America Law Group, Inc.

Northern Neck Bankruptcy lawyers

I need to file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.  I have a garnishment based on a judgment from about two months ago. I did not go to court for the Warrant in Debt so the creditor got a judgement. I want to file Chapter 7 Bankruptcy or maybe Chapter 13 Debt Adjustment bankruptcy. I live in Westmoreland County and can’t find any bankruptcy lawyers in the Northern Neck. Do you know any Northern Neck Bank Bankruptcy lawyers?

Reply: The Northern Neck includes Lancaster County, Northumberland Count, Richmond County, Westmoreland County, and King George County.  These counties all file Bankruptcy in the Bankruptcy Court in Richmond. Because of travel time to court few lawyers file bankruptcy unless they are located near the bankruptcy court in Richmond. I do not know of any Lancaster County, Northumberland County, Richmond County, Westmoreland County or King George County bankruptcy attorneys. 

For many years we had an office in Mechanicsville and we filed many bankruptcy cases for Northern Neck families.  Towns served by us include Windmill Point, White Stone, Irvington, Kilmarnock, and Lancaster in Lancaster County. Nearby we cover Reedville, and Heathsville in Northumberland County. In Richmond County we cover Warsaw and Haynesville. Montross in Westmoreland County also files bankruptcy in Richmond as does Colonial Beach, Dahlgren and Potomac Beach in King George County. King George is near Fredericksburg and also files bankruptcy in Richmond as well. King George is the larger town in King George County.

Call us anytime at 804 DEBT LAW (332-8529) for help with Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.  To save you from having to drive to our office for a consultation if we can answer your Bankruptcy questions by phone I will be glad to do so.



Life Insurance Policies in Bankruptcy:

In recent cases Chapter 7 Bankruptcy trustees have begun asking about life insurance and they have asked for copies of the policies. 

They want to be sure there is no cash value in the policy or if there is cash value that it has properly been exempted.  As your bankruptcy attorneys we need to ask this to properly prepare your case this we now need term life insurance policy statement proving there is no cash value. In the past and especially in ch13 this has not be necessary. 

From this point on please we will ask, do you have any life insurance policies and if yes please obtain a statement showing term or whole policy and how much if any cash surrender value. This is only required if  this is something the client pay for  and is in their name, example some employers have  term policy on their employees so debtor may say yes they have term insurance , they do but they don’t own the account nor can benefit from the account so there is no statement to get.

The trustee is not interested in our client’s  term policy but are wanting the statements to verify the client actually knows the correct info as to the policy being term and not cash value like whole life.  Cash value life insurance is considered an asset of the bankruptcy estate and could be sold for the cash value by the bankruptcy trustee.In such Chapter 7 cases we often need to use the “wildcard” Homestead Exemption” to protect the case value from the trustee’s liquidation.  


I want to file bankruptcy in the correct Bankruptcy Court. What towns file Bankruptcy at the Norfolk Bankruptcy court?

The Norfolk Bankruptcy Court accepts cases from the following cities: Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Chesapeake, Franklin, Smithfield and Virginia Beach.  Bankruptcy is also filed in Norfolk Bankruptcy court by the following:  Southampton County, Suffolk County, Northampton County, Accomack County, Isle of Wight County. Residents of all included smaller communities must file Bankruptcy in Norfolk including: Smithfield, Isle of Wight, Franklin those living along Route 58 to nearly Emporia.  The Eastern Shore of Virginia including Eastville, Nassawadox, Tangier Island and Accomac  also files bankruptcy in the Norfolk Bankruptcy Court. If you have debt problems, levy, garnishment, collections or lawsuits and Warrants in Debt we urge you to call today for information on Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and Chapter 13 Debt Adjustment bankruptcy in our Norfolk office.


Not all Divorces are “Simple , Agreed and Uncontested”

I live in Henrico just outside Richmond VA and I want to get an inexpensive  simple no-fault divorce with Child support and custody which we are fighting about. I have a protective order against my husband who is abusive and a threat to my safety.  We have been married for 17 years. We have three kids. Can I make my cheating husband pay for the divorce as his girlfriend is pregnant from his adultery?   He is in a machine operator in the union and makes about $90,000 per year.   I make $9.75 per hour in retail.

We have offices in Midlothian and Henrico as well as in Colonial Heights, Mechanicsville, Richmond, Norfolk and in Newport News.  It is not difficult to get a no-fault or cooperative no terms divorce for a fixed attorney fee if both parties agree on custody, support, division of martial assets  and visitation. You don’t agree.

When you do not cooperate and agree then the divorce is considered contested or not cooperative and usually means that both spouses will have their own attorneys.  This can lead to a court battle which may take more time and have a much higher legal cost for attorney fees. Child custody will be decided based on the best interests of the child. Property may be decided based on Equitable Distribution as it sounds like you can’t agree. You do not have a simple divorce situation. Your case will possibly have to be decided by a Circuit Court judge. This may include Child custody, visitation, and child support as well as alimony and spousal support and equitable distribution of martial property.  I suggest you call my office for a free divorce and Family Law consultation.   We have reasonable fees and payment plans. In contested cases we will usually require an affordable retainer fee.


