Bankruptcy in Virginia Beach, VA
Are you contemplating bankruptcy or hiring a bankruptcy attorney in Virginia Beach, Virginia? Are you tired of creditors calling for payments you can’t make? Maybe looking for a way to get out of debt and have you exhausted all other options? Then bankruptcy might be the solution you seek. It is a legal option that can erase a portion or all of your debts.
Types of Bankruptcy in Virginia Beach, Virginia
Bankruptcy is a legal process that helps individuals and businesses get a fresh financial start. It eliminates a portion of or all of their debts or financial liabilities. In Virginia Beach, VA to be approved, individuals must prove they have a hardship that prevents them from staying current on their financial obligations. Keep in mind that not all debts qualify. Some liabilities, such as child support arrears, delinquent taxes, alimony, and student loans generally do not qualify for discharge. Consumers who find themselves falling behind in debt can file either Chapter 7, 11 or 13. To determine which option is right for you, you’ll need to assess your goals, assets, and income. You should also consider working with an experienced bankruptcy attorney.
A Virginia Beach resident goes through the Norfolk branch of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for bankruptcies. While it may not apply to every case, you may need to attend hearings with your lawyer at some point.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Many people find Chapter 7 to be the right solution for their circumstances because it provides them with the opportunity to start over financially. However, before filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you should thoroughly assess your income and ability to repay what you owe. You should also speak with a bankruptcy attorney in Virginia Beach who can help you to decide if a liquidation plan is right for you.
Typically, individuals approved for Chapter 7 lack stable income or have experienced a change in circumstances that has resulted in an inability to manage their debts. Though Chapter 7 erases debts, the tradeoff is you may have to give up certain possessions, such as your home, car or some other assets. However, once you file your petition, an automatic stay goes into effect that requires all collection activity against you like foreclosures and garnishments, to stop temporarily. However, the automatic stay does not prevent all collection attempts. For example, if you owe child support or restitution for a criminal case, you are still liable for those payments.
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court of the Eastern District of Virginia lists dozens of filing requirements to file for Chapter 7. Among the activities to take part in to qualify, you need to complete credit counseling within 180 of your filing. Since this is compulsory, it only costs a nominal fee or gets offered free of charge.
Another crucial aspect of qualification involves means-testing. The Department of Justice needs to look into your income and compare it to the median income in your area. U.S. Census Bureau data at the time of writing estimates this to be $37,350 for individuals and $76,610 for households in Virginia Beach.
Chapter 11 Bankruptcy
Chapter 11 bankruptcy is more complex than other types of bankruptcy. It is often used by businesses and certain types of people. It allows petitioners to restructure their debts with a reorganization plan, so they are easier to manage over a determined length of time, usually four to 18 months. The main benefit of Chapter 11 bankruptcy is that it does not require petitioners to sell off or liquidate their assets to pay what they owe. It does allow debtors to negotiate with their creditors a reorganization plan that enables them to stay current on their debts moving forward.
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court of the Eastern District of Virginia states that Chapter 11 usually applies to a business. However, individuals can petition as well with or without hiring legal counsel. However, a corporation has requirements to retain an attorney. Failure to meet any requirements or deadlines can result in losing bankruptcy protection in Virginia Beach.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is a debt restructuring or wage earners plan. In Virginia Beach, VA after you file, the courts will assign a trustee to examine your liabilities and assets and ability to pay bills. Unlike other types of bankruptcy, Chapter 13 involves you restructuring your debt with a three to five-year repayment plan. The flexibility of this repayment plan will depend on what property you want to keep and how steady your income is. It may also give you the opportunity to have some or most of your debts discharged.
After receiving approval, the Office of the Chapter 13 Trustee collects and distributes payments. If you fall behind on these payments in Virginia Beach, this office cannot forgive payments without court orders. They recommend speaking with an attorney to understand options for reductions or suspensions.
The Bankruptcy Process in Virginia Beach, Virginia
There is never an ideal time to declare bankruptcy. However, if you are unable to pay off what you owe within five years, filing for bankruptcy can help you to lessen the negative impact on your situation and help you get back on track.
In Virginia Beach to begin the filing process, gather all of your financial records, including monthly expenses, debts, assets and annual income. This information is crucial to give the courts an accurate picture of your circumstances. Failure to provide all necessary information can result in your petition being denied.
Debtors from Virginia Beach can consider taking exemptions from the state or federal government. One of the most important factors is the homestead exemption, especially if you currently own your home. The Commonwealth of Virginia offers up to $25,000 in value for your residence, but U.S. Code goes up to $25,100. Because there isn’t much difference between these two, your final decision will rely on how many advantages you can find in other categories.
At least six months before you file for bankruptcy, eliminate unnecessary spending. Do not run up the balances on your credit accounts. You’ll also need to complete an approved credit counseling course, usually online or over the phone. Credit counseling is necessary to help you learn financial literacy and help you learn better financial habits. Once you complete the course, you’ll receive a certificate of completion to include in your filing. If you don’t have the certificate of completion from the credit counseling course that you took, the courts will reject your bankruptcy petition.
Work With an Experienced Virginia Beach, Virginia Lawyer
Hiring a local bankruptcy lawyer in Virginia Beach during this process can help reduce the costly risks of self-representation in court. An experienced bankruptcy lawyer understands state and federal bankruptcy laws. He or she can help you understand which laws apply to your case, especially which debts that can be discharged or can’t be discharged. An experienced Virginia attorney can also offer you guidance to improve the outcome of your case.
Keep in mind that there are debt management alternatives and financial resources that may benefit you more than bankruptcy, such as debt consolidation. Though bankruptcy is an attractive solution, it is best as a last resort. Do you need immediate help? Then one of our experienced lawyers in Virginia Beach can guide you through the entire bankruptcy process. We can even help you connect with an attorney across Virginia state lines.
Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!