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Dispelling Common Bankruptcy Myths in Virginia

April 12, 2021

Piggy bank on its side with money coming out of itAre you thinking about filing for bankruptcy? If so, you will likely have done some research on the topic. However, some resources you may have come across during your research may not be completely reliable. As a result, they might not provide you with the clearest picture of how filing for bankruptcy will impact you and your finances.

Unfortunately, there are a number of myths out there surrounding bankruptcy that are not only untrue, but mislead people into thinking that bankruptcy isn’t a viable debt relief option. If you or someone you know is facing considerable debt and considering filing for bankruptcy, you should reach out to an experienced bankruptcy attorney in Falls Church, Virginia. Whether you’re considering Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Chapter 11 bankruptcy, or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, our skilled attorneys are here to provide you with the reliable legal guidance you need.

We hope that by dispelling some of these common bankruptcy myths, we can help you determine if filing for bankruptcy is the right step for you.

Myth #1: I’ll Lose Everything
I Own If I File for Bankruptcy

This is one of the common myths that keep many individuals and couples who should file for bankruptcy in Virginia from doing so. Did you know that you can protect most, if not all, of your property and assets under bankruptcy law?

Personal bankruptcy allows for a number of exemptions so that you can retain some of the assets that matter most to you. For example, should you choose to protect it, you won’t lose your IRAs or pensions.

Myth #2: Bankruptcy Will Ruin my Credit

You may be surprised to learn that filing for bankruptcy in Virginia can actually help repair your credit. If you are so far in debt that you can’t stay current on your bills, it is likely that your credit has taken a significant hit already.

Although your credit score will decline when your bankruptcy discharge is awarded, note that you’ll get the opportunity to immediately begin rebuilding it.

Myth #3: Creditors can Still Call and
Harass Me After I File for Bankruptcy

One of the best things about filing for bankruptcy is that when you file for bankruptcy in Virginia, the court will order an “automatic stay.” An automatic stay order will prevent all of your creditors from contacting you in any way concerning your debts. It is worth noting that all actions, such as telephone calls and lawsuits, must cease. It’s also possible that the automatic stay can halt any foreclosure proceedings until your case is over.

Myth #4: Both Spouses Have
to File for Bankruptcy

Contrary to popular belief, both spouses do not have to file for bankruptcy in Virginia. It is important to note that if only one spouse is personally liable for the debts (such as credit card debt), then you may want to have only one spouse file for bankruptcy.

On the other hand, if both spouses have certain debts that they are both liable for, it can be beneficial to file together. The experienced and competent attorneys at Vivona Pandurangi, PLC can provide the guidance you need to make the right decision for your situation.

Myth #5: I can get Rid of All
My debts by Filing for Bankruptcy

While bankruptcy is a great financial relief tool, it may not necessarily wipe out all of your debts. Keep in mind that there are types of unsecured debt that you can discharge by filing for bankruptcy, such as credit card debt, past-due amounts on utility bills, medical debt, business debts, and past-due rent.

If you owe back taxes to the IRS, that too can be wiped out in bankruptcy as long as the tax debt is older than 3 years and you have filed all the required tax returns. On the other hand, some debts, such as student loans, may not be discharged and other debts such as child support and alimony payments will not be discharged.

Speak with An Experienced Virginia
Bankruptcy Attorney Today

There is no doubt that filing for bankruptcy in Virginia can be extremely overwhelming and confusing. This is especially true if you are receiving constant harassing telephone calls and messages from your creditors.

If you or somebody you know is thinking about filing for bankruptcy, and you live in Falls Church, Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax, or Manassa, Virginia — or any of the surrounding areas — you should contact our qualified Virginia bankruptcy attorneys for a free case consultation. Call or reach out to Vivona Pandurangi, PLC today if you would like to learn more about the bankruptcy process, and what we can do to help.