Do you have offices near to Richmond?

Yes, we have three offices including: Henrico (West End)  Hanover (Mechanicsville)  and Chesterfield (Midlothian and Chippenham).  The Henrico office helps clients from Hanover County, Ashland, Rockville, Montpelier ,  Studley, Doswell, Ruther Glen Ladysmith, Thornburg, Spotsylvania, Fredericksburg, Bowling Green, and Carmel Church.  Also helped are: Goochland County, Crozier, Maidens,  Goochland, Oilville,  Short Pump, Columbia, Fife, Georges Tavern, Gum Spring and Hadensville all in Goochland County.  The Midlothian Turnpike office at Chippenham Parkway helps residents of Bon Air and Midlothian, Westchester, Chester, Richmond.  The Mechanicsville office is convenient to: Tappahannock, St. Stephens Church, Aylett, Central Garage, King William, Warsaw and all of Caroline County, Essex County, Richmond County, King & Queen County, King William County, King & Queen Court House, Urbanna, Saluda, and West Point.

We are open Monday through Saturday and take phone calls everyday from 7:30 AM to 8:30 PM.  We are always just a phone call or short drive away from helping you. See our over 30 five star Google reviews.  We are committed to great Divorce, Bankruptcy, Traffic, Criminal DUI, Immigration and Social Security Disability legal services. 


Bankruptcy and car payments in or out of the 7 Bankruptcy or the 13 Bankruptcy case

Can bankruptcy help with fear of a car repo and too high interest? I have never filed bankruptcy before or even thought about bankruptcy but now I think bankruptcy may be my only good answer. I need my car so I can’t have a repo (repossession). My pre-bankruptcy car interest rate is 29%.

Bankruptcy can usually help a lot with a car payment and fear of repossession. Bankruptcy can lower the interest rate when the car payment is paid in a Chapter 13 Debt Adjustment Bankruptcy.  In 13 Bankruptcy the interest rate is set at about 5% from your current 29%. Bankruptcy stops repossession. In 13 Bankruptcy you then pay your debts including your car through a payment to the Bankruptcy  trustee.

If you file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy then you can stop the repossession for the few months that the bankruptcy is in court.  Your loan terms will remain the same at 29% interest. You must catch-up your back payments before you bankruptcy case is discharged.  Once the bankruptcy 7 is discharged if your car payment is not current then the creditor will be able to repossess the car and sell it at an auto auction. Thus, for car loan cases Chapter 13 Bankruptcy usually has advantages over Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. If you have had you car for at least 30 months then you can pay the car in a Chapter 13 Debt Adjustment case based on the book value of the car and not based on how much is owed on the car. With "upside down" car loan this can create a great savings. In Chapter 7 case ask you lawyer about auto redemption with 722 Redemption Funding.  Redemption is a powerful tool in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy cases. 


Fredericksburg area Bankruptcy

I live in Thornburg Virginia near Fredericksburg. Where do I file Chapter 7 Bankruptcy of Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

You file bankruptcy in the Federal Bankruptcy Court in Richmond Virginia.  The Richmond bankruptcy court covers a huge area of over thirty counties  and independent cities for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and Chapter 13 Debt Adjustment. Going north from Richmond  the bankruptcy filing area includes Spotsylvania County and Fredericksburg as well as Spotsylvania, Massaponax, Post Oak Thornburg and Chancellorsville . Also north of Richmond are: Caroline County including Bowling Green, Ladysmith, Ruther Glen, Carmel Church, and Fort A P Hill. Hanover County covers the  town of Ashland as well as  Hanover, Dowell, Rockville, Beaverdam, Coatesville, Montpelier, Studley, Mechanicsville, Virginia Center Commons, and Old Church as well as Glen Allen.  Henrico County has Henrico,  Short Pump, Glen Allen, Sandston, Lakeside, Highland Springs and Varina.  

America Law Group support these communities from our bankruptcy office in Western Henrico County at Exit 181 off I-64. If you think you might need to file Bankruptcy 7 or Bankruptcy 13 call us today and we will reviews your debt solutions including possible bankruptcy. We offer pre-filing payment plans for both 7 and 13 cases. Call us anytime at our easy number 804-DEBT LAW (332-8529).  


Social Security vs. VA Disability

Social Security Disability: I want to know the key differences between Social Security Disability and Veterans Disability?

Social Security Disability is much harder  to get and to keep than is VA Disability.  Social Security Disability is “all or nothing” . Unlike the VA disability program, Social Security Disability does not award partial disability.  The VA will award as low as a 10% disability rating which means that the disability will be proportionally lower.  You can be employable or even working and obtain Veteran’s disability.   The VA is often said to be a program of compensation for injury rather than based on an inability to hold any full time job ie. “full and total disability” Social Security Disability is based on the inability to hold any full time job.  If you can work in any job you are not considered disabled by the Social Security Administration and you will not be granted Social Security Disability

Often the VA will award a rating or “permanent and total” disability which means that it is assumed that the disability will not improve in the future and that you will remain disabled for the remainder of your life.  Social Security Disability is much more likely to be periodically reviewed to see if the disability has lessened that is to say. If you able to return to work as no longer disabled while VA Disability if is often considered permanent disability in the rating award. Social Security Disability ends at normal retirement age and is replaced with Social Security retirement. VA disability is lifetime. 

