Frequently Asked Questions

 

What if my situation is urgent and requires immediate action? 

                                                                    CALL (804) 787-0559  

   In  some cases, there may be a need to act quickly which may require an evening or weekend appointment. This may occur when it is necessary to  stop a foreclosure on your home, the repossession of your car or the  garnishment of your wages.   We are completely computerized and are able  to file your petition on weekends and holidays. This allows us to give  you and the creditors a case number immediately. In some cases, if you  bring in the required information we can file you on your first visit.


What are the fees and payment options? 

 Filing  a bankruptcy petition can be affordable for you. We will work with you  to come up with a payment plan you can afford. Once we speak with you and determine what needs to be done with your unique, individual case, we will inform you of what  the attorney fees will be. Call us and we will work out a payment plan  that is affordable for you.  In many cases, we put the balance of the  attorney fees into the Chapter 13 payment plan and we will be paid each  month by the trustee along with your other creditors.  In a Chapter 7  case, we can setup a payment plan for you.


 How long does it take to file for Bankruptcy?
​If you bring your documents and all necessary information when you  come in, we may be able to file you the same day.  This will stop  repossessions, garnishments, collections and creditor calls.  We are a  computerized law firm and can file your petition electronically with the  court. 


Where is the building for the Cochran Law Firm located? 

We are across the street from Richmond Ford and Royal Chevrolet Car Dealerships. 

 We are in a single story building beside the U-Haul on the right. Parking is in the rear. Enter from the alley directly behind the U-Haul  lot and park in our lot directly behind our building.


                                                              Chapter 7 Questions 


How do I determine if I am eligible to file for a  Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?  ​

You may file if you have not received a prior chapter 7 bankruptcy  discharge within the past 8 years or 6 years for a chapter 13 discharge  that paid less than 70% of the debt. If you are not eligible to file a  Chapter 7, you may be able to file a Chapter 13. 


Is my income a factor?
    Yes. As of 2005, the "Means Test" was established to determine the  amount of debt, if any, a person must repay when filing bankruptcy.  The  court has guidelines based on the size of your household and the area  where you live to determine the maximum amount of income you can earn  without having to repay your creditors.  If you do not qualify for a  liquidation bankruptcy, you may be able to file a chapter 13 bankruptcy  and repay some or all of your debt.  


Will I lose my property?
   ​   Generally not. In Virginia, you are allowed to exempt most  necessary assets such as a 401K or retirement plans, furniture, a  vehicle, medical needs, work related items and up to $5,000 per person  of other assets.  If you own real estate with over $5,000 worth of  equity or other assets worth over $5000, the Bankruptcy Trustee may take  that property and sell it to pay your creditors. If your equity is over  $5,000, you may be able to file a Chapter 13 that allows you to pay  back your creditors over a sixty month plan. 


                                                              Chapter 13 Questions 


What if I am behind on house or car payments?

The  Chapter 13 bankruptcy will allow you to take the back payments and pay  those out over a period of time up to 60 months.  An example would be if  you are $6,000 behind on your house payments, the Bankruptcy Court  would allow you to file a plan in which you could pay $100 per month for  the 60 months.  As long as you are able to make your regular house  payments and pay the $100 each month the court would not allow the  mortgage company to foreclose on your home.   


 Will I be able to reduce my car payments and interest rates?
If  your loan is more than 2.5 years old, and you file a chapter 13  bankruptcy, the law will allow you to pay the actual value of the car at  a reduced interest rate provided you owe more than the value of the  car. If you owe $24,000 and your payments are $600 per month but your car is only worth $18,000, we can propose a plan to the court that  would allow you to pay $18,000 at 6% interest at $300 per month for 60 months.   

 If your loan is less than 2.5 years old, the Chapter 13 bankruptcy will  allow you to take the back payments and pay that out over a period of  time up to 60 months.  For example, if you are $3,000 behind on  your payments, the Bankruptcy Court would allow us to file a plan in  which you could pay $50 per month for the 60 months to catch up those  payments. As long as you are able to make your regular car payments and  pay the $50 each month, the court would not allow the creditor to  repossess your car (You must have proper insurance).
Another option  may be to pay out your car over the 60 month plan. If you owed $6,000 on  your car we could propose a plan to the court in which you would pay  $100 per month for 60 months at a reasonable interest rate. 


What if I owe more on the car than what it was originally worth?

If you have owned the car for more than 2.5 years you may be able to pay  back the actual market value of the car and reduce your monthly  payments. If you owe $25,000 and your payments are $600 per month but the car is only worth $18,000 we can file a plan with the  court in which you keep your car and pay $300 per month for 60 months. The remaining $7,000 is treated as unsecured debt. 

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