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Oct 2013

Who Should Not file Bankruptcy?

Posted by / in Weekly Posts /

Who Should Not file Bankruptcy?

Ray came to see me last week, wanting to file bankruptcy.  Right away.  He had his first payment, seven hundred-dollar bills, set down on my desk.

I told him, “no, not yet.  And not with me.”  Why did I tell him he should not file bankruptcy?

Ray’s credit was shot.  He had a car repossession, lots of medical bills, and a couple small credit cards.

So, why did I tell him no?  Ray had $900 in unpaid traffic tickets, and bankruptcy does NOT help with traffic tickets.


I told Ray he should not file bankruptcy until after he paid his traffic tickets. “If you wait until after you move to South Carolina, you won’t pay Northern Virginia prices, either.”

Ray was planning–right after the bankruptcy, he said–to move to South Carolina.

“The last thing you want to do,” I said, “is move to a new state driving on a suspended license.”  That would set you up for a real mess.  “Take the $700 you were bringing me (get $200 more from somewhere) , and go down to the courthouse and pay those tickets.”    Ray needed to fix his drivers license more than he needed to fix his credit.

I told Ray there’s another advantage to waiting.  “A lawyer in South Carolina is going to charge you maybe half of what I would.”  A South Carolina lawyer isn’t paying the office rent I’m paying here; and he’s not paying his people what I pay mine either.  Compared to Northern Virginia prices, he’ll be a bargain.

Ray’s story is one reason I want people to bring in complete paperwork before they come to talk to me.  My job is to give people the best advice I can–to get them back on the right road, going in the right direction.  Knowing about those traffic tickets was the key to me steering him right.


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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.