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Jan 2016

Woodbridge Bankruptcy Lawyer 100 Five Star Reviews

Posted by / in Weekly Posts /

Thanks, Woodbridge!  This week brought our one hundredth five star review.

I’m Woodbridge bankruptcy lawyer Robert Weed.  And I’m happy to announce we now have one hundred five star reviews from Woodbridge bankruptcy clients.

I’ve been a bankruptcy lawyer in Northern Virginia since 1993, helping fourteen thousand people get a fresh start in bankruptcy.  (More than any other Manassas or Woodbridge bankruptcy lawyer.)

I’ve had an office in Prince William County for twenty years.  There are three reasons I have happy clients.  The first is, I’m good at what I do. Second, I have great staff. The third is, bankruptcy really works.

Five stars for Woodbridge Bankruptcy lawyer Robert Weed

There are two reasons one hundred Woodbridge bankruptcy clients have given us five stars. I’m good at what I do. And bankruptcy really works.

Are you nervous if bankruptcy really works?

Like most people, you’re wondering if bankruptcy can really help.  That’s natural.  I can tell you nearly everyone feels nervous at the thought.  And much better after they’ve made the plunge.  Listen to these Woodbridge bankruptcy clients.

Vanessa C, in her five star Google review said,  “Anybody going through bankruptcy deals with all kinds of emotions and experience anxiety & fear & worry. Valerie takes the time to listen & is reassuring and walks you through step by step making the whole process so much easier.”  

Susan F left us a five star Google review, “I felt very guilty about going the bankruptcy route but realized I had no other options. The staff, specifically Valerie made everything very easy for me.  I am now glad I made the decision to go through with the bankruptcy.”

Brian gave us five stars and added, “I was extremely nervous as to the thought of going through bankruptcy.  The team at his office makes you feel at ease.”

If you don’t believe your neighbors in Woodbridge, believe Donald Trump

Donald Trump wouldn’t be a billionaire if he hadn’t, “used the chapter laws, the bankruptcy laws to [his] own benefit.” He adds,Came out great … I’m glad I did it. Four times I’ve taken advantage of the laws. . . .I used the laws of the country to my benefit.”  (You can read more in USA Today.)

Several years ago, I calculated that Trump’s fourth business bankruptcy got rid of twice as much debt as all twelve thousand people I had helped put together.  

How About the Supreme Court?  “A new opportunity in life.”

Do you still think bankruptcy is some kind of punishment because you can’t pay your debts.  The official US Courts website says the exact opposite.  The purpose of bankruptcy is to help you.  

A fundamental goal of the federal bankruptcy laws enacted by Congress is to give debtors a financial “fresh start” from burdensome debts. The Supreme Court made this point about the purpose of the bankruptcy law in a 1934 decision:

[I]t gives to the honest but unfortunate debtor…a new opportunity in life and a clear field for future effort, unhampered by the pressure and discouragement of preexisting debt.

Local Loan Co. v. Hunt, 292 U.S. 234, 244 (1934).

Do you need a new opportunity in life?  That’s what my Woodbridge bankruptcy lawyer office is here for.  

And the Federal Reserve?  “Sharp boost” in your credit score

What’s the number one reason people drag their feet before talking to a bankruptcy lawyer?  For most people, it’s their “credit.”  

Now if your credit score is over 700, bankruptcy will hurt it.  But if slow payments and high debts have dragged your credit down, filing bankrutpcy will help you.   Two different studies by Federal Reserve banks, both came to the same conclusion.  

“The individuals who go bankrupt experience a sharp boost in their credit score after bankruptcy.”  

 That’s from a February 2015 study sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

 “Credit scores start to recover immediately after the bankruptcy filing.”


“The individuals who go bankrupt experience a sharp boost in their credit score after bankruptcy.”

 That’s according to an August 2014 study sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.  

 Bankruptcy gives you a new start five ways.

1.  Creditors can’t call or bill you.

2.  They can’t take you to court or garnish you.

3.  Your credit score will improve.

4.  You’ll sleep better.

5.  You’ll be smarter.

 Read More Reviews?  See the Smiles

Still wondering?  All together, we have more than seven hundred five star reviews.   You can see them here and here.  When you read the reviews, you can see the smiles.  

I love being a Woodbridge bankruptcy lawyer, because I can help almost everyone I see.”

If you want to make an appointment, use our Get Started Now email box. Or call 703-335-7793, our main switchboard.  Contact us today and sleep better tonight.





