Individuals who reside, have a place of business, or own property in West Virginia may qualify to file for bankruptcy in a federal court under Chapter 13 (reorganization). Clagett Law Office serves individuals and small businesses within counties of the Northern District of West Virginia. Chapter 13, as with other bankruptcy chapters, is not available to individuals who have had bankruptcy cases dismissed within the prior 180 days under specified circumstances. Eligibility is partly determined by the Bankruptcy Means Test.
A West Virginia Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing is a way for individuals to undergo a financial reorganization supervised by a federal bankruptcy court. The bankruptcy code anticipates the goal of Chapter 13 as enabling debtor rehabilitation, for income-receiving debtors, provided they fulfill a court-approved plan.
The debtor's financial characteristics and the type of relief sought play a critical role in the availability of Chapter 13. In some cases the debtor simply cannot file under Chapter 13, as he or she lacks the disposable income necessary to fund a viable Chapter 13 plan. Furthermore, Title 11 of United States Code sets forth debt limits for individuals to be eligible to file under Chapter 13. Debt limits are subject to annual cost of living increases.
In West Virginia Chapter 13 cases, the debtor proposes a plan, usually prepared by a bankruptcy attorney, to pay his creditors over a 3- to 5-year period. This written plan details all of the transactions (and their durations) that will occur, and the repayment according to the plan must begin within thirty to forty-five days after the case has started. During this period, his creditors cannot attempt to collect on the individual's previously incurred debt except through the bankruptcy court. In general, the individual gets to keep property, and his creditors end up with less money than they are owed.