With unfamiliar terminology, technical legal intricacies and legislation, formal procedures, and the possibility for disputes and complications, the bankruptcy process can be very complex. Despite the daunting nature of bankruptcy and the often emotional turbulence involved, bankruptcy can be a powerfully beneficial legal action for those who face unfortunate financial circumstances. In fact, in the 1934 case Local Loan Co. v. Hunt, The Supreme Court commented on the fundamental purpose of bankruptcy laws, "It gives to the honest but unfortunate debtor... a new opportunity in life and a clear field for future effort, unhampered by the pressure and discouragement of preexisting debt." In 21st century America, the bankruptcy process can still provide that new opportunity and fresh start.


Both the federal government and the state of Virginia outline the rules, regulations, and procedures for bankruptcy proceedings. Bankruptcy law was designed to provide those in debt with a reasonable fresh start that can allow them to establish and maintain financial stability. By filing under a certain chapter of bankruptcy, individuals can pay, restructure or discharge their debts. The process varies for each individual and depends on a number of factors. The basic breakdown for the bankruptcy process is as follows:

The bankruptcy will formally begin once you have filed a petition with the bankruptcy court and paid the initial filing fee. You will need to compile and provide comprehensive information about your financial condition, including information about your taxes, income, assets, and debts. Applicants in Virginia will also need to participate in consumer credit counseling that will determine if you qualify for bankruptcy, and which chapter you are eligible to file under.

Automatic Stay 
A court order will be issued once your petition has been filed. The automatic stay will halt all collection activities from creditors and third-party lenders while your bankruptcy is pending. This can provide you with the breathing room to collect and organize your finances in preparation for the future, or to allow you time to become current on your debts.

Section 341 Meeting 
In the early stages of your bankruptcy, you will be required to attend a meeting of creditors where you must provide any necessary financial information and answer questions under oath. No bankruptcy judge will be present, but what you say is subject to criminal penalties for perjury, or lying under oath. These meetings can differ in nature, and creditors may not be present. At any rate, a bankruptcy trustee will conduct the meeting, ask you questions and review your case to make sure that all the information is at hand. Having an attorney present during this meeting can be extremely beneficial.

Preparing for the Future 
Depending on the circumstances involved, if there are any disputes or complications and the chapter under which you filed, there will be some time for you to prepare yourself for your financial future. Developing budgets, charting finances, and organizing other important aspects of your personal life can help you begin the process of becoming current on payments and eventually achieving financial stability in your life after bankruptcy.


At the David McCormick Law Group, our dedicated Virginia Beach bankruptcy attorneys will be there to help you through every step of the bankruptcy process. By analyzing your case and reviewing your available options and alternatives to bankruptcy, you will be well-informed about all aspects of the bankruptcy procedure before it begins. In addition, our firm can handle all the necessary and often complicated legal work, dealing with disputes as they arise and greatly expediting the process. We also offer 20 day bankruptcy services in which we complete all the legal work in only ten days with no extra fees, virtually unheard of in the industry.

Since 1996, the David McCormick Law Group has served over 17,000 clients and has handled a variety of bankruptcy cases. We are confident in our abilities to swiftly and accurately complete the bankruptcy process and in our level of commitment to clients. Focused on providing personal attention to every case, you will never be unsure or under-informed about you financial situation. If you would like to learn more about our services and how we can help, contact our firm today.

Bankruptcy Intake Forms
Click Here

Fill out a bankruptcy intake form here.