QUALIFYING FOR BANKRUPTCY IN VIRGINIA BEACH
Someone with a substantial amount of debt which cannot reasonably be paid off may want to look into filing for bankruptcy. Our Virginia Beach bankruptcy attorneys are experienced and able to evaluate a case to see if that person is eligible to file bankruptcy or receive a type of debt relief. There are two different types of bankruptcy that a person can file for, Chapter 7 and Chapter 13, and our lawyers can discuss with you the differences and which one would be a better option for you and your unique financial situation. One major difference between a Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy is that debts may be discharged in a Chapter 7 while the debts must be repaid in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Here at the David McCormick Law Group we are familiar with the various eligibility requirements and paths to take to reach a favorable end result for our clients.
BEGINNING STEPS OF BANKRUPTCY
The most important aspect when looking into filing for bankruptcy is to be well informed and consider all of your options. There are some types of bankruptcy that do not lead to the fresh start people are hoping for. Some debts are not always erased and it can affect your credit record, so it is important to make sure and team up with an experienced attorney from our firm who can explain your options to you and help you make a well-informed decision. In the beginning phases of filing, all persons must go through consumer credit counseling. This is now ordered through the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act in order to keep all potential filers aware of the process before filing a petition. Then with the help of a lawyer you will file a petition to the bankruptcy court where they will evaluate your financial situation and eligibility according to the U.S. bankruptcy code.
Once they provide you with your choices of eligibility, it is important to note that simply qualifying for a specific type of bankruptcy does not make that the best option. Seek knowledgeable and competent help and support from our Virginia Beach bankruptcy lawyers who have helped over 17,000 clients in similar situations as you. We are familiar with all types of bankruptcy cases and can walk you through these beginning decision-making steps as well as the entire process to help complete your bankruptcy in a quick and satisfactory fashion.
THE BANKRUPTCY MEANS TEST
The means test is the measure taken to determine which bankruptcy you should file for based on your income. The bankruptcy court as well as your lawyer will investigate your financial situation and conclude what your best options are; if you have a high income, you would not file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy because you are able to repay some of your debts, while those with a lower income would use a Chapter 7 to wipe out their debts. If your income is below the state's median income level, you would most likely be eligible to file under Chapter 7. There are cases where someone with a higher income qualifies for Chapter 7 because they have significantly high expenses but generally they would file a Chapter 13.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is meant for people who cannot pay back their debts at all. The means test will create a "disposable income" amount after looking at a six month period of your income and deducting your expenses to see what you have to spare. This number is what will determine if you are able to pay back some of your debts or not. If initially your disposable income is above the medium income of the state, but you want further consideration because you do not believe you can make the payments necessary, there is a means test B you can take. In this test, the cost of your food, housing, health care, transportation and many other factors are evaluated to see if you will have enough income to provide for you and your family. If not, you may then qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Even if you qualify for Chapter 7, it may not be in your best interest which is why you need the legal counseling of a lawyer from our firm to assist you in this process.
If you do not pass the means test and do not qualify for a Chapter 7, you can petition for a Chapter 13 where you will be required to pay back a certain percentage of your debts on a 3-5 year plan. There are several requirements in place in order to qualify for this bankruptcy, including:
- You have a regular income
- You and your spouse do not have over $336,000 in unsecured debt
- You and your spouse do not have over $1,010,650 in secured debt
- You take the credit counseling course
- You do not have a prior bankruptcy that was dismissed within 180 days
The bankruptcy process can be very complex and stressful in Virginia, as there are numerous decisions to be made. It is important to be informed throughout the entire course of filing which is why it is crucial to have a knowledgeable Virginia Beach bankruptcy lawyer on your side.
TEAM UP WITH A VIRGINIA BEACH BANKRUPTCY ATTORNEY
At the David McCormick Law Group, our lawyers devote the time and effort necessary to each one of our clients and are willing to go above and beyond to produce positive results. We have helped over 17,000 clients with the bankruptcy process and are dedicated to finding a favorable end result for each client. Do not go through your bankruptcy alone, let our experienced lawyers help you by providing advice for all of your decisions and guiding you through the process every step of the way. Contact a Virginia Beach bankruptcy lawyer from our firm today for a free initial consultation!