Eastern District Of Virginia Requirements
The Eastern District is broken into four divisions with courthouses located in Alexandria, Norfolk, Richmond, and Newport News. Anyone filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Virginia in the eastern district without an attorney should take a moment to review the Court’s detailed overview of what to expect and look out for.
File Bankruptcy Petition And Other Forms
- List of all the creditors and the amounts of those claims
- Your source of income including frequency and amount
- All of the property you own
- A comprehensive list of your living expenses;
There are also local rules and forms that may be specific to Virginia. If you are filing bankruptcy with an attorney, they should help guide you through the local requirements. For example, see the local rules in Virginia based on the district:
Filing Bankruptcy In Virginia: 4 Things You Need To Know
You are looking to file bankruptcy in Virginia. The most important things to understand are the process, qualification, costs, risk of losing belongings, pros and cons, and alternatives. The purpose of this article is to provide this information and personalized information based on your unique situation from our bankruptcy calculators.
Firstly, you need to know that bankruptcy is a legal debt relief option. It can help you eliminate debt, protect you from creditors, and give you a fresh start. In fact, in Virginia, there were 13,924 from for the past year ending June 30th, 2021. ;Bankruptcy can even allow you to save for retirement.
You will notice that steps 1-7 below are to help you research whether and how to file for bankruptcy in Virginia. Steps 8-15 are the actual bankruptcy process.
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What Is A 341 Hearing
Everyone who files for bankruptcy must attend a 341 hearing, which is also called a “creditors meeting.” The meeting is conducted by the bankruptcy trustee assigned to your case. The trustee will put you under oath and may ask you questions about the information you’ve provided on your bankruptcy forms. Creditors may also show up at the hearing to ask you questions, but it’s not common for them to do so.
Bankruptcy law also requires the trustee to ask you questions to be sure you understand how bankruptcy works and the potential consequences of filing bankruptcy, such as the effect on your credit record.
For most bankruptcy filers, this will be your only trip to the courthouse . Most court websites post schedules of 341 hearings, and when you file, you will be notified of your hearing date. When you show up for your hearing, you will find that many other people have hearings set for the same day. You will sit and wait for your name to be called–usually in a room somewhere in the courthouse or federal building, but probably not in a courtroom.
Common Virginia Bankruptcy Exemptions
Here are some of the more common exemptions in Virginia. When reviewing them, you’ll want to keep these things in mind:
- Joint filing. Unless otherwise noted, when spouses file together in Virginia, each spouse can claim the full amount of the exemption as long as each spouse has an ownership interest in the property.
- List and verify your exemptions. You must claim an exemption by listing it in the official bankruptcy forms. You might qualify for exemptions not included in this article, or be required to meet qualification requirements. Consulting with a local bankruptcy attorney is the best way to ensure that you’re protecting your assets.
- Legal citations. You’ll find each of the statutes in the Code of Virginia or the federal law.
Assets And Exemptions In Chapter 7
In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, or liquidation proceeding, a trustee will be appointed to your case to review the value of your assets and see if they can sell any of your non -exempt assets for the benefit of your creditors. An individual debtor is allowed to keep certain exempt property, but to the extent there is nonexempt property of value, the chapter 7 trustee can sell it. The proceeds generated from the liquidation of assets by the bankruptcy trustee will be paid to your creditors who have filed proofs of claim in your bankruptcy case.
It is important to understand that you can exempt significant property from this process and therefore retain these exempt assets. Any security interests which creditors have in your property, such as real estate mortgages or a lien on your car, will remain in place and are enforceable against the collateral even after you have received a discharge.
Therefore, even though you have no legal obligation to repay the debt, if you want to retain the property, you will have to pay whatever debt is owed on it.
How Does Bankruptcy Work
Bankruptcy is a method to eliminate or at least reduce your debt when bills pile up beyond your ability to repay them. It should be viewed as a last resort to be considered only when all other potential courses of action to get back on track have been exhausted.
Individuals filing for bankruptcy mostly use either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. The biggest difference between the two is what happens to your property:
- Chapter 7, which is known as liquidation bankruptcy, involves selling some or all of your property to pay off your debts. This is often the choice if you don’t own a home and have a limited income.
- Chapter 13, also known as a reorganization bankruptcy, gives you the chance to keep your property if you successfully complete a court-mandated repayment plan that lasts between three and five years.
