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How To File For Bankruptcy In Virginia Without A Lawyer

Take A Credit Counseling Course

Can I File Bankruptcy Without An Attorney Or Lawyer Virginia Bankruptcy? Cox Law Group, PLLC

Once you have gathered your information, found a lawyer, and have the filing fee, call us again. We can tell you if you qualify for a free credit counseling course. The law says you must take a credit counseling course before you can file for bankruptcy. The Credit Counseling Course can be completed online or over the phone.

Using Legal Aid And Free Legal Clinic Attorneys

If you can’t afford a bankruptcy attorney, you might find help at a local legal aid society or a free legal clinic. Legal aid societies have both staff and volunteer attorneys to help meet the legal needs of low-income individuals in the community. If you have a legal aid society nearby, check to see if it has a bankruptcy department.

Also, some bankruptcy courts offer free legal information or clinics to help debtors filing without an attorney. Or your court might provide information regarding other free services in your area.

Learn more about finding bankruptcy lawyers.

Will A Federal Court Enforce An Immigration Support Affidavit Against A Husband While A Divorce Is Pending In Virginia

Not in the case of Wigley v. Wigley, 17CV0425 , where the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Roanoke abstained from considering wifes action to enforce an I-864 Affidavit of Support against her husband. While the case does not directly concern bankruptcy, it illustrates the principles underlying the tension between federal and state court jurisdiction in family law matters.

The parties were married for five years before separating. Wife had been a citizen of China and Husband was a U.S. citizen. Husband executed an I-864 Affidavit of Support as the sponsor of Wifes petition for a change of residency to a permanent resident alien, commonly known as a green card status. In the Affidavit of Support, the sponsor agrees to support the petitioner at an income level of at least 125% of the U.S. poverty rate for 40 quarters to prevent the petitioner from becoming a public ward.

When the parties separated, Wife applied for and obtained spousal support in the Virginia Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court for her county. Husband subsequently filed for a divorce in the Virginia Circuit Court for the county where they had resided. Wife then filed for enforcement of Husbands Affidavit of Support in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia. Husband filed a motion to dismiss Wifes action.

How is bankruptcy law different from immigration law in the context of a divorce?

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Find Out How To File For Bankruptcy When You Can’t Afford A Lawyer

Updated by Cara O’Neill, Attorney

COVID-19 Update: Bankruptcy courts will hold 341 creditor meetings telephonically or by video appearance until 60 days after the termination of the President’s COVID-19 National Emergency Proclamation. For details, visit the U.S. Trustee’s 341 meeting status webpage or your court’s website. If you’re one of the many struggling with debt due to COVID-19, it’s best to develop a financial plan early. Learn about your options in What to Do If You Can’t Pay Bills Due to the Coronavirus or about bankruptcy for small businesses.

If you can’t afford to pay a bankruptcy attorney right away, you might consider:

  • asking friends and family
  • getting help from a legal aid society or other free legal clinics in your area
  • finding an attorney who will take your case pro bono , or
  • filing your case without an attorney.

These are a few ways to file for bankruptcy when you’re low on funds. Keep reading for more details.

How Can A Federal Bankruptcy Lawyer In Virginia Help You

How to file for bankruptcy without your spouse

There are a number of ways a Virginia bankruptcy fraud attorney can help a person accused of fraud to fight against the charges. Sometimes, what prosecutors call an act of fraud is really a simple mistake. Our lawyers can evaluate the details of your case in order to help you prepare a strong defense.

An experienced attorney can help you understand the charge and any possible consequences you may face, and he or she can prepare you for court appearances. With skillful guidance and counsel from your attorney, you can successfully navigate the federal court process.

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Confirmation Of Bankruptcy Filing Qualification

After the meeting of creditors, the bankruptcy trustee will have enough information to decide whether you will qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The trustee will look for nonexempt assets and will decide whether its worth it to liquidate nonexempt assets. The trustee may do this by understanding the retail value of the asset and whether it will sell.

The secured debts such as a vehicle will need to be dealt with around this point in the process. You can often reaffirm the debt as an asset, which is very common for vehicles.

Whether You Should File For Bankruptcy Without An Attorney Depends On The Type Of Bankruptcy And The Complexity Of Your Case

By Cara O’Neill, Attorney

You don’t need an attorney when filing individual bankruptcy, and filing on your own or “pro se” is feasible if the case is simple enough. But most people benefit from representation. In this article, learn:

  • when Chapter 7 is too complicated to handle yourself
  • why hiring a Chapter 13 lawyer is always important, and
  • if you represent yourself, how a bankruptcy petition preparer can help.

