How to File for Bankruptcy in Hampton, VA
- 1). Use the means test to determine whether or not you are eligible to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy relief. This two-part test can be easily found online. It uses a standard mathematical formula to calculate an individual's mean income and disposable income. If you do not qualify to file for Chapter 7, you can still file Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
- 2). Research federal bankruptcy laws online or at your local library to better understand the process. In particular, you will need a thorough knowledge of asset protection under exempt or secured property. You will need to understand which laws apply to any exemptions you plan to take.
- 3). Find a credit counseling organization approved by the district court and attend credit counseling. In Hampton, Virginia, a consumer must meet with a credit counseling agency within six months of filing for bankruptcy. The district court will require proof of this attendance. Fees vary from agency to agency.
- 4). Prepare all of the needed bankruptcy forms, to include the petition and accompanying schedules, a statement of credit counseling compliance and, in the case of a chapter 13 filing, a repayment plan. All of the necessary paperwork, along with instructions concerning how to properly fill it out, can be found at the website of the Easter District of Virginia.
- 5). Sign the bankruptcy forms and take the original and one copy down to the clerk of the bankruptcy court at the Eastern District of Virginia courthouse. Pay the filing fee ($299 for chapter 7 cases and $274 for chapter 13 cases as of 2010) to the clerk and ask her to open the case.
- 6). Attend the 341 creditor's meeting that will be held approximately one month after your case is filed. You will meet with the US bankruptcy trustee who is handling your case. Your creditors can also come to this meeting. Most creditors only send a representative to the meeting if they think there is any property available to be sold and pay them back some money.
- 7). Receive your discharge in the mail within approximately three months if you have filed a chapter 7 action. This discharge wipes out all of your debt. In a chapter 13 case, you will need to to start making the monthly payments as outlined in your repayment plan. Once these payments are satisfied, you will receive your discharge.