In Virginia, knowing when to file bankruptcy can be difficult.
Many people file bankruptcy too early, fall back into debt,
and are at the mercy of their creditors for years and years.
Two nonprofit civil legal aid organizations have come together to offer Virginians an online guide to understand personal bankruptcy based on their unique circumstances. The guide is in the form of a confidential online interview. Your personal information is not collected or provided to anyone when you complete the interview. It is only used to offer you a set of recommendations as to whether you should or should not file for bankruptcy now.
Is Bankruptcy Right for Me?
The nonprofit Virginia Poverty Law Center (VPLC) and Central Virginia Legal Aid Society (CVLAS) have created a guided online interview to help you decide whether you should contact an attorney about filing bankruptcy in Virginia. After answering a series of questions about your situation, you will receive a worksheet recommending whether you should file bankruptcy now, and if so, why or why not. The worksheet also will explain which type of personal bankruptcy you could be eligible to file, Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. And if it recommends you should not file bankruptcy now, it will explain when you may want to consider filing bankruptcy if your situation changes.
To use this program, you should be at a computer that is connected to a printer. You also will be able to email the worksheet and save it in your email for later printing. You will need the following information to use this program:
Am I eligible for Civil Legal Aid?
If you are eligible for civil legal aid based on your answers, the report will suggest a civil legal aid program that may be able to assist you with your bankruptcy. Virginia has nine civil legal aid programs, which can be found at valegalaid.org. However, this program makes no warranty, express or implied, concerning your eligibility for a specific legal aid organization. Any listing of an attorney on this website is not a recommendation of the attorney. Before hiring any attorney, you should research the attorney's reputation and qualifications.
What if Bankruptcy Is Not Right for Me Now?
If the program recommends that you should not file bankruptcy now, it will explain why not. It may also explain when bankruptcy might be right for you if your circumstances change.
The program will not produce forms that you can use to file bankruptcy. In all cases, it is best to consult with an attorney before you file bankruptcy.
1. What type of resource is this?
This is a free, self-help resource provided to Virginians. This resource has been prepared for general information purposes only. The information on this website is not legal advice and is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.
2. What information will I need to use this program?
1. Your five largest debts, including the type of debt and how much you owe
2. Your source and amount of income
3. Your source and amount of money in checking and savings accounts
4. Your other assets on deposit
5. Property you own free and clear
6. Property you are buying on credit, including how much it is worth and how much you owe on it.
3. How long is the interview?
The interview will take about 35 to 45 minutes to complete. There is a maximum of 142 questions. You will not necessarily be asked all of the questions, depending on how you answer the initial ones.
4. Does this program file a bankruptcy for me?
Please remember that this program does not file a bankruptcy for you. This program will only review the information you provided and explain the factors for, and against, filing bankruptcy at this time.
5. How many types of bankruptcy are there?
There are two types of personal bankruptcy, meaning bankruptcy that applies to people not in association with a business. Learn more by taking the interview!
6. What will I get after taking the interview?
The program will produce a worksheet with all of the information you provided. It will not produce forms that you can use to file bankruptcy.
7. What should I do next after taking the interview?
Please consult with a bankruptcy attorney, or if you qualify for assistance, your local civil legal aid program, before making any final decisions on whether to file bankruptcy.
8. Can I use this program if I have a currently ongoing a bankruptcy case?
Do not use this program if you have a currently ongoing bankruptcy case.
9. Is the interview useful for other states besides Virginia?
No. The law may vary from state to state, and some information on this website may not be correct for your jurisdiction. To use this program you must be a Virginia resident, meaning that you have lived in Virginia for at least 91 of the past 180 days.
10. Will the interview provide access to an attorney?
No. This program does not create an attorney-client relationship.