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May 2013

Welcome to the “Reader Top Rated” Bankruptcy Blog

Posted by / in Blog / 6 comments

To my readers around the country, please keep in mind that I cannot give you legal advice. My answers here on this blog may help you think of things to talk about with YOUR LAWYERDO NOT TRY TO BE YOUR OWN LAWYER, based on anything you read here. That would be a really bad idea.



Welcome to my blog. I’m Virginia bankruptcy lawyer Robert Weed.

Welcome. I’m Virginia bankruptcy lawyer Robert Weed. Thanks for visiting me.

I started this blog for my Virginia bankruptcy clients. When I explain something, I like to give people a written version, too; so they can refer back to it later. When I answer an email, I try to include a link to more information, for people who want to understand more.

My clients tell me that’s very helpful. I think it’s my job.

I was surprised that people all over the country started reading my blog.  Hundreds of people now read something here every day!  Someone told me recently that I “explain things very clearly for a lawyer.” That made me smile. I’m glad to answer blog comments from all across the country–as well as I can. (Bankruptcy is a mix of federal and state law, and the only state law I am qualified to talk about is Virginia. Different judges around the country see things differently. I only know the two judges here in Alexandria, Virginia.)

I like explaining the law–it’s one of the things lawyers should do. If my explanations are helpful to you, I’m glad.


Google tells me I now have more than five hundred readers every day from around the country.   So there are a couple things I need to say.


Avvo rates me 10.0 as one of the best rated bankruptcy lawyers in Virginia. That doesn’t mean I know what bankruptcy judges think in your state.

First, whatever you read here, talk it over with your own lawyer where you are.   It’s hard enough for me to keep up with what the bankruptcy judges here say.  I don’t know what your judges think in New York or Nebraska.   And the law in any court is what the judge thinks it is.

Second, no, I can’t be your lawyer.  I get two or three emails a week asking if I can help on some thing in some other state.  Thanks for asking, but no, I can’t.  I’m licensed to be a lawyer in Virginia.  Besides being foolish, it would be illegal for me to be your lawyer in Kansas or California.   If you need a lawyer where you are, one good source for names in NACBA for bankruptcy lawyers.   Or NACA for dealing with credit reports or debt collectors.

Third, I can’t answer private questions either.   I can write generally about legal topics.   If you post a public comment, I can comment back.  That’s freedom of speech, and freedom of the press, protected under the US Constitution.  If you ask me privately what I think of something, I can’t answer — that’s practicing law without a license.  Sorry I can’t.  (I am licensed to practice law in Virginia.)     I get a couple requests a day for private legal advice outside of Virginia.  Sorry, I can’t.


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Robert Weed has helped fifteen thousand people file bankruptcy in Northern Virginia. Robert Weed is a frequent panelist and speaker at the meetings of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys. He is one of Northern Virginia’s most experienced personal bankruptcy lawyers. As an expert on changing consumer bankruptcy laws, Robert Weed has been interviewed on local and national TV and quoted in newspapers across the country.

  • Shawn Brooks

    November 19, 2015, pm30 8:52 PM

    I found some interesting topics on filing bankruptcy and Disabled Veterans Benefits in the means test. The laws are different in every stae, and I read there is a Federal Law that states that under no circumstance can a Veterans Disability Benefits be calculated as income of any sort due to the fact that it is awarded to the individual due to service to our Country.
    I do not know if I am reading this information incorrectly or not.

    Also, I read somewhere that there is something called Federal Non Bankruptcy Exemtions that say that Disability benefits can be exempt out under certain circumstances and it mention Federal employees and Civil Service Employees. But, for clarity I didnt know if that means that VA Disability payments that a Federal or Cicvil Service Employee recieves can become exempt or if it means Disability of some other sort? There is no real clarification on that.

    I was just curious about how a person can lower their income on the means test so that instead of Chapter 13 Disabled Veterans would beable to qualify for 7 instead. I know a lot of people would be curious to know, as there is such a big difference between the two.


    • Robert Weed

      November 20, 2015, pm30 2:28 PM


      You are definitely right that there’s a big difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13–and that most people are better off in Chapter 7. In terms of how people can qualify, it depends on the exact circumstance of each person. Being a disabled veteran who got into the majority of debts while on active duty–that get’s you automatic Chapter 7 eligibility. But beyond that, each client and lawyer need to work out a strategy based on all the facts, and to some extend the attitude of the local court.

  • Kristin

    August 13, 2016, pm31 2:36 PM

    Mr Weed – my LLC was dissolved in March of 2016. I am now being sued by a previous landlord. The court is now requiring that I hire counsel to represent the LLC via a court order. How can this be if the LLC is no longer?

    • Robert Weed

      August 13, 2016, pm31 5:49 PM


      I don’t know. I think your LLC is in default if it doesn’t hire counsel, but I don’t know that you are. HOWEVER, this is an example of why people shouldn’t set up an LLC based on somebody selling them one for $99.00. You needed a business lawyers when you set up the LLC. You probalby still do.

  • Alexandria

    August 18, 2017, pm31 11:36 PM

    Question/Comment: Thank you Mr. Weed for this great information. You are awesome. I got a Ch.7 discharge in Feb. 2012, surrendered the house. Never moved out. GMAC my mortgage company filed bankruptcy too, sold my mortgage to Ocwen. In 2014, Ocwen gave me a modification. Remember, this is after the Ch. 7 discharge. As Mr. Weed told us in his blogs, I am not liable for the mortgage loan under the modification. Although the payment was still a bit high, $2900, Ocwen gave me a Hamp 2 in 2014 and forgave about $240,000 in principal, fixed rate at 5%. They did not extend the years; I have 18 years left to pay off the mortgage.
    Question: 2017, my income has dropped. I am four months behind with the modification payments. Received intent to foreclose letter. Applying now for an Ocwen in-house modification. Hopefully, Ocwen will extend the time or years on the mortgage and maybe drop the interest rate. If Ocwen does not give me a new modification, can I now file a Ch. 13 to keep the house. Will this put me back on the hook for the mortgage? Or am I still discharged from this debt via the Ch. 7 in 2012. In the past year, I started getting credit cards to try to pay the mortgage, real stupid. I had built my after ch. 7 credit score to 700; it is now 480. The balance on the house is about $325,000 and I make about $72,000 a year. The house is now worth about $350,000 and continuing to rise. Will the Ch.13 let me keep the house, organize the other debt and raise my credit score after the 3 year discharge.

    • Robert Weed

      August 19, 2017, pm31 2:37 PM


      Yes you are eligible to file Chapter 13 after a Chapter 7 discharge. This will not get you personally back on the hook for the discharged mortgage (and it does NOT undue the $240,000 they forgave. A payment of $2900 is a bit high for someone making $72,000; unless someone is living there with you. But we can do a Chapter 13 if that’s what you think is best.

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