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Differences: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.

Differences: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.

Overwhelming debt? Time for a fresh start? There are two options for filing personal bankruptcy in Virginia: Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. During your free consultation our attorneys can help you decide which option is best for your situation.

Under the Federal Bankruptcy Code people overwhelmed with debt may apply for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. Each offers legal protection depending on your individual circumstances. Boleman Law offers everyone a free consultation with a skilled, experienced bankruptcy attorney to review and recommend options. Just call for an appointment.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy

Sometimes known as a “complete” or “straight” bankruptcy – Chapter 7 means that the person turns over all of their non-exempt assets or property (vehicle, house, savings, for example) to a bankruptcy trustee who sells it and distributes the proceeds to the unsecured creditors such as credit card companies, medical bills or loans.

People can usually keep most of their personal property (jewelry, tools and clothing, for example).

Boleman Law will complete all of the complicated forms and paperwork for you, and a Boleman Law attorney will stand beside you and speaks on your behalf at trustee hearings and in court. Knowledgeable people at Boleman Law are always available to help throughout the process.

In return the person is granted a “discharge” of the debt – the debt is cancelled. Some debt (spousal and child support, student loans and some taxes) cannot be discharged in bankruptcy.

The process typically takes about six months.

You may choose Chapter 7 if you have:

  • little or no property
  • a large amount of unsecured debt (payday loans, medical bills, credit card debt)
  • little or no income

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy stays on the person’s credit report for 10 years.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy

This option may work better for people who have regular income. A Chapter 13 filing immediately “stays” or stops any creditor action such as foreclosure, garnishment, repossession, seizure, and attempts at collection including phone calls and letters.

The person files a plan with the bankruptcy court and agrees to pay all debts such as car loans, mortgage arrears, and unseen debts in an affordable monthly payment plan over a three to five-year period. In return the debtor can keep the property (home, vehicle and other assets). Chapter 13 can help save your home from foreclosure, pay off tax debts, and reduce high interest car loans.

Boleman Law will help come up with an affordable financial plan and complete all of the complicated forms and paperwork. A Boleman Law attorney will stand beside you and speak on your behalf at trustee hearings and in court. Knowledgeable people at Boleman Law are always available to help throughout the process which can last for as long as five years.

You may choose Chapter 13 if you:

  • have income and assets you want to keep
  • are behind on your mortgage and want to keep the home
  • have a wage garnishment
  • are behind on your car payment or want to get back a repossessed vehicle
  • are behind on federal or state taxes
  • See also Chapter 13 bankruptcy law protects rights and assets

A Chapter 13 bankruptcy remains on the person’s credit report for seven years.

Boleman Law attorneys are Bankruptcy Specialists

  • Filing for bankruptcy is an extremely emotional, complicated and time consuming process.
  • At Boleman Law you will receive a FREE consultation with our skilled, experienced bankruptcy attorneys just by making an appointment.
  • If you choose to file, we’ll complete and electronically file all of the paperwork and appear in court with you.
  • Boleman Law is the bankruptcy specialist – the largest bankruptcy law firm in Virginia. Since 1991 we have helped more than 106,000 Virginians regain their financial health.
We will help you.
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Mark C. Leffler

Mark Leffler, Shareholder and Chief Legal Officer, joined Boleman Law Firm in 2000. Mark has spent most of his career litigating in Bankruptcy Court, including bringing numerous actions against debt collectors, mortgage companies, and predatory lenders in bankruptcy. He currently focuses his practice on federal consumer protection litigation, mostly under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Mark is President of the NACTT Academy for Consumer Bankruptcy Education, is a frequent author for the NACTT Academy’s webzine, and has served as a panelist at numerous national legal conferences such as the National Association of Chapter Thirteen Trustees (NACTT) and the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC). Mark is AV® rated by Martindale Hubbell, he was selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America for his work in bankruptcy and debtor rights, and he is a frequent speaker and author on bankruptcy matters for Virginia CLE programs.

Mark was raised in Williamsburg, VA, and lives in Norfolk, VA with his wife, Leigh, and two children. In his free time, he enjoys staying physically active, regularly training in powerlifting, snow skiing during the winter, and traveling with his wife.


©2021 Boleman Law Firm, P.C.

©2021 Boleman Law Firm, P.C.

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