Your Source for Help with Bankruptcy in WV
Struggling to pay your bills or owing money to creditors in West Virginia (WV) can be very stressful. For an individual or corporate debtor, bankruptcy may be the solution to your problems. Bankruptcy is a legal proceeding that will put an immediate halt on creditors trying to collect debts from you. By filing for bankruptcy in WV, creditors are prevented from trying to collect debts until the debts of the individual or the company are sorted out.
No one should be embarrassed about filing bankruptcy. With the help from Harwood Legal, PLLC, filing for bankruptcy in West Virginia gives an individual or company a fresh start financially.
Bankruptcy in WV: The Advantages of Filing
The advantages of filing for bankruptcy in WV include:
- Stops foreclosure;
- Prevents repossession of a car or other property;
- Stops wage garnishment; and
- Can restore or prevent the termination of utility service.
The most common type of bankruptcy is a Chapter 7 filing. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the bankruptcy trustee (the person appointed by the court to manage the reduction of your debt) sells your assets to pay your creditors so that you end up with as little debt as possible. However, federal and/or state law may exempt (remove) some property from being subject to sale. Following are some common bankruptcy exemptions in Chapter 7 cases:
- Your residence (homestead);
- Your car or other vehicle;
- Property required to earn a living; and
- Certain retirement accounts.
Your Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney can help you maximize these and other available exemptions while still reducing your debt load to a more manageable level.
Bankruptcy in WV: What is the process for filing?
Most bankruptcy is governed by federal law, but there is some information specific to West Virginia that you need to know. Before you file for bankruptcy in West Virginia, you have to show proof that you received credit counseling from an agency approved by a US Bankruptcy Court in West Virginia within six months before you file. You also have to take debtor education courses after you file and before you are granted discharge from bankruptcy.
In order to file bankruptcy in WV, you have to complete a bankruptcy petition, detailing what you own and to whom you owe money. There are various forms that need to be filled out with details of all your finances. In West Virginia, you have to compare your income to the median income for a household of your size in West Virginia.
When completed, you need to file the form with the bankruptcy court, but you don’t need to go to court. The only required appearance is to attend a 341(a) meeting of creditors. This meeting is for you to meet with the trustee assigned to your case.
Consulting with a Southern WV bankruptcy lawyer well in advance of this hearing can help you protect as much of your assets as possible and will certainly make this stressful situation much easier.
Making the Most of Bankruptcy Exemptions
Although federal law provides for bankruptcy exemptions for certain types of property, West Virginia does not recognize these exemptions. Instead, WV Code § 38-10-4 law establishes a separate list of exemptions available for bankruptcy proceedings. Examples of WV bankruptcy exemptions include:
- Up to $25,000 in equity in your residence (homestead);
- Up to $2,400 for a vehicle;
- A certain amount of your income;
- Certain tax-exempt retirement accounts;
- Up to $1,500 for tools necessary to earn a living; and
- Alimony and child support.
Again, working with a bankruptcy attorney can help you identify all available exemptions to protect property from sale in your bankruptcy.
How Can a Bankruptcy Attorney Help?
If you are contemplating filing bankruptcy in WV without the assistance of a bankruptcy attorney to save money, you may want to reconsider. Hiring a bankruptcy attorney can actually save you money and help you avoid making mistakes. A southern WV bankruptcy lawyer can help you find the proper forms you are required to complete in order to file bankruptcy and file your case in the proper court. If you make filing mistakes, your case could be dismissed.
Here are just some of the other ways a southern WV bankruptcy lawyer can help you:
- Figure out the right type of bankruptcy;
- Make sure you comply with the filing requirements;
- Help you protect your property;
- Determine what to do with tax refunds and money due;
- Determine what to do about credit cards and loans;
- Help with repossession; and
- Handle payment of debts.
If you would like to know more about filing for bankruptcy in WV, Jason Harwood at Harwood Legal, PLLC helps WV residents figure out the complexities of bankruptcy in West Virginia. Born and raised in southern West Virginia, Jason can help put you on the road to solvency. Schedule an appointment with Jason by calling 304-752-5015 or by completing the firm’s contact form.
Looking for an experienced, compassionate, and skilled attorney close to home? Harwood Legal, PLLC is here to help.