Depending on where you live and your marital status, some of your property may be exempt from being sold when you file Chapter 7 because of state-specific and federal exemptions. With exemptions, whether they be your home equity, retirement accounts or even personal possessions such as jewelry, you receive the allowed exemption amounts, and the rest of the proceeds will be used to pay off debts. You can read more about potential exemptions, and check out this chart for a quick rundown on the two types:
- Child support or alimony
- Student loans
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Filing Motions & Responding To Creditor Objections
$0 to $200
Depending on your circumstances these are two things you may or may not need to do.
Filing motions with the court. If creditors’ have placed claims on your property you may be able to have them removed by filing some extra paperwork.
Responding to objections. Your creditors or the bankruptcy trustee will have a certain number of days to object to statements on your forms. You may respond before the court has a hearing on the matter. Depending on the objection you may need to hire a lawyer to respond effectively.
Tip: If you are hiring an online service to prepare your bankruptcy papers, be sure to ask whether the standard fee includes filing motions for lien avoidance, or responding to the trustee’s or a creditor’s objection.
A Virginia Trustee Is Assigned To Your Bankruptcy Filing
A bankruptcy trustee is assigned to your bankruptcy case to review the paperwork and look for non-exempt belongings that you may own. You have to submit such forms as a recent tax return to the trustee. If you have non-exempt belongings, the trustee may manage the sale and liquidation of those belongings.
See the Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 trustees in Virginia for bankruptcy district, name and contact information. As a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is much longer, you may have more interaction with the Chapter 13 trustee or someone from his/her office.
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What Are The Normal Fees For A Bankruptcy Attorney
You can file pro se, but the success rate is not good. In the Los Angeles area, for example, nearly twice the number of pro se Chapter 7 cases were dismissed as attorney-represented cases in 2014 and attorneys filed nearly four times as many cases as self-represented parties. With an attorney, the success rate of a chapter 7 bankruptcy case is over 95%.
For Chapter 13, pro se filers do even worse than their Chapter 7 counterparts. The attorney-represented success rate for Chapter 13 in the Los Angeles area is over 55%, while the pro se success rate is only 0.04%, or 1 in 2,500. Less than half of all chapters filed pro se in 2014 received a discharge, while over 82 percent of attorney-represented cases were discharged.
Most people file pro se because either they think they dont need an attorney or they think cant afford an attorney. You probably know that attorney fees make up the majority of the cost of filing for bankruptcy. Youre already short on cash and you dont have much to spare for a lawyer. Youre looking for the best rate you can find. So, what can you expect to pay?
Need Help Filing For Bankruptcy In Virginia
Filing for bankruptcy on your own is often a complex and bewildering process. There are specific rules that you must follow and you will sometimes need to negotiate with your creditors. While judges are often patient with pro se filers, your creditors will expect you to comply with all of the relevant rules and procedures. Failing to do so can result in your case being dismissed.
We recommend seeking the assistance of a local bankruptcy attorney. A qualified lawyer will help guide you through the bankruptcy process and ensure that you keep as many of your assets as the law allows.
Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts , ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law you are researching.
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Will I Lose My Car When My Chapter 7 Case Is Filed
- Generally, while your Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Case is pending, your lender may not repossess your vehicleif you remain current on your car payments and maintain automobile insurance. ;If you are behind on your car payment, your lender may file a Motion for Relief from Stay. ;If the Court grants the lenders Motion for Relief from Stay, the Bankruptcy protection over your vehicle will be removed and the lender may repossess the vehicle.
Does My Spouse Have To File With Me
No.; A spouse does not have to file with the other.; Income for both spouses plays into the analysis of what type of bankruptcy a debtor is eligible for.; The court does not consider a non-filing spouses income if the couple is living apart or separated. An experience bankruptcy attorney can go over the pros and cons of both spouses filing.
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Bankruptcy With Too Little Property
On the other hand, an elderly with very little property wouldnt have assets beyond the basic necessities. This ultimately translates to being judgment proof. There would be nothing for a creditor to collect, so there would also be no need to file for bankruptcy. Doing so would only help in situations involving aggressive collection tactics from creditors or any intent to levy their bank account.
Find A Bankruptcy Lawyer And Pay Their Fee
If you decide that bankruptcy is your best option, and your income is below 150% of the poverty guidelines, we will give you a list of lawyers who offer a reduced fee. It is very rare for a lawyer to represent you for free. Each lawyer sets their own fees, but the fees usually range from $450 to $900 for a simple bankruptcy. You will call around to find a lawyer that you want to work with.
