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Bankruptcy Law Services In Winchester and The Northern Shenandoah Valley, VA


Have questions? We've got answers!

Douglas W. Harold, Jr., Attorney at Law in White Post, VA can provide answers to your concerns about filing for bankruptcy and what property you will get to keep. Find some answers below in our frequently asked questions. Call me – I'll do my best to answer any other questions that you have.

What is a Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

In a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy a debtor receives a court order (called a “Discharge”) stating that he or she no longer has to pay any debts that are legally dischargeable. It's a fairly quick process that takes about three months to finish. After you get your Discharge, then you no longer have any obligation to pay anything on old credit card debts, repossessed cars, medical bills, judgments, etc. If your total monthly family income from all sources is just barely enough (or maybe not even enough) to meet your reasonably necessary monthly living expenses, then you would probably qualify for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.

Do I have to list all of my debts on my bankruptcy papers?

Yes, ALL DEBTS HAVE TO BE LISTED, even debts that you want to continue making payments on (such as vehicle, furniture or house payments, for example). Even though you have to list all debts, you would still be able in most cases to keep making payments on items that you want to keep.

Can I keep at least one credit card for emergency use?

Most credit card companies shut off your charge privileges immediately after they get notice of your bankruptcy filing. They will not normally allow you to keep making charges. However, you will usually receive new credit card offers in the mail shortly after you file for bankruptcy (sometimes even from the same credit card companies that you listed on your bankruptcy papers). The interest rate will be higher than you like, but you will have the opportunity to get a credit card if you want one.

Can I keep my property if I file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

Most debtors can keep all their property as a result of the various property “exemptions” that are available in Virginia. However, if you have a lot of equity in a house or have property of unusually high value, it may have to be turned over to the Bankruptcy Court, which will sell the property and use a portion or the entire sale proceeds to pay your creditors.

I've been told that I should run up all of my credit cards before I file for bankruptcy. Is this true?

No – this is completely false. If you are even considering filing for bankruptcy, don't use any credit cards; also, don't take on any new personal loans, get cash advances, or use “convenience checks” provided by your credit card company.

Call our office with any questions

There are many other complex issues involving bankruptcy. Please call our offices if you have specific questions.