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  • Chapters 7 & 13

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Northern Virginia Personal Bankruptcy Law

Our law office helps you through your difficult time

We help individuals and families having serious financial difficulties. Filing for bankruptcy is a difficult decision, and we work closely with our clients to determine your best course of action for relief from overwhelming debt. We review your financial position and ask you some basic questions:

  • Have you been unemployed for more than a few months?
  • Has your vehicle been repossessed?
  • Have you received a notice of foreclosure?
  • Are you unable to pay your monthly bills on time?

If you can answer "yes" to any of the above questions, a Virginia bankruptcy may be right for you.

Virginia Chapter 7 bankruptcy

You need an experienced attorney to help you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, also known as liquidation. The bankruptcy court gives control of your assets to a trustee, who sells them to pay back your creditors. In many liquidations, there are not enough assets to pay the creditors. Chapter 7 discharges those debts.

Exempt assets

Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows you to keep exempt assets. In Virginia, these include the following:

  • Homestead up to $5,000
  • Motor vehicle up to $2,000
  • Personal property
    • Clothing up to $1,000
    • Furniture up to $5,000
  • Most insurance proceeds
  • Wages
    • 40 times the federal minimum hourly wage, or—
    • 75% of disposable weekly earnings
  • Most pensions
  • Many public benefits
  • Tools of trade

Means test

To prove your eligibility for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must pass a means test which demonstrates you do not earn more than the Virginia median income:

  • $49,689 for a single person
  • $65,342 for a family of two
  • $73,191 for a family of three
  • $85,769 for a family of four

Our law practice helps you identify allowable deductions to help you pass the means test if you have trouble qualifying for Chapter 7 bankruptcy because your income is too high.

Virginia Chapter 13 bankruptcy

If you have a steady enough income that you can foresee the possibility of budgeting your way out of debt within three to five years, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be your best option. This type of filing is a structured repayment plan in which you promise to pay back your creditors on a timetable accepted by the bankruptcy court. You must meet basic financial criteria to qualify:

  • Disposable income remaining after you pay the bare necessities
  • No more than $1,010,650 in debt tied to property that could be repossessed
  • No more than $336,900 in other debt

If you meet these requirements and you are committed to following the structured payment plan, we may recommend a Chapter 13 bankruptcy for you.

Choose an experienced bankruptcy lawyer in Northern Virginia

Whether you need to have debt discharged through a Chapter 7 filing or you need more time to pay off debts through a Chapter 13 plan, our law office handles your filing, works with your creditors, and sees that you are treated fairly. To discuss your personal bankruptcy, contact Howard A. Birmiel, Attorney at Law. Your initial phone consultation is free.


9314 - C Old Keene Mill Road | Burke, Virginia 22015 | Phone: (703) 451-4506 | Fax: (703) 455-9278
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