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Feb 2014

Herndon Bankruptcy Lawyer Information

Posted by / in Blog, Virginia Bankruptcy / No comments yet

Looking for a top-rated bankruptcy lawyer in Herndon, VA?

Let’s stop the phone calls ASAP and clear the debt.  You can eliminate the stress and take control of your life again.

I’m Herndon Bankruptcy Lawyer Robert Weed. You’ll like our friendly service with a smile.

For twenty years, I served people in Herndon from my bankruptcy lawyer office in Sterling, VA. I moved my Sterling office to Herndon June 15, 2018.

My new Herndon bankruptcy lawyer office is 13800 Coppermine Rd, Herndon, VA 20171.

Herndon Bankruptcy Lawyer Office

My new Herndon Bankruptcy Lawyer Office is at 13800 Coppermine Rd, Herndon.

It Costs a Lot to Live Around Here

I’ve helped people file bankruptcy in Herndon since 1993.  I’ve talked to nearly a thousand people in Herndon and Reston about their financial problems.

I know why even people with strong incomes can need a “a new opportunity in life and a clear field for future effort.”  (That’s what the Supreme Court says is the purpose of bankruptcy.) It costs a lot to live here.

The high cost of living is one reason the number of Hendon bankruptcy filings totals two thousand total since 2007.

Children are expensive.  The average family size in Herndon is bigger than the rest of Fairfax county. The tech economy in Herndon has been hurt by budget uncertainties. All those factors explain why more of your Herndon neighbors have filed bankruptcy than you might expect.

The purpose of bankruptcy is to help you

Another reason the Herndon bankruptcy rate is high.  People in high income communities have something to lose!  The purpose of bankruptcy is to help you–there’s a reason Donald Trump’s businesses have been in Chapter 11 four times. (Donald Trump said that bankruptcy laws do a great job”.)

Many people mistakenly think the bankruptcy is some kind of punishment.  Actually, bankruptcy is a tool to protect what you have.

Bankruptcy gives you a new start in five ways. The creditors can’t call or bill you; they can’t send you court papers. Your credit score will go up. You’ll sleep better. You’ll be smarter.

One reason I like being a bankruptcy lawyer:  I can help nearly everyone who comes to see me.

I can help nearly everyone who comes to see me.

Herndon Bankruptcy Lawyer Location and Map

13800 Coppermine Road
Herndon, VA, 20171

Why Robert Weed Law:

In 2019 Robert Weed Law asked 103 past clients about their bankruptcy experience.

Here’s what they said.

Is your life better because you filed bankruptcy?

“It has made a huge difference in giving me peace of mind. My credit was already ruined, and since I filed I have been able to re-establish my credit. I am living life again, not stressed and feeling hopeless.”

Diana, Woodbridge VA
Have you been able to re-establish credit?

“There are many things to consider and Mr. Weed was not only an obviously experienced attorney but I felt he was compassionate as well. Although each bankruptcy differs, I can honestly tell you that through his guidance I’ve been able to get my credit score to a 690 average and I recently purchased a brand new automobile at 5.9 percent! AMAZING!”

Rodney, Leesburg VA
Are you sleeping better than you did before you filed?

“I was depressed and very stressed when I came to Mr. Weed due to my illness and with mounting medical debts. I now sleep better, my stress level is down and I feel so much better.”

Rosalind, Leesburg VA
Are you glad you selected the Law Office of Robert Weed?

“I can’t speak highly enough of Mr. Weed. From my very first meeting with him I felt completely at ease and knew I was in excellent hands. He put all my fears to rest and got the process started. He is extremely thorough and leaves no stone unturned. You will be expected to provide a mountain of documents and it’s all for the best because it’s all part of the preparation and process. At the conclusion of my creditors meeting the trustee thanked Mr. Weed and his staff for doing their usual excellent job in preparation for the hearing. These words from the trustee speaks volumes of Mr. Weed’s standing in the bankruptcy community. His staff are just as excellent. Thank you Mr. Weed and your staff for bringing me through this very difficult time in my life. I would recommend him in a heartbeat..”

Vanessa, Sterling VA

CALL NOW: 703-335-7793


The 2005 Bankruptcy Reform Was Designed to be Hard on High Income People

It can be tough for higher income people to get approved for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.  The 2005 bankruptcy reform law tries to push all families over the median income into Chapter 13 payment plans.  (As of April 2019, the median income in Virginia is $91,781 for a family of three; $105,261 for a family of four.)  A majority of the families in Herndon are over that Virginia median income.  But few, when they get into financial trouble, could actually afford a five year Chapter 13 payment plan.  (Most Chapter 13 plans fail.) Five of the twelve highest income counties in America are in Northern Virginia.  I serve those counties.

