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.
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.
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy stays on the person’s credit report for 10 years.
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.
A Chapter 13 bankruptcy remains on the person’s credit report for seven years.
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.