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Question: I have a debt Interrogatory hearing schedule for tomorrow (Mon. afternoon). I am thinking about filing for bankruptcy and wanted to know if I could do that before the Intergotoaries monday afternoon. - The debt is approxiamatel 12K for an old Car Loan - Reposession. In 2009 I made less the $11K for the year and I am still only working part-time/per diem
Response: You may be too late. However, you can file the bankruptcy after the Court hearing to stop future Court proceedings in the case and to render any judgment against you in the matter useless. You may be eligible to file for chapter 7 bankruptcy protection, if you meet the means test--the income test. If your income is equal to or less than the current income guidelines for your household size in your state, you would be eligible to file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy all things being equal. In Chapter 7, if the Court grants you a discharge your debts will be wiped out. You would get a clean state, a fresh start.
These are the current income guidelines for the Commonwealth of Virginia:
Household of one person $49,484.00
Household of two persons $62,586.00
Household of three persons $72,078.00
Household of four persons $85,586.00
Add $7,500.00 for additional individual
The filling fee is $299.00. You may able to waive this filing fee if your income is 150% below the current poverty guidelines. Click here for current poverty guidelines:
You must receive budget and credit counseling from an approved credit counseling agency within 180 days before your bankruptcy case is filed. This means that if you are filing your bankruptcy case on Monday, you need to do the credit counseling on Sunday, the day before, not on Monday the day that you are filing for bankruptcy relief, and if you are filing your bankruptcy on Tuesday, you need to do your credit counseling by Monday and not on Tuesday, which is the day that you are for the bankruptcy relief. You cannot do the credit counseling the same day that you are filing for bankruptcy protection. The agency will review possible options available to you in credit counseling and assist you in reviewing your budget. Different agencies provide the counseling in-person, by telephone, or over the Internet.
It is usually a good idea for you to meet with an attorney before you receive the required credit counseling. Unlike a credit counselor, who cannot give legal advice, an attorney can provide counseling on whether bankruptcy is the best option. If bankruptcy is not the right answer for you, a good attorney will offer a range of other suggestions. The attorney can also provide you with a list of approved credit counseling agencies, or you can check the website for the United States Trustee Program office at http://www.usdoj.gov/ust/eo/bapcpa/ccde/cc_approved.htm
After your case is filed, you must complete an approved course in personal finances. This course will take approximately two hours to complete. Your attorney can give you a list of organizations that provide approved courses, or you can check the website for the United States Trustee Program office at http://www.usdoj.gov/ust/eo/bapcpa/ccde/de_approved.htm
You may also be able to waive the credit counseling fees based on your income. The credit counseling agency that you would choose would make this determination.
Consult a local bankruptcy attorney for further explanations of your rights and responsibilities.
The sites below are good resources for finding bankruptcy attorneys in your area:
If you cannot afford an attorney, then the next best alternative will be to use bankruptcy petition preparer. Bankruptcy petition preparers prepare bankruptcy forms but they cannot give you legal advice because they are not attorneys. Click on the links below for some of the bankruptcy petition preparers. You can do some searches on Google or Yahoo if you do not like the ones on the links below.