Payment scales for VA disability start at 10% partial disabled and go to 100% disabled. SSDI is only rated at 100% disabled ie “all or nothing” there is no partial disability in the Social Security Disability system.  

What counties, cities and towns file Bankruptcy in the Newport News Bankruptcy Court?

The bankruptcy court in Newport News covers a smaller bankruptcy filing area for Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 cases.  The cities of Newport News, Hampton, Poquoson, and Williamsburg file Bankruptcy there. Newport News, Hampton, Poquoson, and Williamsburg includes most of the population in the bankruptcy district. Mathews County, York County, James County, and Gloucester County file bankruptcy there. Other bankruptcy filing communities include Toano, Norge, Lightfoot, Camp Peary, Gloucester Point, White Marsh, Fort Eustis. Langley, Gloucester, Matthews, Deltaville and Yorktown.  The bankruptcy court is in Newport News and all bankruptcy Chapter 7 and Chapter 13  hearings are held in Newport News. Our Bankruptcy office is off J. Clyde Morris Boulevard in Newport News.  If you have questions about debts, garnishments, levies, IRS, Virginia Tax, Child Support, warrants, evictions, repossessions or Chapter 7 Bankruptcy of Chapter 13 Debt Adjustment Bankruptcy call us anytime at 757-333-7336. We are here to help you  with all your debt needs including foreclosure, levy, eviction and garnishment through filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy including emergency  filings.. 


Discharge of Student Loans in Bankruptcy: Change coming?

Earlier this year, President Obama directed that the treatment of student loans in Bankruptcy should be reviewed.  Based on this review, Congress could change the Bankruptcy code by perhaps reinstating the five year waiting period for discharge of student loans that did exist before 1998. 
The current standard for bankruptcy discharge of student loan debt is "undue hardship" was was established in 1987 in the case of Marie Brunner and which has generally been adopted by the Bankruptcy courts as the "Brunner Test".  The three prong test included: 1. Debtor made a good faith effort to pay the debt. 2. Debtor must show that they can not maintain a minimal standard of living  if they have to repay the debt. 3. The Bankruptcy Court must decide if the current situation will continue. 

This test was designed to stop debtors from trying to prematurely bankrupt their student loan debts through the court process. The case created the current three prong test which the bankruptcy courts generally apply. 
At the time of the Brunner bankruptcy decision in 1987 bankruptcy law allowed the discharge of student loans  after a five year waiting period. The waiting period was eliminated in 1998. Today, a debtor must prove "undue hardship" to erase student loans through bankruptcy. 
Updates, as they occur will be reported in this blog.  
Bankruptcy Conversion 13 to 7, What is the effect of the Bankruptcy Means Test?  
11 U.S. Code § 348 - Effect of Bankruptcy conversion
Needed to Convert to 7 Bankruptcy
Notice of bankruptcy conversion
Schedule of unpaid new debts or Statement of that No New Debts were incurred
Amended Bankruptcy schedules (B, C, I, J,)
Bankruptcy Declaration page
Statement of Intention as to secured debts
Bankruptcy Cover sheet
22A (Means Test) signed but no changes
Bankruptcy Interrogatory completed
Bankruptcy Means Test is the same, no changes are to be made original means test, but must prove that debtor no longer has the original circumstances as existed when the Bankruptcy was first filed.
What is needed to convert a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy to Chapter 13 Bankruptcy? 
Current pay stubs, last tax return filed
Ownership documents with proof of liens and payoffs
Does the means test apply to converted bankruptcy cases? Whether you must pass the means test when you convert your Chapter 13 Bankruptcy case to a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy case is an unclear question. Some Bankruptcy courts have ruled that in converted bankruptcy cases, the debtor still must pass the means test in order to be eligible for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy relief. See e.g. In re Chapman, 447 B.R. 250 (B.A.P. 8th Cir. 2011); In re Lassiter, 2011 WL 2039363 (Bankruptcy. E.D. Va. 2011); In re Phillips, 417 B.R. 30 (Bankr. S.D. Ohio 2009). Other Bankruptcy courts, have ruled that the means test doesn’t apply to Chapter 7 Bankruptcy cases that have been converted from Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. See e.g.In re Guarin, 2009 WL 4500476 (Bankruptcy. D. Mass. 2009); In re Willis, 408 B.R. 803 (Bankruptcy. W.D. Missouri 2009); In re Dudley, 405 B.R. 790 (Bankruptcy. W.D. Va. 2009).
Will you pass the means test? What if you originally filed for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy because you couldn’t pass the Bankruptcy means test? If your financial circumstances have changed, you may pass the Bankruptcy means test now. Take the Means test again.

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the US Bankruptcy Code (11 U.S.C. section 528)