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Richmond Virginia Bankruptcy Law Blog

There are ways to stop the foreclosure process

If you run into financial difficulties, there could come a time when you realize that paying your mortgage is next to impossible.

While missing one payment isn't the end of the world, this is a bad trend that you don't want to start. If the problem persists, you could soon find yourself face to face with a foreclosure notice.

Can you still be a good parent if you do not have custody?

If you have recently gone through a divorce, you may have already begun to experience the challenges of rebuilding your life as an independent person. You may have experienced significant changes including a move to another part of Virginia, the loss of companionship or even a change in the amount of time you are able to see and spend with your children. Fortunately, even if you were not awarded full custody of your children, there are still things you can do to make a positive impression and be a great parent. 

While a majority of your ability to forge a strong relationship with your children is contingent on your ex's willingness to allow your children to maintain contact with you, by carefully guarding your role and consistently reminding your children that you love them, you can continue to make a difference in their lives. According to familyeducation.com, one of the first aspects you should explore when creating a child custody arrangement is to agree on some general guidelines for disciplining your children. If you and your ex maintain some form of consistency between households, your children may adjust easier. 

Seeing the benefit of having a prenuptial agreement

For many happily engaged couples in Virginia, the last thought on their mind is divorce. So, when the idea of signing a prenuptial agreement is proposed, many people are immediately turned away or even offended at the thought. However, what a lot of folks do not realize is that having this type of agreement in writing can actually be a valuable tool to use and reference throughout a marriage whether it ends in divorce or not. 

Contrary to what many believe, the sole purpose of prenuptial agreements is not to be an umbrella protection if divorce ever comes around, although this is just one reason why a prenup may be beneficial. Rather, couples who discuss their future together and consolidate their thoughts in a prenuptial may choose to address concerns related to asset separation, distribution of property if someone dies and even allotment of debt and who will be responsible for paying creditors. In fact, there can even be clauses that protect one another from certain things, especially if those factors were related to a previous relationship that either party was involved in. 

Understanding the Lemon Law is important for your protection

You are looking at buying a used car as a commuter vehicle for your new job in the city. As you have begun looking through the inventory at several dealerships in Virginia, you are having a hard time feeling confident about choosing the right car. Even though all of them may appear clean and aesthetic on the exterior, they could be hiding some secrets of the past. At Ferriswinder PLLC, we are experienced in working with clients who have needed to rely on the Lemon Law to save them from a fraudulent purchase. 

Have you ever heard of a car that is a "lemon?" Generally, these vehicles are ones that have been advertised as being in great condition other than expected wear and tear. However, once you begin driving the vehicle, you learn of problem after problem. In serious cases, these problems can be debilitating to the vehicle's function and leave you with an unexpected financial loss.

Common missteps that could lead to bankruptcy

Of all of the financial setbacks that people experience, bankruptcy is perhaps the most dreadful. In the majority of cases, filing for bankruptcy in Virginia can leave people facing an uncertain future and long-term consequences that take time to amend and overcome. When people understand what missteps to avoid in order to stay financially secure and reduce their risk of having to file for bankruptcy, they can make wiser decisions about how they choose to spend their money. 

According to the United States Courts, people who end up needing to file for bankruptcy should do their best to understand what legal issues may affect their eligibility and protection. Often, this requires the intervention of professionals who can provide advice and direction throughout bankruptcy proceedings. People who do not understand what they are doing and make mistakes as a result, could find that these critical choices ultimately affect their rights. 

Bankruptcy will relieve all my debt, right?

If you find yourself in a bad financial spot and realize there is no way out, you may want to consider the benefits of filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. With this, you'll find it possible to eliminate or reorganize most of your debt, thus putting you in a better financial position.

However, there's something to remember before you get too deep into the process — bankruptcy is not a surefire way to relieve all of your debt. Many people believe this to be true, and end up disappointed as the process proceeds. If you let one or more myths guide your thinking, it's possible that you won't get as much value out of the bankruptcy process as you thought. 

Can you do things to settle your divorce faster?

You and your spouse have made the mutual decision to get a divorce in Virginia and now the real work begins. It is time to begin making decisions about who will have primary custody of your children, which of you will pay alimony, how assets should be split and how retirement accounts will be divided. With so many time-consuming and critical decisions to be made, is there a way you can make everything go faster? Fortunately, by applying some general suggestions, you may be able to keep the process moving efficiently without compromising your benefits. 

According to the Huffington Post, just because you and your former spouse were not able to work out your differences in marriage, you can still be respectful and supportive to expedite the process and keep things as cost-effective as possible. Some of the things you can do include the following:

  • Do not overshare and involve too many people, especially those that are close to you and may add to the drama.
  • Do not spend too much time reflecting on the past and the mistakes that have been made. Rather, look forward with excitement and hope to the future. 
  • Do some research and come up with a vision for your future. Make a list of things you would like to change.
  • Do not procrastinate your responsibilities and maintain a positive mindset about the changes you are making. 

Determining Chapter 7 eligibility with the bankruptcy means test

If you count yourself among the many people across Virginia who are dealing with overwhelming debt and considering filing for bankruptcy, you may have heard the terms “Chapter 7” and “Chapter 13” thrown around. You may not know exactly how they differ, though, or whether you are eligible to file for bankruptcy through either method. At Ferriswinder, PLLC, we understand how the bankruptcy means test determines Chapter 7 eligibility, and we have helped many clients find bankruptcy solutions that meet their specific needs.

Per the U.S. Department of Justice, most people who choose to file for bankruptcy relief must first fill out Bankruptcy Form 122, which will ultimately determine whether a debtor has the option to seek relief through a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This involves gathering comprehensive documentation about your income from the last six months to determine whether your household income falls below the average household income in Virginia.

Auction scheduled to locate potential buyer for Bon-Ton Stores

It is always surprising when well-known brands or companies announce that they are filing for bankruptcy protection and are on the verge of being liquidated entirely. For many companies, the thought of shuttering their doors despite a wildly successful run at some point, is met with feelings of disappointment and loss. While an organization in Virginia may have been coasting ahead of the competition in the past, sudden changes in the economy or consumer interest, poor financial decisions and even lackluster product development or advertising can create detrimental problems. 

Recently, another once-giant retailer, Bon-Ton Stores Inc. has run into problems and is seeking bankruptcy protection. The Milwaukee and York, Pennsylvania-based company has highlighted slacking sales and increasing debt as reasons for the pending closure of all stores. The possible liquidation could have a significant effect on the economy, particularly in Milwaukee where multiple headquarters closing would result in the loss of over 2,000 jobs. Currently, an auction date has been scheduled to seek out a going-buyer whose presence may allow the retail giant to keep its doors open. It has also been heard that some shopping mall owners have considered purchasing the company as well. 

How do I know if my credit card debt is spiraling out of control?

One thing you might have in common with Richmond area residents is you might rely on credit cards to pay your household expenses and stay afloat financially. Though you may have a stable job and work hard to ensure you manage your money properly, there is a strong possibility you are living beyond your means. 

If the only way for you to keep your home, cars and other assets is to rely on your credit cards, you could find your debt spiraling out of control. You might not be trying to run up your credit card bills. However, if you are using them to stay afloat, that could mean you are financially overextended and may need to make some cutbacks. If you are not sure if your credit card debts are too much for you to handle, consider the following signs. 

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