Stafford Bankruptcy Lawyers
Looking for a Stafford 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 and we have staff who speaks Spanish. We understand that filing bankruptcy is not always an easy decision, but we strive to make the process as easy as possible with friendly lawyers/staff, flexible document submission, and a personalized touch to your case.
Chapter 7: The most common type of bankruptcy is a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This is also called a liquidation bankruptcy. The case process 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 typical amount of assets, the bankruptcy trustee sells the debtor’s nonexempt assets and uses the proceeds of such assets to pay creditors.
Chapter 13: A chapter 13 bankruptcy is also called a wage earner’s plan. Under this chapter, debtors propose a repayment plan over three to five years. It often allows debtors to keep all assets that would be at risk in a Chapter 7. Some individuals pay back only required 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.
Debt Settlements: 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 close to Stafford, just up Route 28 in Herndon, Virginia. We offer plenty of free parking.
LIFE IN STAFFORD, VIRGINIA
Problems facing individuals in Stafford are different than those in the rest of Virginia. Since Stafford County is located only 25 miles south of DC, the county has a higher cost of living than a lot of Virginia and most of the country. Living in the Virginia suburbs comes with increased expenses. The high cost of living for this area can be tough on many individuals and families. We understand the financial struggles in Stafford County are different from the rest of the country. For many clients, even if you are making a decent income, the expenses in Stafford can be devastating. Make sure to retain a Stafford Bankruptcy Attorney that understands the expensive cost of living of the area. You do not just want a Virginia Bankruptcy Lawyer who handles cases all over the state, but an attorney who is local to you.
Qualifying for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Stafford, 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 Stafford because the median income is based on incomes from all over the state. Living in Stafford is drastically more expensive than living in other parts of Virginia, such as Petersburg or Suffolk. The bankruptcy attorneys at Ashley F. Morgan Law have experience using those costs as part of the bankruptcy analysis and getting higher income individuals qualified.
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 Stafford, we can often use numbers based on cost of living in Stafford 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.
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 Stafford Bankruptcy Lawyer can make the difference in how smoothly your case goes.
WHERE TO FILE BANKRUPTCY IF YOU LIVE IN STAFFORD, VA
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 (including Stafford), 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). The hearings are held virtually, either via phone or Zoom. 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.
CONTACT US! If you have concerns about debt issues, bankruptcy, or similar, schedule an appointment with our office. Our office can handle cases remotely using phone, video and email. We can also accept documents via email, fax, in-person drop off, our our secure office portal. We want to make the process as easy as possible for you.
Zip Codes in Stafford, Virginia: 22554, 22405, 22556, 22406, 22172, 22412, 22430, 22463, 22471, 22545, 22555, 22135, 22403