I get more over-median income families approved for chapter 7 bankruptcy than any other lawyer in Northern Virginia. 

I’m a full time Bankruptcy Lawyer

Bookshelf in Herndon bankruptcy lawyer office

My bookshelf in my Herndon office. Assembled it myself when I hoped we’d have in-person consultations soon.

Bankruptcy is all I do.  I know it’s hard to talk to someone about your financial situation.  But I can tell you–you’ll like our friendly service with a smile.

Adlo and Linda of Herndon VA said this:

There are no words to express our gratitude for the care, attention and expertise…above and beyond to help us with my husband’s bankruptcy and walking us through the whole process with patience and understanding. We are a senior couple and not very technical…God Bless You


Alicia of Herndon VA said:

Didn’t know what to expect

I got patience, a judgement-free environment, and so much education.


Melanie, of Herndon VA:

The process was easier that I thought, Mr. Weed was very good at explaining everything. Would definitely recommend.


You can read more of my over 885 five-star reviews, here.    When you read what they say, you can see the smiles.



Herndon bankruptcy rate–one family of every nine since 2007

Herndon is located in western Fairfax County.  Fairfax is the third highest income county in America, (Loudoun is first) and Herndon has higher income that the county average. In the thirteen years since the housing crisis in 2007, about one out of every nine families in Herndon filed bankruptcy. Are you surprised?  I’m not.

I love being a Herndon bankruptcy lawyer, because I can help almost everyone I see.”

If you want to make an appointment, use our Get Started Now email box. Or call 703-335-7793, our main switchboard.  Contact us today and sleep better tonight.


Herndon Bankruptcy Lawyer Q&A

Question:  Where are the bankruptcy hearings for people who file bankruptcy in Herndon. Are they in Fairfax Courthouse?

Answer: The bankruptcy hearings are NOT in Fairfax, or Herndon. The Bankruptcy Court is a Federal Court. The bankruptcy court in Alexandria, VA. covers all of Northern Virginia.  If you want to know more about what happens at the bankruptcy hearings, I have more info here.  

Question:  Why does they say bankruptcy gives people a fresh start?

Answer: The “”fresh start”comes from the Supreme Court in 1934. In the famous case of Local Loan v Hunt, the Supreme Court said “One of the primary purposes of the Bankruptcy Act is to relieve the honest debtor from the weight of oppressive indebtedness, and permit him to start afresh…”

Herndon Virginia bankruptcy information from Northern Virginia Bankruptcy Lawyer

Thanks for viewing my Herndon Virginia Bankruptcy information website.

Question:  Does where I live affect my bankruptcy eligibility?

Answer:  For high income people–over 60,925 for family of one; $110,000 for family of 4–you have to show your income eligibility on the “means test” budget. And for that means test budget, your rent allowance depends on what county you live in.  

People who live in Loudoun or Fairfax are allowed to budget around $400 a month more for a one-person family compared to people in Prince William.  And $500 a month more for a four person family.

What does that mean?  Some people living in Gainesville or Manassas who cannot get approved for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, can get approved, living in Sterling or Herndon.

Question:  Can bankruptcy help with my student loans

Answer:  Right now, there is very little that bankruptcy can do to help your student loans.

But that’s likely to change; possibly very soon.

The Democratic Party platform this year promises to change the bankruptcy law, so that student loans are just another debt.  The Republicans didn’t have a platform at all.  After a new President is inaugurated in January 2020, that could happen quickly. It may happen quickly if the Democrats also elect a comfortable majority in the US Senate.  If Republicans keep control, or it’s closely divided, it might be a long struggle.  

Question:  Can I file bankruptcy and leave my spouse out of it?

Answer:  Yes, married people are allowed to leave one spouse out of the bankruptcy. But you are required to do a whole family budget.

Question:  What’s the median income and how does that affect me?  

Answer:  The median income is the cut-off for automatic income eligibility to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If your family income is below the Virginia median based on the last six months, you have automatic income eligibility. The median income adjusts ever six months.  For November 1, 2020, here it is:

Family of 1:  $64,079      Family of 2:  $81,900     Family of 3:  $97,056    Family of 4  $114,910     Family of 5:  $123,910     Family of 6:  $132,910

Question:  Is my bankruptcy hearing at the Fairfax Court House?  

