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Requirements for Chapter 7 bankruptcy

Virginia individuals who wish to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy must go through credit counseling no more than 180 days prior to filing. When the course is completed, the debtor will receive a certificate that must be presented at the time of the filing. The case may be dismissed if this document is not given to the court clerk within three days of petitioning for bankruptcy.

If the debtor has completed the course but does not have the certificate, he or she may file a statement and now has 14 days to provide the certificate. A clerk may dismiss the case if this certificate is not filed 14 days after making the statement. Debtors also have the option of asking that the requirement be waived due to lack of local credit counseling services.

If a debtor cannot find an approved credit counselor within seven days of making the request, the requirement may be waived. Other reasons why the requirement may be waived include active military service in a combat zone, a disability or a debtor is incapacitated. For those who are still required to go through a credit counseling program, a list of approved credit counselors may be found online.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy may provide a debtor with a clean financial slate. During such a bankruptcy, assets are liquidated and most remaining unsecured obligations are discharged within weeks. Having the ability to get relief from credit card debt may be attractive for those looking for a solution. Talking to a bankruptcy attorney may help those thinking about bankruptcy learn more about the benefits of such an option as well as the eligibility requirements.

Source: Eastern District of Virginia, "Chapter 7 – “Liquidation”", September 22, 2014

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