Common Questions

What Is Bankruptcy?

There are many chapters available through Federal Bankruptcy Law. Your specific situation, would determine under which chapter of bankruptcy you would file. Chapter 7 consists of liquidation, and is used when you no longer have the option of repaying your debt. You would petition the Federal Court for a discharge or elimination of all your debts. This essentially “wipes them out”. The goal, when filing a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, is to get rid of your debt and retain as much of your property as possible. This is done through what is known as “exempting property”. West Virginia Code §38-10-4 details the types of property filers are allowed to keep or “exempt” from Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.

Do I Have To Go To Court?

Once you have filed your Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Petition, the Trustee’s Office will set a date for a meeting of the creditors, also known as a 341(a) meeting. This meeting takes place at the Federal Bankruptcy Court located in downtown Clarksburg. Although the meeting is brief, taking approximately 10 to 15 minutes, it is a legal proceeding. You will be placed under Oath and the proceedings will be recorded.

The meeting of the creditors or 341(a) meeting, is officiated by the Bankruptcy Trustee. A trustee is an attorney who has been appointed by the Federal Court to review your petition for Bankruptcy. The trustee will ask you questions to verify that you qualify for bankruptcy relief. He or she is also tasked with the duty to see if there are any assets or funds available to use for the repayment of debt.

What Documents Do I Have To Bring To The 341 Meeting

The Trustee requires that you present the following documents at your 341 Meeting:

  • Drivers License or government issued photo I.D.
  • Social Security Card or Verification of Social Security Number
  • Income Taxes for Past Two years / Also Provided to Trustee prior to Meeting
  • Most recent statements for all Checking and/or Savings accounts
  • Most recent pay stubs for all employment from time of filing to present
If I File Bankruptcy Will It Hurt My Credit?

A person’s Credit Score is often a reflection of their past ability to repay bills and/or debts. It may take some time to rebuild your credit after filing Bankruptcy. However, once you establish a pattern of paying your bills on time, you will find that your credit score will begin to improve. Some creditors find that a person is more “credit worthy” because they have discharged debt and will be in a better position to repay a new debt.

Can I Keep My House Or Car If I File Bankruptcy?

Like most people in today’s economy, you have had to borrow in order to buy a house or a car. Now that you are considering filing Bankruptcy, you wonder if you will be able to keep your home and your car. Under the West Virginia Law, you can exempt up to Twenty Five thousand dollars ($25,000.00) in home equity per person. You can also exempt up to Two Thousand Four Hundred dollars ($2,400.00) for a motor vehicle.

We will advise you if you can keep you house and car when you file bankruptcy. If you qualify to file a chapter 7 bankruptcy you may be able to keep all your property. Read more about exemptions ..... If you qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy protection, you may be able to keep all your property. We will help you evaluate your eligibility and advise wether you will be able to keep your house and/or vehicle when you file bankruptcy.

Call the Wolfe Law Firm at 1-877-637-5755 for a free consultation.

Will The Collectors Stop Calling If I File Bankruptcy?

Federal Bankruptcy Law requires that all collection procedures are stayed once you file a Bankruptcy Petition. Any law suits and/or collection attempts are on hold pending the Bankruptcy ruling.

Can I Get Rid Of My Student Loans In Bankruptcy?

Student Loans are generally not dischargeable under 11 U.S. C. § 523(a)(8). There are exceptions to this rule, but it is strictly applied against the debtor. The debtor would have to prove undue hardship and the Courts have narrowly applied this standard.

Questions Commonly Asked by the Bankruptcy Trustee

  • The trustee will ask you to verify your signature on the Bankruptcy petition.
  • Were all the forms complete when you signed them?
  • Have you been a resident of the State of West Virginia for at least 2 years?
  • Are you required to pay anyone child support or alimony?
  • Are you currently suing anyone?
  • Do you have the right to sue anyone?
  • Do you have any pending insurance claims that will be paid out?
  • Have you paid any money to a relative or close friend in the last year, for any reason whatsoever?
  • Are you planning to keep your home and/or car?
  • Have you filed all the required Federal and State Income Tax returns?
  • Have you owned or retained interest in any land in the last 4 years?
  • Have you ever filed for Bankruptcy before? Where? How long ago? Was it a joint filing?
  • Do you have a bank account?
  • Do you have life insurance you can cash in or borrow against?
  • Have you sold, transferred, or given away any kind of property, real or personal, in the last 2 years?
  • Did you list all your assets, income, liabilities, and expenses on the schedules?
  • Did you read the petition before you signed it?
  • Are the schedules fair and accurate?
  • Are you personally familiar with all the information contained in these petitions and schedules?
  • To the best of your knowledge is that information true and correct?
  • Are there any mistakes, errors or omissions you want to bring to the Court’s attention?