There are few places in the United States that have been affected by foreclosures like Martinsburg and the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. As a bankruptcy lawyer, I’ve met with many clients who were on the verge of losing their homes. Thankfully, I’ve been able to help many of them.
Like all collection actions, a foreclosure must be stopped when a bankruptcy has been filed. Upon filing a bankruptcy, a consumer is automatically protected from any attempts by a creditor to collect a debt. This protection is called the “Automatic Stay” and it is one the most beneficial aspects of filing a bankruptcy. It is designed to give you a “time out” from debt collectors and to allow you to figure out the best way for dealing with your debts.
In West Virginia, foreclosures sales are conducted by a trustee. The trustee is usually an attorney who has been appointed by the bank to sell the property to the highest bidder. Consumers are required to be notified of the sale and the trustee is required to publish the sale date and time in the local newspaper. These sales usually take place on the steps of the courthouse.
If you are trying to save your home from foreclosure or if you need more time to determine if keeping your home is feasible, then you can file a bankruptcy to stop the sale.
Bankruptcy Laws in West Virginia
Don’t Let Bankruptcy Laws Overwhelm You. Let Us Help Guide You Through the Best Course of Action for Your Peace of Mind.
Are you facing a constant stream of calls from debt collectors? Are your bills too high to make all of your monthly payments? Do your financial circumstances feel overwhelming? If so, bankruptcy may be the answer. Please know that no matter your situation, there is always a way out of debt. We can help you find peace, security, and financial stability.
At Hinkle Law, WV, bankruptcy lawyers provide attentive, effective representation to clients. We use bankruptcy laws to help people of all ages and backgrounds. Bankruptcy laws are often criticized by people who have little or no knowledge of them.
However, we see first-hand, every day, how bankruptcy laws help people through some of their toughest times. To set up a free, strictly confidential initial consultation with a top-rated bankruptcy attorney, please contact us at our Martinsburg law office today.
Bankruptcy Law: Understanding the Basics
A History of Federal Bankruptcy Law
Congress enacted the modern “Bankruptcy Code” in 1978. The Bankruptcy Code, which is codified as title 11 of the United States Code, is the uniform federal law that governs all bankruptcy cases. What many people don’t know is that the concept of “bankruptcy law” has been around for much longer than that.
In fact, ancient Hebrew laws referenced in the Bible said that a person’s debts should be forgiven every seven years. Filing for bankruptcy should never be a source of shame. The ability to file for protection is your legal right. Do not let debt collectors pressure you out of exploring your options. No one should be forced to live with overwhelming, crushing debt.
Bankruptcy Courts are Located in Each Federal Judicial Districts
There is a bankruptcy court for each judicial district in the country. Each state has one or more districts. For example, in West Virginia, there is a bankruptcy court for both the Northern and Southern Districts. Maryland has one Federal district and various court locations. In Pennsylvania, there are three districts: The Western, Middle, and Eastern.
Bankruptcy laws and cases are decided by a United States Bankruptcy Judge. Bankruptcy judges are appointed for 14-year terms.
You Probably Will Not Be Required to Go Before a Judge
Are you worried about going before a bankruptcy judge? If so, you are certainly not alone. Going to court is stressful and intimidating. The good news is that you do not have to worry too much about being required to testify in court. Most people who file for relief under the bankruptcy code will never see or meet the bankruptcy judge in their district.
In fact, most matters, especially in Chapter 7, are administrative and overseen by an attorney appointed to manage the case. This attorney is called a Trustee. Further, if anything unusual happens in your case, your lawyer will be by your side to protect your rights and interests.
The Key Appearance: A Meeting of Creditors
Typically, the only hearing at which a debtor must appear is called a meeting of creditors. This meeting is informally called a “341 meeting” because section 341 of the Bankruptcy Law requires that the debtor attend this meeting so that creditors can question the debtor about debts and property. Once again, you should not be too worried about this meeting.
Despite the name, creditors rarely show up at the hearings. The hearings are usually very brief, and an experienced attorney, like the ones at Hinkle Law, will make the process easy.
An Overview of Bankruptcy Law Services
The primary purpose of the federal bankruptcy law is to give debtors a financial “fresh start” from their debts. This purpose is achieved by attaining a bankruptcy discharge. Most debts are discharged in bankruptcy. When a debt is discharged under bankruptcy law, it means that you no longer have to pay the debt.
It cannot be legally collected from you. We help people in West Virginia, Maryland, and Western Pennsylvania find the best solution for their unique situations. Specifically, our bankruptcy services include:
- Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the most common type of bankruptcy filed in West Virginia and Pennsylvania. Sometimes known as a “total bankruptcy” or a “liquidation bankruptcy,” Chapter 7 allows financially distressed people a chance to get a true, fresh start. Indeed, most, if not all, debts can be cleared through Chapter 7. That being said, this type of bankruptcy is subject to strict income eligibility requirements. If you have questions about your rights or options, our Martinsburg Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer is standing by, ready to help.
- Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: Also known as a “personal reorganization” or a “wage earner’s bankruptcy,” Chapter 13 allows financially distressed borrowers to get on a sustainable three- to five-year plan to help them pay off all of their debts. Through a Chapter 13 petition, debts can be extended, refinanced at a lower interest rate, or even reduced altogether. To find out more about your rights or your options, please contact a Martinsburg Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney for immediate assistance.
- Non-Bankruptcy Alternatives: Of course, filing for bankruptcy is not without its costs. While bankruptcy protection is absolutely the best option for some financially distressed consumers, it is not the right solution in every case. We can help make debt collection harassment and abuse stop. Call our debt relief lawyers now to learn more about your options.
How West Virginia Bankruptcy Attorney David J. Hinkle Can Help
Our mission is simple: We help people get out of debt and get a fresh start. With experience assisting more than one thousand clients, David J. Hinkle has helped people shed millions in overly burdensome debt. We are committed to providing exceptional bankruptcy and debt collection relief services.
Primarily handling cases in West Virginia, our law firm also represents people in Maryland and Pennsylvania. When you call our Martinsburg law office, you will speak to a bankruptcy lawyer who is ready to:
Conduct a free, in-depth review of your financial circumstances.
Listen to your story, explain your rights, and advise you on your options.
- Gather, organize, and prepare financial records;
- Take action to get the debt collectors to stop calling; and
- If the best option, file a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition.
Our entire legal practice is focused on helping people fix their debt problems—so that they can get back on their feet and find long-term peace and financial stability. We know that every case is unique. You deserve fully personalized representation from a bankruptcy attorney who will put in the time, attention, and resources needed to help you achieve the best possible outcome in your case.
However, for the sake of your lawyer and your own stress level don’t wait until the last minute to call for help with a foreclosure. Even if you don’t end up needing to file bankruptcy, it’s always best to know your options ahead of time and plan accordingly. At Hinkle Law our consultations are always free so there is no risk in finding out your options.