Bankruptcy is a procedure that takes place within a court of law when an individual or company has failed to pay on their debts to the extent that they are unable to catch up. Bankruptcy is a common but rather complicated undertaking, which should only be entered into after careful consideration guided by a skilled bankruptcy attorney in Fairfax, VA. Bankruptcy is a matter of federal law, which means that all bankruptcy cases will be handled in federal courts. One major benefit of filing bankruptcy is that it can stop your creditors from being able to attempt to collect any debts from you.
What Is The Difference Between Chapter 7, Chapter 11, Chapter 12, And Chapter 13 Bankruptcies?
There are four Chapters of bankruptcy and each has a very different purpose. All bankruptcy options should be thoroughly explained and weighed by your Fairfax, VA bankruptcy attorney:
- Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: A Chapter 7 bankruptcy requires the person or business filing to give up all of their property that exceeds particular limits, which are called exemptions. It is very important to file with the help of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney in Fairfax, VA, in order to keep as much of your property as possible. The property you forfeit will be sold by a trustee and the money will be applied to your debts.
- Chapter 11 Bankruptcy: Chapter 11 bankruptcies are mostly used by companies, although they can be utilized by some individual debtors who have exceedingly high amounts of unpaid debt. If you think you might be a candidate for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, be sure to consult a bankruptcy attorney in Fairfax, VA.
- Chapter 12 Bankruptcy: Chapter 12 Bankruptcy is only used by family farmers and requires expert guidance from a Fairfax, VA Chapter 12 bankruptcy attorney.
- Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is known as debt adjustment bankruptcy. Your Fairfax, VA Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney is required to file a plan approved by the court for repaying your debts according to your actual income.
Most of the individuals who choose to file bankruptcy will be required by law to file either a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. It is imperative for businesses and individuals alike to consult a skilled bankruptcy attorney before filing bankruptcy in Fairfax, VA.
What Kind Of Differences Can Filing Bankruptcy Make In My Life?
Filing bankruptcy in Fairfax, VA with the help of an experienced bankruptcy attorney can make a real difference in the stress of living in debt. Bankruptcy can:
- Forgive certain debts through a discharge.
- Stop or prevent the foreclosure of your home.
- Stop or prevent repossession.
- Force the return of repossessed property.
- Stop wage garnishments.
- Restore shut off services.
- Challenge creditor claims on the basis of fraud.
Are There Financial Issues That Bankruptcy Cannot Solve In Fairfax, VA?
Bankruptcy is not the right option for every single person or for every single financial problem. A truly experienced bankruptcy attorney is necessary to get the best results from bankruptcy in Fairfax, VA. Bankruptcy is not a cure-all and has several limitations; it cannot:
- Eliminate secured creditors’ rights. A secured debt means a debt that is attached to collateral. You still cannot keep collateral without paying on the debt.
- Discharge child support, alimony, student loans, criminal court fines, or other protected debts.
- Discharge the debts of cosigners. If you discharge a loan in your bankruptcy, your cosigners may be responsible for repaying that loan.
- Discharge new debts.
How Much Will It Cost For Me To File Bankruptcy In Virginia?
Currently, it costs around $300 to file bankruptcy under Chapter 7 in Virginia and slightly less to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This price does not change depending on whether it is an individual or a couple. In some cases, the court may allow you to pay your filing fee in monthly or weekly installments, if you are struggling with debt and income level. If you hire a Fairfax, VA bankruptcy attorney, you will also, at some point, owe him or her legal fees for guiding and representing you. Each attorney sets his or her own fees.
Can I Ever Own Property Again After A Bankruptcy?
It is a rather common misconception that you cannot own property if you have filed for bankruptcy. This is not the way bankruptcy works. Even after you have filed bankruptcy, you will be allowed to keep all your exempt property and to own new property. However, if you receive specific types of assets, to include an inheritance or benefits from a life insurance policy, within 180 days of the filing of your bankruptcy, you may be ordered to forfeit those assets to pay your creditors. You should speak at length with your Fairfax, VA bankruptcy attorney about which of your assets are exempt.