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Jul 2011

After bankruptcy: USAA may cancel your car insurance

Posted by / in Virginia Bankruptcy / 57 comments

When you file bankruptcy, most banks don’t take it personally.  USAA does.

If you file bankruptcy on USAA, they will cancel your car insurance.

So if you file bankruptcy on a debt to USAA, they may cancel your membership.  (The small print on their website tells you that you are not really a member of anything.)

Although they are a bank, USAA acts like a credit union.  (You can file bankruptcy an a credit card with Citibank, for example, and still bank with them.  But if you file bankruptcy on a credit card with a credit union, they will close all your accounts and fire you as a customer.)

Eligibility to have their car insurance is limited to service members, veterans and their families.  If you default on, or file bankruptcy on, one of their loans, they can send you a letter notifying you they will cancel your insurance.

People I know who bank or have insurance with USAA, really love them.  So losing that relationship because of bankruptcy, can be emotional.

On the other hand, the world is full of banks.  And there are plenty of places you can get car insurance, too.

So.  If you owe maybe $500 on their credit cards and you want to stay with them,  pay the $500.  Before you file your bankruptcy.  But if you owe $5000, that’s another $5000 you are saving when you file bankruptcy.

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Jul 2011

Virginia Bankruptcy Lawyer Endorses Chap Petersen for Senate

Posted by / in Virginia Bankruptcy / 2 comments

Filing bankruptcy got easier in Virginia on July 1.  The exemption for cars increased to six thousand dollars.  Sen. Chap Petersen helped change that law.

That’s why I’m endorsing State Senator Chap Petersen, Democrat of Fairfax.

Sen Chap Peterson

Sen Chap Peterson, Democrat of Fairfax, helped people knocked down by the recession to get back up.

Bankruptcy is set up by the Federal government.  But each state sets its own rules on what you are allowed to keep.   Your “exemptions” are what you can keep.

Before, Virginia law allowed people to keep a paid for car worth only two thousand dollars.  (Virginia also has a cash exemption–called a “homestead”–of five thousand dollars.  People filing bankruptcy used that “homestead” to keep their car.)

An exemption for a six thousand dollar car is more realistic.

Senator Chap Petersen is one of three legislators who helped the most.  He’s the only one who has an opponent in the November 2011 elections.  (Virginia holds state elections in the odd years.)  The others who helped were Del. Mark Cole, Republican of Fredericksburg.   And Del. Dave Albo, Republican of Springfield.

Sen. Chap Petersen represents Vienna, Fairfax and part of Centreville north of I-66.

Please look at this map.  If you live there, please vote for Sen. Chap Petersen, November 8, 2011.

Do bankruptcy exemptions matter to everybody?  Even people who never have to file bankruptcy?  I think so.   Let me explain.

The purpose of bankruptcy is to allow people knocked down by life to get back up.

Imagine someone who has lost their job–because of the recession or whatever reason.  And then lost their house.   All that’s left is money to put down a deposit on an apartment–and a paid-for Chevy Malibu.   Should the bankruptcy court take and sell the Chevy?  How is that person supposed to  get a new job and get to work?

If the person can’t get to a new job, then what?

The purpose of bankruptcy exemptions is to leave people with enough to start over.

That’s why the Virginia General Assembly increased the car exemption in 2011.  And that’s why all of us owe thanks to Del Dave Albo, Del Mark Cole, and Sen. Chap Petersen.

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Jun 2011

Bankruptcy Law Office Opening in Stafford Virginia

Posted by / in Virginia Bankruptcy / 6 comments

Stafford VA Bankruptcy Lawyer Robert Weed

I’m Virginia Bankruptcy Lawyer Robert Weed.  My Stafford office is at 300 Garrisonville Road, #201, Stafford, VA 22554.

I’m Virginia bankruptcy lawyer Robert Weed, announcing the opening my newest location, in Stafford County, Virginia.

Many people in Stafford have been hard hit by the current economic crisis.

Zillow shows the average home value in Stafford has fallen from $400,000 in July 2006 to $250,000 today.  A loss of 38%.

Stafford County, VA, has some of the longest commutes in America.  So people in Stafford have been hit harder than most when gasoline hit four dollars a gallon.

Stafford also has a low average age–fifth lowest in Virginia.  That low median age translates to mean, young families with children.  The folks hardest hit when there’s a loss of income.

I’ve helped hundreds of Stafford families get a new start–seeing them at my locations in Woodbridge and Manassas, Virginia.

Why am I opening in Stafford?  I know several good bankruptcy lawyers in Fredericksburg.  I’ve long recommended Dale Adams; and more recently I’ve gotten to know more about Jason Greenwood and Bob Barlow.

It’s a strain, though, being a bankruptcy lawyer in Fredericksburg, VA.  Why?  People south of the Rappahannock River, Spottsylvania County and Fredericksburg City, are under the jurisdiction of the bankruptcy court in Richmond, VA.    North of the river, that’s Stafford County, is under the jurisdiction of the bankruptcy court in Alexandria, VA.

A lawyer who has to be in Richmond and Alexandria the same day–or even back-to-back–can be stretched pretty thin.   All my locations, Sterling, Manassas, Woodbridge, and of course Alexandria, are in the jurisdiction of the Alexandria court.  That enables me to meet people at each of my offices, and serve them all efficiently.

My law firm has the experience of twelve thousand bankruptcies.  Three thousand now under the 2005 bankruptcy law.   No other bankruptcy lawyers in Stafford or Fredericksburg have done near that many.

I’m opening in Stafford, July 5, 2011.  If you want to see if I can help you, make an appointment, fill in my forms, and come on by.


I now have nearly a hundred five-star reviews from people in Stafford.  You can read them, here.


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