Medical bills and long periods of unemployment leave many Americans unable to pay their bills. When this happens to a person, they have to resist the urge to ignore it and hope things will get better. Usually they don’t. As soon as a person realizes they they can no longer pay their bills each month, they should make an appointment with one of the Personal Bankruptcy Lawyers in Richmond. Speaking with an attorney early in the process protects as many of the debtor’s possessions as possible.
If a debtor makes less than the median income in the state of Virginia, they are eligible to use the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process. This is the most popular choice because the entire process takes only three to six months. Once it is complete the debtor is able to resume their life. That’s why it is often called the Fresh Start Bankruptcy. The court appoints a bankruptcy trustee who will sell off all of the debtor’s assets. The proceeds from these sales will be divided among the creditors. The debtor will be required to attend a meeting of the creditors. This usually takes about a half hour. One of the Personal Bankruptcy Lawyers in Richmond will attend the meeting as well. He will also monitor the trustee to make sure that he sells only the assets he’s allowed to. State and federal law usually protect a debtor’s primary house, their car, clothing, and equipment they need to make a living. This can vary depending upon the circumstances, so a lawyer is necessary.
Debtors who earn more than the median income are expected to make a larger effort to repay their debts. They have to use Chapter 13 of the bankruptcy law. This process is much longer. It can take up to five years for a person to complete it. A court-appointed trustee reviews the debtor’s living expenses and income. He then develops a strict budget that they are required by the law to stay within. Everything they earn above that must be used to pay back the creditors.