Answer:  The bankruptcy court is a federal court. The bankruptcy court for Herndon, all of Fairfax County, and all of Northern Virginia is in Alexandria.  During the covid emergency, you don’t go to the courthouse at all. The hearings are by telephone. 

Read Our Bankruptcy Lawyer Reviews! More than 800 Five-Star Reviews from People Like You

Herndon Bankruptcy Layer Robert Weed

In my Herndon VA law office at 13800 Coppermine Rd, Suite 183.


The Law Offices of Robert Weed BBB Business Review

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Oct 2011

Bankruptcy and bank statements

Posted by / in General Information About Bankruptcy Law / 43 comments

Bankruptcy and bank statements

Planning to file bankruptcy?  You will need to round up bank statements.  You’ll need them at the beginning of the bankruptcy process; and you’ll need them again for your bankruptcy hearing.

(Here are specific instructions on what bank statements you need for your bankruptcy hearing in Alexandria, Virginia.)

Since you need to tell the bankruptcy court about all your accounts when you file your bankruptcy papers, you want to talk them over with your lawyer early–in time to identify and fix any problems.

Virginia Bankruptcy Lawyer Robert Weed

Bring bank statements on every account in your name, when you first meet with your bankruptcy lawyer.You will need to tell the court about every account your name is on.  So you and your lawyer needs to know what those accounts are.

Does that include the account with only five dollars that you never use any more?  Yes.

Does that include your mother’s account that she “just put your name on in case of emergency”?  Yes.

Does that include the account where only your wife’s paycheck goes, but is in both names?  Yes.

Does this includes credit unions, too?  Yes.

Does it includes accounts you have with your minor children?  Yes.  And also college savings plans you have for them.

Does it includes money markets?  And investment, brokerage accounts?  Yes and yes.  And Bitcoins; and Paypal accounts. And accounts you have overseas.

More than just banks, it includes every place you have money.

When you first talk to your lawyer, you need to talk about all those accounts.  So bring bank statements–and other accounts–with you.

Is your mother’s $200,000 life savings–in the account you are on “for emergencies”–going to be a problem?  You want to talk that over when you first meet with your lawyer.  Do not wait and bring it up when you are signing the final draft of your bankruptcy papers.

The same thing with your wife’s account that’s “in both names.”

When you bring in the bank statements, then you are not guessing.  You and your lawyer can see whether, and how, your name is listed on each account.  And how much money goes through it every month.

Both of those can be important to getting your bankruptcy approved–without having the bankruptcy trustee take some of your money.  (Or worse, take some money that’s not yours–that belongs to someone else in the family.)

Getting through bankruptcy, without losing any money, may take some planning.  Your lawyer may have your wife change her direct deposit to a different account–one only in her name.  Your lawyer may want mom to take all the money out and put it in a different account.  Maybe the lawyer will just want proof of where mom got all that money.

Besides the bankruptcy trustee maybe grabbing those accounts, some of your creditors might try to get to them.   Your lawyer will want to compare your accounts with your creditors–and may suggest you change banks for that reason.

All that takes time and planning–so make sure you bring in all those bank and other account statements at the beginning.

Toward the end of the bankruptcy process, you are required to show those statements to your bankruptcy trustee.  What statements?  Every one that your name is on.

You need to give your bankruptcy trustee copies of your bank statements. That can be a big headache.

Those will mostly be the same accounts that you went over with your lawyer at the beginning, but maybe with some changes.  If you have accounts that you don’t use, your lawyer may have told you to close them.  If your accounts were in a bank where they weren’t safe, you may have new accounts now.

The bankruptcy trustee is looking at your account statements for two reasons.  First, because the law (Bankruptcy Rule 4002) requires it.  Second, to see if you had too much money on the day you filed your bankruptcy case.  (“Too much money” meaning enough that the bankruptcy trustee can grab some of it.)

Sometimes getting those bank statements is a problem, if you wait until after your case is filed.  Some banks, and especially some credit unions, stop sending statements when they get notice of the bankruptcy.  And they may cut off your internet access, too.

(Stopping the statements and cutting off internet access is most likely a problem if you owe money to that bank.  They don’t want to be violating the bankruptcy law by trying to collect your old debts, so they just stop sending you ANYTHING.)

I recommend a two step process.  First, when you come in for your court preparation appointment, bring your most recent bank statements.  Those may be a few days, or even a few weeks old.

