Luckily though, you get to worry about this, as credit cards are generally offered right away after filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. Most creditors know the odds, and the statistics show that most people, after one bankruptcy, never claim another one. Therefore, you will probably be offered a card right away.

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Why us? We have experience.

Thursday, August 28, 2014
Located right here in Tacoma, we here at Shillito and Giske provide professional and respected help to bankruptcy, collections and specialty legal service. With a local staff of professionals, we are dedicated to helping you feel empowered and respected, while working to get you the best results for your case.

With over 60 years of experience, we know we have the legal know-how to guide your case through the courts and ensure that you receive the best legal advice. Whether you need help right now, or are looking around, I highly encourage you to give us a call and schedule a meeting.

We will treat you with the respect you deserve, and will help you break free from the shame that some of our clients initially feel. You will get your life back, and we want to help.


Phone:  253.572.4388  |  Fax:  253.572.4497  |  Email:  |  1919 North Pearl St, C-2,  Tacoma, WA  98406