Bankruptcy Process & FAQs in Winchester
Trusted Winchester Bankruptcy Attorneys
Bankruptcy is a tool provided by the legal process that gives debtors the option for a fresh start while protecting the fair treatment of creditors. Bankruptcy can be a very complicated and confusing area of law, which is why having a Winchester bankruptcy attorney to help you make the best decisions for your situation is very important. At Amable Law, we make sure to work tirelessly for each client’s best interests and communicate in a clear, honest manner to keep you involved in your case’s process.
To get started, contact the firm today at (540) 739-2001! Our lawyers are accommodating and welcome clients who speak English or Spanish.
The Process of Bankruptcy in Virginia
The bankruptcy process may seem unchanging for most individuals, but of course, each case is unique and you should speak personally with your attorney to find out how specific details will work in your case.
For the most part, the bankruptcy process includes:
- Collecting and recording financial information such as a list of all assets and debts, pay stubs, tax returns, etc.
- Meeting with your Winchester bankruptcy attorney for a case evaluation
- Filing a petition with the bankruptcy court and paying a fee
- Attending a 341 hearing (aka meeting of creditors) with your trustee, bankruptcy attorney, and possibly some of your creditors at the bankruptcy court
- Investigation of your financial situation by the trustee and creditors
- Liquidating of assets and discharge of debts or developing a payment reorganization plan (depending on the type of bankruptcy)
Frequently Asked Questions About Bankruptcy
At Amable Law, we understand that filing for bankruptcy is a big and important decision that needs careful consideration. That is why we encourage you to educate yourself about bankruptcy as much as you can so you can make informed and smart decisions. To help you get started with your research, we have put together some of the most frequently asked questions that our past clients have about bankruptcy and the answers that we usually give them. We are hoping that this page can assist with your decisions regarding your financial situation.
Which Bankruptcy Plan is Best for Me?
Realistically, this question is impossible to answer without meeting with a Winchester bankruptcy attorney to go over the specifics of your case, but there are some general concepts to consider.
Chapter 7 and chapter 13 are the most common bankruptcy plans for individuals out of the four that are mentioned in the law. In chapter 7, the advantage is that the debtor gains a fresh start, where your debts are discharged, except specific exceptions, and your creditors’ collection efforts stop immediately. However, the disadvantage is that non-exempt property is sold by your trustee to pay off your creditors. In chapter 13 bankruptcy, you remain in control of all your property, and as in chapter 7, you are immediately protected from your creditors’ collection efforts. The difference is that you are stuck paying off your debts for three to five years at a slower pace, instead of receiving an immediate discharge from all your debts.
How Much Will Filing for Bankruptcy Cost Me?
In addition to attorney costs, the court fees can cost between $250-$400, though these fee prices may change over the years.
Am I Going to Lose My Property?
In a chapter 13 bankruptcy, if you follow the repayment plan, not usually. In a chapter 7 bankruptcy, certain property is “exempt” from being seized and liquidated. These exemptions are laid out in the Virginia statutes as well as in federal code. For example, in Virginia, only a specific value amount of equity in a person’s homestead, furnishing, clothing, and motor vehicle are exempt, but certain insurance policies and personal items such as pets, and wedding rings cannot be taken from you. Talk with a knowledgeable Virginia bankruptcy attorney to find out the specifics of your situation, and how to protect your property in the bankruptcy process.
Can I File for Bankruptcy More Than Once?
In Virginia, you can only file for a chapter 7 bankruptcy once every eight years, and a chapter 13 bankruptcy once every six years.
Why Do I Need a Bankruptcy Lawyer?
Your bankruptcy lawyer is your legal guide throughout the process, helping to collect the necessary financial information, file correct paperwork on time, mediate for you at bankruptcy court, apply complicated bankruptcy law to your specific case, and present you with all the knowledge necessary to make the best decisions for your case.
If you have more questions or you wish to ask about a special circumstance surrounding your case, please do not hesitate to speak with our Winchester bankruptcy attorney at (540) 739-2001.