Woodbridge Bankruptcy Lawyer
Looking for a Woodbridge Bankruptcy Lawyer? The experienced and caring legal team at Ashley F. Morgan Law, PC helps many individuals and businesses every year with their debt issues, including bankruptcy, debt settlement, tax resolution, offers in compromise, and much more. We offer free consultations for debt issues. Our knowledgeable attorneys can help review all options available to you. Our office is also bilingual; Attorney Ashley Morgan is fluent in Spanish. We also have office staff who speaks Spanish.
Consulting and retaining an experienced bankruptcy lawyer is essential to a smooth bankruptcy case.
DEBT RELIEF OPTIONS
Chapter 13: A chapter 13 bankruptcy is a three-to-five year payment plan also called a wage earner’s plan. Under this chapter, debtors propose a repayment plan to manage their debts. It often allows debtors to keep all assets. Some individuals pay back only limited amounts of debt, such as priority tax debt and mortgage arrearages, while other individuals pay back 100% of all debts. The amount paid in the plan is based on various factors, including income, non-exempt assets, etc. Two individuals with similar incomes could pay drastically different amounts due to difference expenses being allowed. Any dischargeable debts not paid during a Chapter 13 payment plan are discharged at the end of the plan.
Chapter 7: The most common type of bankruptcy is a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This is also called a straight bankruptcy or a liquidation bankruptcy. This type of bankruptcy case usually takes three to four months for a normal, no-asset case. During this case, you file a petition that includes data regarding your pay, expenses, liabilities, assets, and personal information. Even though the process is called a liquidation, a debtor can keep various items in a Chapter 7. If you have more than the allowed assets, the bankruptcy trustee may sell the debtor’s nonexempt assets and use the proceeds of such assets to pay creditors.
Debt Settlements: In various situations, the best option to manage your debts is 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 easily accessible to our Woodbridge clients; we are located just up Route 28 in Herndon, Virginia (or just down Dulles Toll Road from the Beltway). We offer plenty of free parking.
LIFE IN WOODBRIDGE, VA
Problems facing individuals in Woodbridge (and the rest of Prince William County) are different than those in the rest of Virginia. Woodbridge is a suburb of Washington, D.C. with a population of 44,668. It is located approximately 23 miles south of DC. Living in the Virginia suburbs comes with increased cost of living. These high living expenses can be tough on many individuals and families. We understand the financial struggles in all of northern Virginia are different from the rest of the country. For many clients, even if you are making a decent income, the expenses in Woodbridge can be devastating. Make sure to retain a Woodbridge Bankruptcy Attorney that understands the expensive cost of living of the area.
Qualifying for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Woodbridge, 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 Woodbridge because the median income is based on incomes from all over the state. Living in Prince William County is drastically more expensive than living in other parts of Virginia, such as Petersburg or Williamsburg.
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 the guidelines provide by the Internal Revenue Service. For clients living in Woodbridge, we can often use numbers based on cost of living in Prince William County. Also, we may be able to consider other high costs of living in the area, such as insurance payments, medical expenses, childcare, child support and similar.
As a result, if you have above median income, finding an experienced bankruptcy attorney can make the difference in whether you qualify for Chapter 7 or not. 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 Woodbridge Bankruptcy Lawyer can make the difference in how smoothly your case goes.
WHERE TO FILE BANKRUPTCY IF YOU LIVE IN WOODBRIDGE
Bankruptcy is a federal process, which means you file in a federal court. Virginia has two federal districts – Eastern Western Districts. There are four to seven courthouses in each Virginia district. Most people file in the jurisdiction where you reside; if you live in any part of northern Virginia, you will usually file in the Alexandria Division of the Eastern District of Virginia. There are other ways to determine where you can file, such as where your largest asset is located. However, it is usually easiest to file in the jurisdiction you reside.
Most of our bankruptcy clients never go the bankruptcy courthouse; most cases only have one mandatory appearance at the Meeting of Creditors (or 341 hearing). Since April of 2020, these meetings/hearings are held telephonically (previously, they were a in-person meeting in Old Town Alexandria). During the meeting, the Trustee verifies your identify and confirms critical information. Other questions you will be asked are 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.
Zip Codes in Woodbridge, Virginia: 22191, 22192, 22193, 22194, 22195