West Virginia Bankruptcy Lawyers
Learn about the Bankruptcy Process with a WV Attorney
If you're facing home foreclosure, repossession, and a growing pile of past-due bills, you may have questions about bankruptcy.
The first step toward financial freedom is understanding your options so that you can make good decisions moving forward. A West Virginia bankruptcy attorney can help you understand the personal bankruptcy process and the factors that will help you determine whether or not bankruptcy is the right answer for you.
Take the first step on the path to financial control right now—fill out the free bankruptcy evaluation form below or call 877-833-2410 and get the answers you need during a no-obligation consultation with a local bankruptcy attorney.
Filing Bankruptcy in West Virginia: Chapter 7 & Chapter 13 Laws
The U.S. bankruptcy law outlines a few options for bankruptcy filers, with most Americans opting for one of two types: Chapter 7 debt elimination and Chapter 13 debt reorganization.
These two types of bankruptcy are designed to help in different financial situations. Chapter 7 is often used by those without much income who find themselves struggling with credit card debt and payday loans. Chapter 13 is designed for those who have a regular source of income but have been hit by sudden financial turmoil.
Both forms of bankruptcy come with the protection of the bankruptcy court's automatic stay, which halts creditor harassment and collection efforts, including repossession and foreclosure.
Chapter 7 Debt Elimination
Chapter 7 laws allow for forgiveness of unsecured debt through the process of liquidation, in which certain assets are sold to repay creditors. However, West Virginia laws protect certain assets from liquidation, and many filers don't have to surrender any property. The following is protected by West Virginia bankruptcy exemptions:
- Homestead: Real property (or personal property used as residence) up to $5,000. May claim $25,000 homestead exemption under Federal exemptions
- Automobile: Motor vehicle up to $2,400
- Wages: 80% of earned, unpaid wages
- Tools of Trade: Implements, books and tools used for employment up to $1,500
- Personal Property: Clothing, appliances, books, household goods, furniture, animals, crops, and musical instruments to $400 per item, $8,000 total; Jewelry to $1,000; health aids
- Wildcard: $800 of any property; unused Homestead exemption may apply to personal property
In order to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection, you must qualify under bankruptcy's means test, an assessment of income and expenses. Typically, if your income is below the median (based on household size), you may be eligible to file Chapter 7.
Many people who find themselves ineligible to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy turn to Chapter 13, which allows to them repay their debts over time.
Chapter 13 Debt Reorganization
In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the court allows you to create a reasonable repayment plan, based on what you can afford each month, over the course of three to five years.
This plan gives priority to secured debts, such as mortgage debt and car loans. Unsecured debts, like credit cards and medical bills, are given lower priority, and any amount left unpaid at the end of the payment period is forgiven by the court.
Discuss Your Bankruptcy Options with a West Virginia Attorney
If you're considering turning to bankruptcy protection, you can get help from a local attorney. Whether you need help deciding which type of bankruptcy might be right for you or are curious if you qualify for bankruptcy, you can turn to a bankruptcy lawyer today. Simply fill out the case review form on this page to take action.
Laws may have changed since our last update. For the latest information
on your state's bankruptcy laws, speak to a local bankruptcy