Thousands of Americans are having trouble managing their debts and dealing with creditors, with many fearing they could lose their home to foreclosure and drown in financial stress for life. If you are experiencing a similar difficulty, know that you’re not alone and you have options. Bankruptcy may be the answer that can lead to relief from the pressure of your debts and give you a fresh start.
If you are deciding whether bankruptcy is right for you, or if you need legal help with the process, speak with a reliable bankruptcy attorney. At Holcomb Law, our experienced debt relief attorneys are trusted by Hampton Roads residents who have gotten back on track with our help. Talk to one of our bankruptcy attorneys. Call (757) 656-1000 today.
What Happens When You File Bankruptcy in Virginia?
Bankruptcy allows you to have debts discharged (erased) or to set up a payment process that allows normally allows you to reduce the monthly amount that you are paying to creditors. When you file for bankruptcy an “automatic stay” is put in place, which prohibits your creditors from contacting you or taking collection action against you. Prohibited collection activity include lawsuits, foreclosures, wage garnishments, and liens. All collection actions must stop as soon as your creditors learn that you have filed for bankruptcy. This will give you the opportunity to resolve your financial issues without creditors pressuring you.
Some people are worried that bankruptcy will require giving up all their property, leaving them with nothing. However, US bankruptcy law provides something called “exemptions”, which allow you to keep certain assets. In Virginia, bankruptcy exemptions include household goods, clothing, motor vehicles, insurance benefits and several other specific items such as pets and wedding rings.
Other people are concerned that a bankruptcy filing would ruin their credit. While it’s true that your credit score may go down after filing for bankruptcy, it’s completely possible to improve the credit score within a year or so. Many people have rebuilt their credit score even higher through smart and legally sound strategies.
Chapter 7 vs. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Virginia
The two types of bankruptcy you may file are called “Chapter 7” and “Chapter 13.” Here’s an introduction to what their effects are and how they differ.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy (Fresh Start Bankruptcy)
This is the most common type of bankruptcy that individuals file. Under Chapter 7, most unsecured debts are permanently discharged (eliminated). These include credit card balances, medical bills, personal loans, overdue utility payments, and more.
Chapter 7 is also called “liquidation bankruptcy” because you will have to turn over your non-exempt assets to a bankruptcy trustee. The trustee will then sell these assets and use the sales to pay your creditors.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is suited for those who have low income and very few assets.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Also known as “reorganization bankruptcy,” Chapter 13 consolidates your debts and creates a 3- to 5-year payment plan to make it easier for you to pay what is legally required to be paid back. You will have a single, affordable monthly obligation to pay. At the end of the payment plan, if you still have remaining balances on unsecured debts, they will normally be discharged.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a suitable option if you need to retake control of your debt payments, especially if you just need to save your home or other property.
Why You Need a Bankruptcy Lawyer in Virginia
Bankruptcy is a major decision, one that’s governed by both federal and state laws, and has legal and financial implications for you. You’ll need the guidance of an attorney who is experienced in bankruptcy laws in Virginia and has a track record of successfully helping clients with debt relief.
At Holcomb Law, our bankruptcy attorneys can play important roles in your credit recovery. We are ready to:
- Determine whether your debts are eligible for bankruptcy
- Provide savvy legal advice on whether bankruptcy is right for you or if you should consider other debt relief options
- Determine whether Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 is suited for you
- Outline your exempted property and ensure your assets are protected
- Prepare the paperwork and file your case with bankruptcy court
- Represent you in hearings and meetings with creditors.
Our team at Holcomb Law understands that your financial circumstances are deeply personal, not merely cases to file. Each person who consults with us has so much on the line: their credit, their home, their family’s future, and more. That’s why we treat our clients with humanity, compassion, and professionalism.
With us, you don’t have to worry about being judged or anxiously wait for your attorney to call you back. We will be on your side all the way, pouring our experience and dedication to help you on the path to a debt-free life.
Contact Holcomb Law Today
Holcomb law years of experience in Bankruptcy Law. With sharp strategies and extensive legal know-how, we have helped numerous Virginians successfully file bankruptcy and get a reset on their finances. Consultation with us is free for first-time clients. Schedule your consultation. Call (757) 656-1000 today.