Experienced Falls Church Bankruptcy Lawyer
Are you looking for a bankruptcy attorney near you? You can find an experienced and dedicated Falls Church Bankruptcy lawyer at Ashley F. Morgan Law, PC. This friendly legal team helps many Virginia residents and businesses with their debt related issues. Offering free consultations, our lawyers can help determine what options are available to you.
Your debt relief options often depend on numerous factors, including amount of debt, level of income, type of debt, assets, family size, and much more. We provide free consultations to review your situation.
The most common type of bankruptcy is a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and what people traditionally consider a complete bankruptcy. This is also called a liquidation bankruptcy. The process usually takes approximately three to four months for a standard case. To start the case, you file a petition that provides information regarding your debts, assets, income, expenses, and personal information. Even though the court can order that certain assets be sold in a Chapter 7, there are many assets you can keep. Any asset that is protected from liquidation is an exempt asset. These items have certain laws that protect the asset. If you have more than the minimal items, the bankruptcy trustee sells the debtor’s nonexempt assets and uses the proceeds of such assets to pay creditors.
A chapter 13 bankruptcy is also called a wage earner’s plan. The plan enables individuals with regular income to develop a plan to repay all or part of their debts. Some individuals pay back only required debt, such as priority tax debt and mortgage arrearages, while other individuals pay back 100% of all debts. Under this chapter, debtors propose a repayment plan over three to five years. The plan is based on various factors, including income, non-exempt assets, etc.
Sometimes it is ideal to negotiate directly with the creditor. We often recommend this option when an individual has low debts or a couple creditors. This option does not have any guarantees, it can save you save money on the full amount owed. It also can help you avoid bankruptcy for only a couple debts.
To review your options, please contact our office. Our office is located in the town of Herndon, just down the Dulles Toll Road from Falls Church. We are only a mile off Fairfax County Parkway and less than two miles from Reston Town Center. We offer plenty of free parking.
LIFE IN FALLS CHURCH, VIRGINIA
Problems facing individuals in Falls Church are different than those in the rest of Virginia. Falls Church is a suburb of Washington, D.C. with a population of approximately 12,000. This small population makes it the smallest incorporated municipality in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the smallest county-equivalent municipality in the United States.
It is located approximately 8 miles outside of DC. Despite being outside of the city, living in the northern Virginia area comes with increased expenses. We understand the financial struggles in Falls Church and Fairfax County are different from the rest of the country. In 2011, Falls Church was named the richest county in the United States. As a result, even if you are making a decent income, the expenses in Falls Church can be overwhelming. Make sure to work with a Falls Church Bankruptcy Attorney understands the struggles.
Qualifying for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Falls Church, VA
Filing bankruptcy can sometimes help relieve some of the financial struggles. To qualify for Chapter 7, the court will look at your income for the last 6 months. If the debtor’s income is less than or equal to the state median, they can file for Chapter 7. This can mean it is more difficult for individuals living in the more expensive parts of the state to qualify for a Chapter 7. This is a common problem for many individuals living in Falls Church because the median income is based on incomes from all over the state. Living in this town is drastically more expensive than living in other parts of Virginia, such as Greensboro or Lexington.
Alternative Ways of Qualifying: The Means Test
However, there is another way to qualify for Chapter 7 that involves using your income and subtracting out allowable expenses; this process is called the Means Test. Luckily, if your income is above the state median, we can take in consideration the allowable expenses for your county under Internal Revenue Service guidelines. For clients living in Falls Church, we can often use numbers based on cost of living in Fairfax County or Falls Church City. Also, we may be able to consider other high costs of living in the area, such as medical expenses, childcare, and similar. If you have other expenses like high mortgage or car payments, we may be able to factor those into the analysis as well.
Finding an experienced Falls Church bankruptcy lawyer can make the difference in qualifying for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If you do not qualify for Chapter 7 — or determine that you should not file a Chapter 7 — and have to file a Chapter 13, the Means Test will also help dictate the payment plan during the course of your repayment plan. Having an experienced Northern Virginia Bankruptcy Attorney can make the difference in how smoothly your case goes.
WHERE TO FILE BANKRUPTCY IF YOU LIVE IN FALLS CHURCH
You file bankruptcy the federal court system. Most common place people is where you live. For example, if you live in Fairfax County, Loudoun County, Prince William County, or Stafford (or any city inside those counties), you will usually file in the Alexandria Division of the Eastern District of Virginia. There are various other places that an individual could file, including where your largest asset is located. For example, if you own a house in Falls Church, VA but live in a rental unit in Maryland, you may still be able to file in the Eastern District of Virginia. However, it is usually easiest and most common to file where you live.
Many people worry about bankruptcy because they fear being in front of a judge. Most of our bankruptcy clients never enter the bankruptcy courthouse; most cases only have one mandatory appearance at the Meeting of Creditors (or 341 hearing). This is a more informal meeting conducted by a Trustee, not a judge. In Alexandria, this hearing is in an office building in Old Town Alexandria. You must bring your Driver’s License and Social Security Card with you so that the Trustee can verify your identity. You will be asked questions about your petition, including your debts and assets. This is usually a hearing that takes three to five minutes for your questions.
If you have concerns about debt issues, bankruptcy, or similar, schedule an appointment with our office.
Falls Church Zip Codes: 22046, 22042, 22044, 22205, 22040