Richmond Chapter 7 Lawyer
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Suppose your debt and other expenses are too high to manage with your current income level. In that case, bankruptcy may be a viable solution. Chapter 7 is the most common type of consumer bankruptcy filed in the U.S... Every year, hundreds of thousands of people use it to eliminate debt and achieve a fresh start. With personalized guidance, you can take full advantage of this legal option.
When you bring your case to Flores Law PLLC, you can trust our Chapter 7 attorney to treat you with the compassion and respect you deserve. Your financial crisis may result from honest mistakes. It might have been the unexpected consequences of a natural disaster, car accident, economic downturn, or any other event beyond your control. No matter the case, you will not be judged when you work with our firm. Instead, our bankruptcy law firm is personally and professionally motivated to help you overcome adversity and build the lasting financial foundations you need.
Filing Chapter 7 in Virginia? Speak to our skillful bankruptcy attorney in Richmond at Flores Law PLLC. Contact us online or call (804) 315-0810 for a free, initial phone consultation. Se habla Español.
What Is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
Chapter 7 is generally the most straightforward and quickest form of bankruptcy available to individuals, couples, and business owners. Unfortunately, because it is also called “liquidation bankruptcy,” many people believe they will lose everything they own if they choose this legal path. Most Chapter 7 cases, however, allow filers to free themselves from debt without losing any assets.
Liquidation and Virginia Bankruptcy Exemptions 2023
Chapter 7 is called liquidation bankruptcy because the trustee takes your nonexempt assets and sells them to repay your creditors. But this does not mean the trustee will sell everything you have until your creditors are paid in full. Using state or federal exemption laws, you can exempt or protect certain assets and equity from the liquidation process.
Here are just a few of the exemptions you can claim through the state of Virginia:
- $25,000 home equity for principle residence per filer
- A motor vehicle valued up to $6000
- Insurance benefits, such as from life insurance, an industrial sick benefits
- ERISA-qualified pension benefits of up to $17,500 per year
- Personal property, including family heirlooms, health aids, furnishing up to $5000, clothing up to $1000, pets, wedding rings, and more
- Compensation from unemployment or workers’ compensation
- Tools of the trade needed to successfully perform your job
In Virginia, you may also claim certain federal exemptions in addition to the exemptions provided by the state.
Like all forms of bankruptcy, Chapter 7 triggers an automatic stay, which halts and prevents all collection actions such as harassing calls and letters, wage garnishment, foreclosure, repossession, and more. The automatic stay lasts for the duration of your case, giving you the freedom you need to implement a legal solution to your financial crisis.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy - Virginia Cost
Unfortunately, filing Chapter 7 in Virginia is not free -- there is a cost. Currently, as of 2023, the cost to file Chapter 7 in VA is $338. You may be able to waive the filing fee if your income falls under 150% of the state's poverty guidelines. You may also ask the court if you may pay the fee in installments -- typically, you must make the first payment of 25% of the filing fee within 30 days of filing your Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition. After that, you must make monthly payments no less than 25% of the filing fee.
Eliminating Your Debt in Richmond
The liquidation process is complete if your non-exempt assets have been sold under Chapter 7. The court can then discharge any remaining unsecured debt. After a debt discharge, you are no longer liable for that debt, and collectors can no longer contact you or take you to court.
Unsecured debt is anything that is not attached to collateral, such as credit card debt, personal loans, medical bills, and utility bills. If you have secured debt, such as a loan on an automobile or mortgage, you can
keep the property if you keep paying the loan. It also will not discharge criminal penalties, child support, or alimony. Student loans can technically be discharged through bankruptcy, but very few people qualify for that relief. Income tax debt can be removed under certain conditions. If most of what you owe is not dischargeable, you may consider a repayment plan through Chapter 13 bankruptcy instead.
Our bankruptcy attorney can help you determine whether Chapter 7 will substantially improve your circumstances or if Chapter 13 may be a better option. No matter the case, we are fully prepared to help you achieve financial freedom as soon as possible.
Is Chapter 7 Right For You?
Not everyone can—or should—file Chapter 7. To qualify, you typically must make less than your state’s median income for a household of your size, or you must demonstrate a particular need for relief through a complex calculation of your income and expenses. This is called the means test. If you cannot qualify, Chapter 13 might be a viable alternative.
Our bankruptcy attorney in Richmond can assess your situation to determine whether the benefits of Chapter 7 will outweigh the costs. After careful consideration of all your options, we can guide you every step of the way toward financial security.
"He's the best professional I've seen, everything went perfect in our process thanks to Flores team. I'm definitely asking them for help if any legal representation is needed in the future."- Jerry R.