Virginia residents seeking to educate themselves on the process of bankruptcy have a number of resources available to them. Our video page here has a number of videos from attorney John G. Merna, Esq. on a number of bankruptcy related topics. Our bankruptcy definitions page has a list of terms associated with the bankruptcy process in Virginia. We offer free phone consultations that can help direct you through the legal process of both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Merna Law are bankruptcy attorneys in Virginia serving the citizens of Virginia Beach, Newport News, Richmond, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Portsmouth, Hampton, Gloucester, York, Williamsburg, Henrico, Chesterfield, Fredericksburg, Eastern Shore, Petersburg, Hopewell, Franklin, Chester, South Hill, Emporia, Colonial Heights. We have offices in Virginia Beach, Richmond and Newport News Virginia.
We want to remind all Virginians, the bankruptcy court serves everyone in our state conducting the processes honestly and accurately. While it is possible to file bankruptcy on your own, we urge everyone to consider their individual ability to carefully prepare the appropriate forms, court documents and understand the legal process. More on this below.
If you are filing Chapter 7 Virginia Bankruptcy, you will be required to take a credit counseling course before your case is filed and a financial management course after your case is filed. You will also be required to attend the 341 meeting. These courses and the meeting are required to receive bankruptcy relief in the state of Virginia.
Getting started with bankruptcy in Virginia
The first thing we direct people to do when considering bankruptcy is to consider whether or not bankruptcy is a better option for you rather than struggling with bad debt. In most cases, the answer is yes. That answer is different for everyone but for many, bankruptcy is the better option when it comes to improving overall credit scores. Too often myths about bankruptcy hold people back from making the right choice and continue to see their credit score diminish while the debt grows as a result of not being able to pay.
Myth #1: You can’t recover from bankruptcy for ten years.
This is not true. Bankruptcy in Virginia will stay on your credit report for that long but recovering your credit happens much more rapidly. It is possible to go from bankruptcy to purchasing a home in as little as three years. Bankruptcy has a one time effect on your credit scores.
MYTH #2 Bankruptcy will not get rid of all my debt.
Bankruptcy will stop most debt collection efforts, such as telephone calls, wage garnishments, foreclosures and repossessions, and even some legal proceedings. It also eliminates various types of debt, such as credit card balances, medical expenses, and personal loans. Secured debt (i.e., automobiles, homes) are treated differently under Virginia bankruptcy law.
Here are a few things you can do to help get you on a road to a fresh start. Educate yourself to the bankruptcy process. We have many videos on the topic on our YouTube channel. Speak with an attorney at Merna Law for free. Start gathering the appropriate documents needed to file bankruptcy whether you are filing with or without an attorney.
Can I file bankruptcy for free in Virginia?
The short answer is yes however, bankruptcy can be a complex process. It is unlikely that the average person will be able to handle the bankruptcy on their own. Working with a bankruptcy lawyer can ensure that bankruptcy goes as smoothly as possible and that all applicable bankruptcy rules and regulations are met. If you make a mistake in filing your own case, you may have to start the process from the beginning should your case is denied. If you are interested in exploring bankruptcy on your own, here is a checklist of documents needed to file Chapter 7 in Virginia.
There are also some requirements that must be met before filing for bankruptcy. You need to prove that you are unable to repay your debt and seek credit advice from a state-approved credit adviser. Our attorneys will help you evaluate your finances, discuss possible bankruptcy alternatives, and make a personal budget plan so you do not go through it alone.
What are the benefits of bankruptcy using an attorney?
The largest benefit to hiring Merna Law is that as soon as you retain our bankruptcy attorney, he/she will take care of all harassing calls and begin to work on your behalf. We will work with you to gather the appropriate documents and find a payment plan that works best for you. Other benefits include:
- You will have legal representation and guidance throughout the process of filing bankruptcy.
- Instant relief. You immediately no longer have to pay back the debt.
- Instant protection from things like harassing phone calls and wage or bank garnishment.
- It is affordable. Using Merna Law to handle the process is affordable when considering the money you spend maintaining the debt, accruing interest and mounting late fees.
- Bankruptcy with Merna Law is much easier than the stress and constant worry over finances on top of having to undergo the education of filing your case on your own. And, it is over quickly.
What type of bankruptcy is right for me?
There are two types of bankruptcy for Virginia residents with and without secured debt. Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. If you are unsure which is right for you, a phone consultation with one of our bankruptcy lawyers can help direct you to the right choice. Chapter 7 is the chapter of the Bankruptcy Code that provides for “liquidation” or elimination of unsecured debt. A chapter 13 bankruptcy is repayment or reorganization of debt.
Virginia Legal Aid Organizations
Legal Aid Society of Eastern Virginia
125 St. Paul’s Boulevard, Suite 400, Norfolk, VA 23510
Central Virginia Legal Aid Society, Inc.
101 West Broad Street, Suite 101, P.O. Box 12206, Richmond, VA 23241-2206
Legal Services of Northern Virginia, Inc.
4080 Chain Bridge Road, 1st Floor, Fairfax, VA 22030
Virginia Legal Aid Society, Inc.
513 Church Street, P.O. Box 6200, Lynchburg, VA 24505-6200
Blue Ridge Legal Services, Inc.
204 North High Street, P.O. Box 551, Harrisonburg, VA 22803
Virginia Court Locations
Walter E. Hoffman United States Courthouse
600 Granby Street Norfolk, VA 23510
Spottswood W. Robinson III & Robert R. Merhige, Jr., U.S. Courthouse
701 East Broad Street Richmond, VA 23219
Martin V.B. Bostetter, Jr. United States Courthouse
200 South Washington Street Alexandria, VA 22314
Commonwealth of Virginia Building
210 Church Avenue Roanoke, VA 24011
Virginia Bankruptcy Judges
|Eastern District of Virginia||Hon. Brian F. Kenney|
|Eastern District of Virginia||Hon. Klinette H. Kindred|
|Eastern District of Virginia||Hon. Stephen C. St. John|
|Eastern District of Virginia||Hon. Frank J. Santoro|
|Eastern District of Virginia||Hon. Kevin R. Huennekens|
|Eastern District of Virginia||Hon. Keith L. Phillips|
|Western District of Virginia||Hon. Rebecca Connelly|
|Western District of Virginia||Hon. Paul Black|
|Peter J. Barrett||[email protected]|
|Carolyn L. Camardo||[email protected]|
|Thomas B. Dickenson||[email protected]|
|H. Jason Gold||(202) 712-2819|
|Donald F. King||[email protected]|
|Bruce H. Matson||[email protected]|
|Kevin R. McCarthy||(703)770-9261|
|Janet M. Meiburger||[email protected]|
|Bruce E. Robinson||[email protected]|
|David R. Ruby||[email protected]|
|Tom C. Smith Jr.||(757) 428-3481|
|Clara P. Swanson||(757) 873-0470|
|Lynn L. Tavenner||(804)783-8300|
|Scot S. Farthing||(276)625-0222|
|Andrew S. Goldstein||(540)343-9800|
|Steven L. Higgs||[email protected]|
|Hannah W. Hutman||(540)433-2444|
|W. Stephen Scott||[email protected]|
|Robert S. Stevens||(434) 973-5012|
VIRINGIA BANKRUPCY ATTORNEYS
Merna Law are bankruptcy attorneys in Virginia serving the citizens of Virginia Beach, Newport News, Richmond, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Portsmouth, Hampton, Gloucester, York, Williamsburg, Henrico, Chesterfield, Fredericksburg, Eastern Shore, Petersburg, Hopewell, Franklin, Midlothian, Chester, South Hill, and Emporia.