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How Long Does It Take For A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy To Discharge

Bankruptcy is just a process. Everyone first wants to know how much it costs, and the answer is that the attorneys fee varies based on the case. The filing fee for Chapter 7 is now $335. The Virginia State Bar has a new ethics opinion that says aChapter 7 attorney should not file a case without first being paid in full. So, we have to be paid in full before you can file your case. People often ask, What is your payment plan? I will often respond, Pay what you can when you can. Some people get it paid off in a week. I have had many people hand me $250 and then they came back the next Monday with the rest of the money. They borrowed it from their mother or something like that. And then we have people who pay $50 a month and somewhere at the end of a year, they realize they have not gotten very far and they come up with the rest of the money. I have had people pay over a three year period. But once it is paid, we send the file to our paralegal and we have the petition prepared in anywhere from one to five days. The average is about three days. Then we have a signing.

We handle case all across Virginia, handling much of the case by telephone and internet. We like to say that We bring legal services into your living room!

What Kinds Of Claims Survive Bankruptcy

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The liens of secured creditors survive bankruptcy unless the underlying debt is paid off or the lien is removed during the bankruptcy case. This means the creditor can pursue the collateral but the creditor cannot collect the balance due from the debtor unless the debt has been reaffirmed. Debts that are reaffirmed during the bankruptcy case will survive.Some debts cannot be discharged in a bankruptcy case. These nondischargeable debts include recent taxes, alimony or child support obligations, criminal fines, student loans, and DUI claims. If a debt is nondischargeable, you are legally obligated to pay the debt even after the bankruptcy. If a creditor objects, a debtor might not be able to discharge debts arising from fraud, false financial statements, intentional injuries, or cash advances and luxury purchases shortly before filing.

Some types of generally nondischargeable debt may be discharged in a Chapter 13 case but not in a Chapter 7 case.

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Serving Harrisonburg Staunton Winchester And Nearby Areas Of Virginia

Posted: May 1, 2017

Filing for bankruptcy can be an effective way to find relief from crippling debt and get a fresh start financially. If you’re married, you’ll need to decide whether to file individually or jointly with your spouse. Both options are allowable under law, but the right choice for you will depend on your unique financial circumstances.

Like most states, Virginia is a common law property state. This means that any assets and property in your name alone and your portion of jointly owned assets will be subject to your bankruptcy case if you file alone. In this situation, your spouse’s separate property and share of jointly owned assets will not be part of the bankruptcy case.

Keep in mind that if you file bankruptcy without your spouse, it also means that only your debts are discharged as part of the case. If you and your spouse have jointly held debts such as a joint credit card account, car loan or a home mortgage, your spouse will now be responsible for the entire debt.

There are several factors to consider when deciding whether to include your spouse on the bankruptcy filing:

The attorneys at Hoover Penrod PLC have helped many individuals and couples in the Western District of Virginia with bankruptcy cases. We’ll review your unique financial circumstances with you in order to determine whether it’s better to file jointly or alone.

What Is A Discharge

A discharge of your debts in bankruptcy means that all of your pre-petition debts are eliminated. You can read more about it here.

Once you obtain a discharge, you will have no legal liability or duty to repay your debts and creditors can no longer pursue collection of these debts from you.

If they do continue to pursue collection, this is a violation of federal law and will subject them to sanctions. There are a few ways that a debtor can be prevented from obtaining a discharge, one of which is if there is a finding that the Chapter 7 filing was abusive. The key to preventing the Trustee from pursuing an abusive filing is to be upfront about your financial status and to provide all necessary information in the bankruptcy schedules.

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Fill Out The Paperwork

Filling out the official bankruptcy forms is generally the most complicated and time-consuming task if you choose to file bankruptcy without a lawyer.

Download the bankruptcy forms package to save the time and stress involved in tracking down the necessary materials. The packages are inexpensive and provide you with all the forms you need to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in your state.

Once you complete the forms, attach the relevant documents and submit the paperwork with the filing fee either in person or by mail. It’s important that you promptly respond to any correspondence from the bankruptcy trustee. Failure to do so can get your case dismissed.

In A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy What Happens To Property Im Buying On Credit

Pitfalls Of Filing Bankruptcy Without A Lawyer

If youre buying property on credit, and you are using the property as collateral for the debt, you may have to give it back to the creditor. In a Chapter 7, you may keep property youre buying on credit under certain conditions. If you are current on your payments, you may reaffirm the debt by agreeing to keep paying the debt even though you filed bankruptcy. However, if you are behind in your payments, you may have to file a Chapter 13 to keep property youre buying on credit. A final way to keep property is to redeem it. This means you pay the creditor what the property is now worth, not what you still owe on it.

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Chapter 13 Bankruptcies And Other Situations

While in some cases you can file bankruptcy without a lawyer, there are exceptions, depending on the type of bankruptcy. Some examples include:

  • If your corporation or partnership is facing bankruptcy, you’ll need a bankruptcy lawyer.
  • If you fail the Means Test because your income is too great, you may have to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy rather than a Chapter 7. In that case, you can still file for bankruptcy without a lawyer, but it will be more difficult. That’s because Chapter 13 cases are much more complicated than Chapter 7 bankruptcies.

