In the beginning, filing for bankruptcy can seem like an intimidating process. In fact, many people who are considering bankruptcy are unaware of the many laws which govern the legal procedures, the facts about their situation and the ways in which they may be eligible to file. At the David McCormick Law Group, we want to help anyone interested in bankruptcy understand exactly where they stand and how the process can benefit their personal and financial situation. In addition to the frequently asked questions and common bankruptcy myths we provide, we can also explain how you may qualify for bankruptcy.


Any consumer who has debts which cannot be reasonably met may be eligible to file bankruptcy under federal regulations and procedures outlined in the U.S. bankruptcy code. Bankruptcy was developed to provide debtors with a means for a fresh start by allowing some debts to be restructured or discharged and other to be met within reasonable accommodations. There are a variety of factors which can determine your eligibility for bankruptcy, which chapter you will be allowed to file under and the ways bankruptcy will affect you.


Bankruptcy proceedings used to begin when debtors simply filed a petition with a bankruptcy court, providing their financial information, lists of assets and all of their debts. With the recent passing of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA) in 2005, however, anyone filing for bankruptcy must participate in consumer credit counseling with an approved nonprofit agency prior to filing any bankruptcy petition.

This "means test" will also determine whether a consumer is eligible for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. For the means test, a bankruptcy court will analyze your average income for the six months prior to your bankruptcy filing and will compare it to the state of Virginia's median income. If your income is below the state's median income, you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If your income is more than the state's median income, then you will need to meet additional requirements in order to determine if you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy or if you must file under Chapter 13.

For those whose income is more than the state's median income, there are additional qualifying criteria to be met under the means test. If you are unable to pay at least $6,000 over the next five years after expenses ($100 per month) to cover any unsecured debt such as credit card and medical bills, you may be able to file for Chapter 7. If it is determined that you will be able to pay at least $10,000 over five years (at least $166.67 per month) then you will most likely be denied the possibility of filing under Chapter 7.

Sometimes people can afford to pay more than $6,000 but less than $10,000 over five years. When this is the case, a mathematical calculation will be used to determine if a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is likely to be successful or not. If you can afford to pay 25% or more of your unsecured debt during that time, then you will most likely not qualify for Chapter 7. On the other hand, if you cannot afford to pay the 25%, then you will probably be eligible to file under Chapter 7.


Our firm understands that the qualifying criteria and means test can be a difficult concept to grasp and we are prepared to walk you through the initial steps in order to help you determine if you qualify for bankruptcy. We can also help explain the differences between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13, determine which would be a better option for you, and help you sift through any legal complexities you may not fully understand. In addition, it is important to remember that even if you qualify for a certain chapter of bankruptcy, it may not be the most appropriate option for you. An experienced attorney from our firm can clarify all matters of the bankruptcy process, presenting you with your options, how you will be affected and if there are any alternatives to bankruptcy that you may benefit from.


When you choose to work with the David McCormick Law Group, your case will receive the personal attention needed to assess your eligibility for bankruptcy, the options or alternatives to bankruptcy available and how your financial situation can benefit from a chosen course of action. Our firm will also outline every step of the bankruptcy process, providing you with the support and resources to necessary to begin filing and the quick and attentive service to expedite legal proceedings. When considering bankruptcy, it is of the utmost importance that you make the decision that will produce the most favorable results according to your current personal and financial condition; you need to work with an experienced and qualified attorney who can greatly reduce your risk of making a less beneficial decision.

At the David McCormick Law Group we treat each new client as if they were the first client for the firm, as if the case was our very own and as if the success of our law firm depended on your case alone. Our goal is not to quickly usher clients along so that we can be done with them, instead we want to provide the support, legal assistance, and tools that can improve their financial situation and help them move toward a stable and lasting economic future. If you would like to set up a free case evaluation to see how you may qualify for bankruptcy and learn how we can help, contact us today.

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