If your income is higher, you will find a bankruptcy lawyer on your own. You can do an online search for bankruptcy attorney in your area. You can also visit the Vermont Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service website or call them at 1-800-639-7036.
Legal Services Vermont and Vermont Legal Aid cannot represent you in a bankruptcy. But we can give you advice.
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Preventing Bankruptcy Exemption Problems
Exempt your property carefully. The bankruptcy trusteethe court-appointed official assigned to manage your casewill review the exemptions. A trustee who disagrees with your exemptions will likely try to resolve the issue informally. If unsuccessful, the trustee will file an objection with the bankruptcy court, and the judge will decide whether you can keep the property.
Example. Mason owns a rare, classic car worth $15,000, but the state vehicle exemption doesn’t cover it entirely. Believing that the car qualifies as artat least in his mindMason exempts it using his state’s unlimited artwork exemption. The trustee disagrees with Mason’s characterization and files an objection with the court. The judge will likely decide the vehicle doesn’t qualify as art.
Purposefully making inaccurate statements could be considered fraudulent. Bankruptcy fraud is punishable by up to $250,000, 20 years in prison, or both.
Mandatory Debtor Education Debt Management Course
$0 to $75
As if you don’t have enough hoops to jump through, when you’ve completed all the other parts of your bankruptcy, you still don’t get that magic piece of paper called the “discharge” until you complete a course in debt management.
This is yet another requirement motivated by Congress’s frequently mistaken assumption that people who file for bankruptcy wouldn’t be broke if they weren’t so careless with their money. Chances are, you really are brokeâand not because you’re irresponsibleâso you should see if you qualify for free or reduced rates.
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Do I Have To List All My Creditors Can I Keep One Of My Credit Cards Open
You need to list all creditors that have a balance on the date of filing. There is no way to get around that; the court does not allow picking and choosing of debts in bankruptcy.; If you want to keep a credit card open there is a chance that if it has a zero balance when your case is filed, the credit card company may not close that account.; There is no way to guarantee that happens.;
How To File Bankruptcy Step 1 Take The Required Credit Counseling Course
So to answer the question how to file bankruptcy in Virginia?, step one is to complete a qualified credit counseling course and get the certificate which must be approved by the local bankruptcy court.; The course you complete must be approved for your jurisdiction.; For our purposes the proper jurisdiction is the Eastern District of Virginia.; You can find a list of approved credit counseling agencies through the U.S. Trustees office or more appropriately through your bankruptcy attorney.; Prices vary from around $16 to $55.; The course takes about an hour to complete online.; Relax it is not that difficult.
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What Are The Different Kinds Of Bankruptcy
This website focuses on the two most common types of bankruptcy filed by individuals: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. But hereâs a quick summary of the six types of bankruptcy most commonly filed under the bankruptcy code; they get their names from the chapters where they appear in the code.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Chapter 7 lets individuals wipe out most kinds of debt in just a few months. You get to keep certain kinds of propertyâfor example, at least some of the equity in your home, your car, clothing, personal items, and property that is essential to your profession. This type of property is called âexemptâ property, and many Chapter 7 filers find that exemptions cover most of what they own. If you have nonexempt property, the bankruptcy trustee will sell it to repay your creditors as much as possible. To qualify for Chapter 7, you must pass the âmeans test,â showing that your income is less than the state median income for your family size. Most bankruptcies filed in the U.S. are Chapter 7 bankruptcies.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Chapter 9 Bankruptcy
Cities or towns may file for Chapter 9 bankruptcy if they are overwhelmed by debt. It allows municipalities to develop a plan for handling debts while holding creditors at bay.
Chapter 11 Bankruptcy
Chapter 12 Bankruptcy
Chapter 15 Bankruptcy
Learn The Basics Of Bankruptcy
Bankruptcy is a legal proceeding created to give people a fresh start after financial disasters. If you’ve explored your alternatives and can’t see a way out from under your debt, bankruptcy may be the right solution for you.
There are two main types of bankruptcy for individuals: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Chapter 7 can wipe out most of your debts in a matter of months in exchange for giving up all of your property that the bankruptcy law does not protect.
Chapter 13 takes three to five years. During that time, you repay some or all of your debts under a payment plan approved by the bankruptcy court. Itâs often used by people who are behind on mortgage payments and want to use Chapter 13 to catch up. Most folks who file for bankruptcy prefer to file for Chapter 7 if they qualify, because you can get out from under lots of debt in a matter of a few months.
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