Wipe the Slate Clean with Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Edrie Pfeiffer
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Edrie Pfeiffer, Bankruptcy & Divorce Attorney

Serving debtors seeking a fresh start with Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Filings throughout Virginia Beach and surrounding areas.

Obtain a fresh start by eliminating most debts such as credit cards, medical debts and payday loans.

  • Are you spending almost all of your pay for normal living expenses (rent, food, clothing, gas, child care, etc.)?
  • Are creditors calling and demanding money that you need to feed yourself and your family?
  • Are you broke after you pay your car payment?
  • Are wages you need to live on being taken by a creditor?

If the answer to these questions is yes, then Chapter 7 Bankruptcy may help you get out of debt.

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Virginia is designed to discharge most of a debtor’s debts in order to give the debtor a fresh start. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a bankruptcy trustee gathers together a debtor’s assets and uses the proceeds of those assets to pay creditors according to the federal Bankruptcy Code. The debtor will be allowed to keep some property that is considered exempt. Most of the remaining debts will be discharged, with some exceptions.

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy begins when the debtor files a petition with the bankruptcy court in the area where the debtor lives. That petition will show assets, liabilities, income, and other financial information. At the time of filing the petition, the debtor will pay filing fees, although the court may waive the fees. Once the petition is filed, most collection actions against the debtor are stopped. During this time, creditors cannot call demanding payment, proceed with lawsuits, or garnish wages. Creditors are notified of the bankruptcy case by the court’s clerk.

After the case is filed, the trustee will hold a meeting with the debtor’s creditors. The debtor attends the meeting and must answer questions about his or her finances and property. The trustee will then determine whether the case is being filed fraudulently. If it is, the trustee will report that to the court. At the meeting, the debtor will be informed of the consequences of filing for bankruptcy, like the effect on credit history, the other types of bankruptcy available, the effect of a bankruptcy discharge, and the effects of reaffirming a debt. In most cases, a discharge will be granted.

Once a discharge occurs, it releases debtors from liability for most debts. However, there are many exceptions, and a debtor should be aware of those exceptions. Some common examples of debts not discharged are debts for alimony and child support, taxes, student loans, debts for willful injury by the debtor to another person, and debts for injuries caused by the debtor’s drunk driving. Secured creditors also may have the right to seize property after a discharge is granted.

Are you feeling that your financial situation is hopeless and overwhelming? If so, bankruptcy or a bankruptcy alternative may be the right decision for you. However, you should consult a knowledgeable Virginia Beach bankruptcy attorney. Often, choosing to file a bankruptcy on your own can put you in a worse financial position than you started with.

If you are ready to be debt-free, contact Hampton Roads Legal Services at (757) 276-6555. We will schedule a no-cost, no-obligation appointment so we can show you how to become debt-free.