Chapter 7 bankruptcy can oftentimes be a frightening thought. If you’ve been dealing with the stresses of financial debt, instability and other issues like:
- Wage garnishment
- Bank garnishment
- Credit card debt
- Medical Bills
- Mortgage debt
- Tax debt
- Creditor harassment
It may be time to consider the legal services of our debt relief lawyers. Servicing the Richmond, Colonial Heights, Fredericksburg, Hopewell, Petersburg and surrounding Virginia areas, we can help individuals dealing with financial burdens where bankruptcy is the best resolution.
Types of Debt & Virginia Exemptions
It’s time to consider filing for Chapter 7 Liquidation in the state of Virginia if you are:
- Unable to pay the monthly minimum on your credit cards
- Constantly harassed by debt collectors
- Having your wages garnished
- Threatened with possible judgements
- Experiencing other difficult debt situations
Chapter 7 bankruptcy can give debtors an outlet to clear them of their unsecured debt while in most cases keep all of your property. Our experienced lawyers, with over a thousand cases handled, can give you the proper representation to ensure you get a chance to effectively regain your financial footing.
Chapter 7 Can Clear You of Unsecured Debt
Unsecured debt is any debt that you may owe on that is not backed by tangible collateral. This type of debt can include:
- Credit card debt
- Medical bills
- Personal loans
- Balances on certain kinds of loans
These may be able to be cleared through the filing process of Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Alongside a successful Chapter 7 filing, a debtor can gain:
- Debtor education
- Credit counseling
- Ability to re-build credit
- Qualify for credit better than prior to filing bankruptcy
Exempt and Non-Exempt Assets in Virginia
Federal bankruptcy law requires bankruptcy candidates to go under a means test to see if they qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. These particular requirements indicate the level of income from the debtor to determine their financial repayment capabilities and whether or not their property can be used to pay creditors. With the help and counsel of qualified bankruptcy attorneys Chapter 7 filers typically are able to keep their property.
Virginia law allows Chapter 7 debtors to keep different types of property up to certain limits per person, such as:
- Vehicle equity up to $6,000.00
- Household goods and furnishings up to $5,000.00
- Clothing up to $1000.00
- Firearms up to $3,000.00
- Home equity up to $25,000.00
Additionally, there is what is called the “Homestead Exemption” of $5,000.00 that can be used for any other property such as a savings account, jewelry, etc.
At the law office of Cravens & Noll, we prepare and file Chapter 7 bankruptcy petitions for debt and income-eligible clients. We review your financial situation and determine if you qualify based on the state exemptions, your exempt and non-exempt assets, secured and unsecured debt.
What Happens to The Rest Of Your Property In Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
Once you file for bankruptcy, an automatic stay is placed on your property. This means that debt collectors, collection agencies and banks are required to halt all collection, repossession and foreclosure actions against you.
This stay is temporary, however. After filing for bankruptcy, if you are still unable to pay your mortgage, your bank can foreclose on your home. However, because Chapter 7 discharges your unsecured debt, you may have enough disposable monthly income to continue payments on your mortgage. If you have fallen behind, your bank may be willing to provide a restructured payment plan to allow you to pay a little extra every month until your past due mortgage becomes current. In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, there may be ways for you to keep your house and car.
Your Car After a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
People who file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy are usually able to keep their cars if they are able to maintain payments on them. In some situations, however, a bank or car dealership may ask for you to sign a reaffirmation agreement.
However, these agreements are not always in your best interest, especially if the debt on a car is more than the car’s equity.
Our lawyers can review the specifics of your situation and advise you as to whether or not you should sign a reaffirmation agreement in Virginia.
Rebuilding Your Credit After Bankruptcy
There will be impacts after filing for bankruptcy. Although a filing will stay on your credit report for ten years, filing bankruptcy can benefit you in the long run.
- When your debts are discharged, defaults are stopped and debts are no longer reported as delinquent or in default.
- You will appear to be a less of a risk for creditors. Since you cannot file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy again for eight years, many creditors will see you as a being better able to pay your debts in the future. . Because they see you as a good risk, many creditors will be willing to offer you credit cards and other news of modest limits. If you accept a small number of these credits lines and keep up with your payment, you can begin small with rebuilding your credit. This increases your limits and can result in receiving better rates over time.
After Bankruptcy: Bankruptcy Is Not the End of the World
At Cravens & Noll, we are here to give you a professional debt-relief strategy and a chance to regain your financial stability.
If you’re facing mounting debt that is preventing you from staying current on your home mortgage or other bills, contact our bankruptcy lawyers at Cravens & Noll today to schedule an initial consultation to discuss your case.