BANKRUPTCY

Most people who find themselves in need of protection from the United States Bankruptcy Court do so as a last resort. Many of my clients are consumed by credit card debt, high interest car loans and medical bills. A majority of my clients are coming in because of emergencies such as garnishments, lawsuits, foreclosures and repossessions. Just as you are accessing this information online, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia has become the leader in online case filings. I have the ability to file a bankruptcy petition on your behalf online. This is a very valuable tool for people facing:

•Foreclosures

•Repossessions

•Garnishments

•Lawsuits

The mere filing of your bankruptcy will, in most cases, stop any adverse creditor action against you until further order from the Court. So essentially, if you have a foreclosure pending, if you file for bankruptcy prior to the sale of your home, then it is very likely that the foreclosure sale will be eliminated. However, bankruptcy is much more complicated than just filing a petition. It requires a full and accurate disclosure of your financial affairs. A statement of your income and expenses and a list of all of your debts.

The two primary areas of bankruptcy are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The right Chapter of bankruptcy will be discussed at your consultation. However, a release of all of your debts is not necessarily the relief that bankruptcy gives you. Many debts do not go away by filing bankruptcy. Some examples of those debts are:

•Student Loans

•Most Taxes

•Child Support Arrears

•Criminal Restitution

•Drunk Driving Related Accidents

Additionally, secured debts such as car loans and house loans are not Discharged unless you surrender, or give back the secured property. For example, if you want to be released from your mortgage, you would have to surrender the house. However, in most cases you are entitled to keep your secured creditors while continuing making monthly payments to satisfy the debts. This can be accomplished through a Court Approved repayment plan or through direct repayment. Your specific situation will determine the best way to resolve your financial obligations.

In addition to the above, you must disclose all of your assets. An asset is defined as anything you own or have an interest in. This even includes things you do not have presently but may acquire imminently, such as inheritance, tax refunds or life insurance proceeds. In Virginia and the District of Columbia, things that you are allowed to keep are limited to certain exemptions. I will specifically advise you if there is a possibility of you losing an asset by filing bankruptcy during our consultation.

Finally, the Court requires you to answer 16 questions (for non-business debtors) regarding your financial affairs. Some of those questions deal with: •Previous years income

•Transfers or sales of property

•Gifts to Charities

•Locations of Safety Deposit Boxes

As a debtor, you are required to answer all questions on your petition truthfully and accurately under the penalties of perjury.

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