Bankruptcy Lawyers in Midlothian & Richmond, VA
We are here to help you find debt relief
Your bills have piled up, and you are doing your best to pay them off, but it’s just not working the way you hoped it would. In fact, you may even be getting deeper into debt as you use new credit to pay off other creditors. You are not alone. Millions of Americans are finding themselves in the very same situation. We understand the stress this is putting on you and your family, and we want you to know that we can help you reduce or eliminate this burden.
We highly recommend that you contact us and consult with one of our attorneys for debt and financial planning. We do not recommend debt counseling and negotiation services promoted by anyone other than an experienced bankruptcy attorney. There are many scams out there that prey on financially stressed individuals; these services usually produce greater loss as time goes on.
You have rights
If you are unable to work out affordable payment plans with your creditors or if your debts have become overwhelming, filing for bankruptcy protection may be the right choice for you. Not only will it give you instant relief from your debts, it will allow you the opportunity to start fresh and begin to rebuild your credit again. Once you file for bankruptcy in Virginia, you are under the protection of the Automatic Stay and your creditors may not take any action against you including foreclosure, repossession, garnishment, or even calling you on the phone.
The single biggest mistake people make is to wait too long to get expert help. Whether you call our firm or not, call an expert bankruptcy lawyer sooner rather than later.
What is a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Virginia?
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is called a “liquidation” bankruptcy. The purpose of filing a Chapter 7 case is to obtain a discharge of liability on your existing debts.
When you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy you can wipe out debt from:
- Credit cards
- Store loans
- Checking accounts overdrafts
- Payday Loans/Cash Advances
- Personal loans
- Medical/dental bills
- Income tax obligations more than three years old
- Your mortgage
- Your car payments
Some debts cannot be discharged in a Chapter 7 such as:
- Certain tax obligations (less three years old; 941 taxes; sales and use taxes)
- Child support and spousal support
- Court ordered fines and restitution
- Student loans
- Debts for personal injuries caused by your driving while intoxicated
- Debts obtained through fraud or deception
Filing a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Virginia is usually a quick and painless process. In a Chapter 7 unless your property is exempt through Virginia state exemptions, the trustee can take your property and liquidate it for the benefit of your creditors. Most people do not have assets beyond assets that are exempt. You should consult a bankruptcy attorney for a careful evaluation of your property and available exemptions.
What are the available Property Exemptions in Virginia?
Common exemptions in Virginia are:
- Automobiles with equity up to $6,000 ($12,000 for married couples)
- Household furnishings with a value up to $5,000 ($10,000 for married couples)
- The home you live in with equity up to $5,000 ($10,000 for married couples)
- Pension Plans, 401ks, IRAs, 403bs, and other employer-sponsored retirement plans.
Equity means the monetary value after liens are subtracted from the fair market value. Exemption planning is one of the most important aspects of your Chapter 7 and should not be filed without assistance from a bankruptcy attorney.
What is a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is also called a wage earner’s plan. It enables individuals with regular income to develop a plan to repay all or part of their debts. Under this chapter, debtors propose a repayment plan to make installments to creditors over three to five years. The plan must be approved by the court to become effective. Once the plan is approved, creditors will be prohibited from collecting their claims directly from the debtor. The debtor must make all payments under the terms of the plan to keep the court protections and receive a discharge.
Who can File a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Virginia?
The most important criteria for a person to be able to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy is that the individual must have a regular income. There are a few other criterion that must be met for filing a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy and your attorney will be the best person to introduce you to these!
How does a Chapter 13 differ from a debt consolidation service?
In a Chapter 13, the court has the power to protect the debtor from the actions of creditors. A private debt consolidation service does not. The court has the power to prohibit creditors from garnishing wages, foreclosing on the debtor’s home and from repossessing the debtor’s automobile. The court also has the power to force certain creditors to accept a Chapter 13 plan that pays only a portion of the claim. Debt consolidation services have none of these powers and they usually cause you to waste much of your income and assets.
Further, debt consolidation services are not authorized to give legal advice to anyone and to do so is a criminal offense. Only an attorney licensed by the state is allowed to give legal advice.
Free Consultation with a Bankruptcy Lawyer in Midlothian, VA
If you are struggling with debt, but aren’t sure whether a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 is the best option for you, we would be happy to speak with you and give you legal advice. We do not charge a consultation fee for bankruptcy cases.
Contact us at 804-794-8070 or via the form below. We look forward to hearing from you.