How to File for Bankruptcy in West Virginia
Anyone filing for bankruptcy in West Virginia will need to follow the same steps and regulations that are required when filing for bankruptcy anywhere in the country. It is also helpful to take time to become familiar with the specific process of filing in the state of West Virginia. It is important to determine which form of bankruptcy fits your situation before taking any actual steps to file. Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy are the two most common forms of bankruptcy that are filed throughout the country. Someone looking for a way to have debts discharged may be a good candidate for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Someone with the ability to pay back creditors under the protection of a structured payment plan may be a good candidate for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. There is also a special option for farmers and fishermen called Chapter 12 bankruptcy. In addition, people with business debts or high amounts of debt may be able to file under Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Debtors must meet certain criteria before being allowed to file for any type of bankruptcy. The type of bankruptcy that is appropriate in your case will ultimately be decided after the completion of a means test. This test takes into account factors like your income, assets, expenses, property and liabilities to determine which form of bankruptcy you quality for. It is highly recommended that debtors work with a lawyer throughout the process of filing for bankruptcy. The complexity of the paperwork involved requires thoroughness and attention to detail. In addition, any errors made when filing could result in extra fees or a case being dismissed. It is also essential to complete all paperwork fully and honestly. Attempts to mislead the court regarding your assets or means could result in penalties.
A Closer Look at Filing for Bankruptcy in West Virginia
West Virginia is divided between the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of West Virginia and the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of West Virginia. Court locations for the Southern District of West Virginia are Beckley, Bluefield, Charleston, Huntington and Parkersburg. Court locations for the Northern District of West Virginia are Wheeling and Clarksburg. You can find the forms needed to file for bankruptcy in West Virginia here and here. The cost to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in West Virginia is $335. The cost to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in West Virginia is $310. A schedule of all other fees that may be associated with the process of filing can be found here.
Taking the First Steps to Filing for Bankruptcy in West Virginia
The process of filing for bankruptcy actually starts long before you file a petition with the court in West Virginia. It is necessary to first complete credit counseling with a provider that is approved in the state within the six months leading up to filing. A list of approved course providers in West Virginia can be found here. It will also be necessary to complete a debtor education course after filing for bankruptcy. A list of approved course providers can be found here. Another big obligation that is part of the process of filing for bankruptcy in West Virginia is attending a meeting of creditors. This meeting provides creditors with the opportunity to obtain any non-exempt property that you may own. In addition, the details of a payment plan being agreed to under Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be challenged during this meeting. However, the meeting of creditors is typically a short and uneventful meeting that serves as a formality.