Frequently Asked Questions About Bankruptcy
What is bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy gives a fresh start to honest debtors. Filing for bankruptcy is the legal way of eliminating debts and starting again. A fresh start to honest debtors and a clear field for the future. Under the Federal Bankruptcy Code people overwhelmed with debt may apply for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. Each offers legal protection depending on your individual circumstances. The Martin Conway Law Firm offers everyone a free consultation to review and recommend options.
There are many reasons that people file for bankruptcy. Recently the biggest cause of bankruptcy in Northern Virginia is people getting caught in the real estate crisis, and people losing their jobs in the recession. Many people file for bankruptcy because of medical debt, or job loss. Many people will file because of a breakup of a marriage or loss of a spouse. Some people just charged too much when things looked good. No matter the reason, bankruptcy allows you a fresh start.
What is the difference between a Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy?
In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, most unsecured debts are discharged – or forgiven. (You usually cannot be discharged from taxes, student loans, or child support)The debtor turns over all of their non-exempt assets or property to a bankruptcy trustee who sells it and distributes the proceeds to the unsecured creditors such as credit card companies, medical bills or loans. People can typically keep most of their personal property.
A Chapter 13 bankrutpcy may work better for people who have regular income. A Chapter 13 filing immediately “stays” or stops any creditor action such as foreclosure, garnishment, repossession, seizure, and attempts at collection including phone calls and letters.
The debtor files a plan with the bankruptcy court and agrees to pay all debts such as car loans, mortgage arrears, and unseen debts through an affordable monthly payment plan over a three to five-year period. In return the debtor can keep the property (home, vehicle and other assets). Chapter 13 can help save your home from foreclosure, pay off tax debts, and reduce high interest car loans.
Can bankruptcy stop my home foreclosure?
Yes. When you file for bankruptcy, an automatic stay will go into effect, and all foreclosure actions will cease. In Virginia bankruptcy is the only certain way to stop a foreclosure. The foreclosure is stopped immediately when the bankruptcy is filed.
Will bankruptcy stop my car from being repossessed?
Bankruptcy may stop vehicle repossession and can sometimes get the vehicle unlocked or returned even if it has been already repossessed. During your free consultation these options will be fully explained.
Will bankruptcy stop my wages from being garnished?
Yes. Filing for bankruptcy will stop your garnishment, and in some cases will even get your already garnished funds returned to you.