In addition to filling out the needed paperwork, you’ll have to create a repayment plan detailing how you plan to repay your creditors. As with Chapter 7 cases, downloading a bankruptcy forms package will help you stay organized by providing you with all the paperwork you need to file.

How To File Bankruptcy How To File For Bankruptcy

If you’re asking yourself “how can I file for bankruptcy”, US Legal Forms offers voluntary bankruptcy form packages for each state, authored and grouped by our state-certified lawyers. There are simple step-by-step instructions, a how-to guide, and all the forms and templates you need in our official bankruptcy forms packages. How to file for bankruptcy will depend on your cases facts, such as whether youre seeking a personal bankruptcy or a Chapter 11, 13, or 7 petition.

Our packages contain all the bankruptcy documents you need to file for a bankruptcy petition, from the cover sheet to all of the relevant schedules, bankruptcy discharge papers, and US bankruptcy court forms you need to complete the process. A debtor must complete all court forms, starting with the cover sheet. A debtor must list assets and income and fill out a list of creditors matrix. A Credit Counseling Briefing and the Debtor Education Course are required for everyone filing a personal bankruptcy.

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Bankruptcy Law: Chapter 7

Chapter 7: The Most Common Form of Personal Bankruptcy

When people think of bankruptcy, they typically think of Chapter 7. This is the type of bankruptcy that leads to the complete discharge of the vast majority of debts. In exchange, non-exempt assets are surrendered to pay debts. However, under the Virginia bankruptcy exemptions, most people are able to keep their homes, furnishings, cars, retirement accounts and all other personal possessions.

Over the course of more than 30 years, we have helped hundreds of people overcome debt by filing Chapter 7. We will take great care in reviewing your case and determining if this is the right option for you. We serve clients throughout Washington D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia, including Alexandria and Fairfax.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is not the only option. Depending on your situation, Chapter 13 may be a more effective method of relieving your debts.

What Debts Does Chapter 7 Discharge?

Chapter 7 is an effective tool against the vast majority of unsecured debts. Unsecured debts are those that are not attached to collateral. They include credit card debt and medical debt. Although it may not eliminate secured debts, including mortgages and car loans, many people find that they are able to manage these debts after the elimination of unsecured debts.

The Immediate Impact of Filing Chapter 7


When youre ready to call, were ready to help. Call us at 703-836-9030, or contact us here.

When You Should File For Bankruptcy Without Your Spouse

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There are several situations when it would be advantageous for you to file for bankruptcy separately from your spouse. If any of the following circumstances are true in your situation, it might benefit you to file separately:

  • Does one partner carry most of the debt?
  • Does one spouse have more debt thats not dischargeable? In which case a bankruptcy wont provide much relief for him or her anyway. A bankruptcy could make their situation worse.
  • Does the non-filing spouse want to protect certain assets that he or she solely owns? This can include possessions obtained before the marriage.
  • Does one partner need to stay free of bankruptcy to make a big upcoming purchase? This can include a financial investment like buying a home, a car, or starting a business.
  • Has one spouse already filed bankruptcy in the past 8 years? If so, he or she probably wont benefit by filing again until eight years have passed.
  • Does one spouse have a great credit record?

In simple terms, keeping one partner out of bankruptcy usually allows them to keep good credit. They also arent saddled by bankruptcy restrictions. The partner who is left out of the bankruptcy process can often help keep the other partner afloat financially. The family may also have a better chance of purchasing the things they need.

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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.

What Are The Alternatives To Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy is typically thought of as a last resort. Prior to a bankruptcy filing, it is common for financially troubled individuals or entities to consider alternatives such as consumer credit counseling or an out-of-court workout or debt restructuring in which obligations to some or all creditors are modified to provide the individual or entity with some financial relief. Some consumer credit counseling companies can help a debtor renegotiate amounts owed or payment terms as an alternative to bankruptcy. However, not all credit rescue companies are legitimate. Virginia law also provides for an assignment for the benefit of creditors under which another individual handles the disposition of assets and proceeds for the benefit of creditors.The nature and extent of a debtors financial problems will dictate the course of action, or the legal procedure, that should be followed in a particular case. Individuals or entities who are experiencing such problems should consult with knowledgeable and competent professionals, including attorneys, before making such a decision.If you need assistance in selecting an attorney to assist you with resolving your financial problems, the Virginia State Bar offers a Lawyer Referral Service through which you can obtain the names, addresses and phone numbers of attorneys in your area who practice bankruptcy law.

Bankruptcy Law Section of the Virginia State Bar

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