Then, the day after your bankruptcy case is filed and your papers go down to the court, get an internet print out from the end date of the last statement on through to the day after your bankruptcy is filed.  Take care of that right away–in case the banks and credit unions cut off your internet access when they get notice of the bankruptcy.

Taking care of bank statements–and all account statements–both early and late in the bankruptcy process, is a key to have your bankruptcy case go smoothly.


Bankruptcy and bank statements: Update–there’s now a charge

Filed a bankruptcy case for some folks last week who had SIXTEEN bank accounts. Half of them they hadn’t used in years, but kept open because it was too much trouble to close them. Now they are trying to get account statements showing the date the bankruptcy was filed, and the bank is not cooperating.

Duh–if you’ve left a three dollar balance on a bank account for four years, the bank is NOT going to consider you a good customer. And if you thought it was too much trouble to close those accounts before you file bankruptcy, see how much trouble it is to get that bank statement balance now that you have filed bankruptcy.

You need to do yourself–and the bank–and the bankruptcy court a favor and close accounts you are not actively using.

So, I’m starting to charge. I’m charging for the extra paperwork we have when people have multiple, unnecessary bank accounts.

For a single person, your first THREE bank accounts are free. If you have more than THREE! accounts on the day you file bankruptcy, there’s a $50.00 charge.

For a married couple the first five are FREE. After five, there’s a fifty dollar charge.

(You also get one more for free for each child you have.)

Each bank account you have means a lot of work–for you, for me, for the bankruptcy trustee. And the more you have, the harder it is–for you, me. and the bankruptcy trustee–to make sure they are all covered. So, close ’em.

If it’s too much trouble to close them, I’m charging for the extra paperwork on my end. You will still have to do extra work to get each statement balance. And if you get sent home from your hearing because the trustee thinks you missed one statement, you were warned.

So, close those accounts you’re not using.

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Aug 2010

Lawyer Klinette Kindred named bankruptcy trustee

Posted by / in Weekly Posts / 3 comments

The Bankruptcy Law Office of Robert Weed is proud to announce that Klinette Kindred has been named a bankruptcy trustee.  Kindred joins the panel of six chapter 7 bankruptcy trustees in Alexandria, Virginia.  New appointments to the panel are very rare.  Five of the six chapter 7 bankruptcy trustees have served for more than twenty years.

Kindred is an honors graduate of Virginia State University.  She earned her law degree at the University of Virginia.   She has been a bankruptcy attorney with the Law Office of Robert Weed for more than ten years.

Kindred has been the Chapter 13 attorney for the Bankruptcy Law Office of Robert Weed.  She also handles most of the law firm’s hearings and court appearances.

As a bankruptcy trustee, Kindred will be assigned cases beginning  in September 2010.   Her duties include, conducting the meeting of creditors,  investigating the financial affairs of the debtor, collecting non-exempt assets of the debtor, for prompt distribution to creditors,  and opposing the discharge of the debtor, when advisable.

Trustee service is a part-time.   Attorney Kindred will continue her work with the Bankruptcy Law Office of Robert Weed.    She is based in the firm’s Alexandria, VA, office.

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Jul 2010

Watch Out for "Avoid Bankruptcy" Scams

Posted by / in Before Bankruptcy / 9 comments

Bankruptcy should be a last resort.    Most people want to look at all the alternatives before they file bankruptcy.  That makes some people easy victims of “avoid bankruptcy” scams.

I’ve talked to three people in the last ten days who sent ten thousand dollars or more to “debt negotiators.” They stopped when the sheriff brought court papers.  At that point, each one realized they had been scammed.  And they realized it was time to talk to a bankruptcy attorney.

Yesterday, I met Linda–not her real name.  This is her story.

When she signed up with this debt negotiator,  she had $98,000 in credit card debts. They were all current.  She had stayed current by living on the credit cards all month, and then her entire paycheck went to make the minimum payments.  She knew this couldn’t go on.

Ten months later, she got court papers for her$20,000 Bank of American credit card.  She had sent $11,119 over the ten months to the debt negotiator, and they had settled two credit cards for her.  One for $629 and one for $2190.   So, she had paid $8300 in legal fees, to get rid of $2819 in debts.  Not a good deal.

There’s a lot of income in Linda’s family, so she may end up in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

She is prepared for the worst case, which is this.  She may have to pay the bankruptcy court $300 per month for five years and have to pay me $3323.  That’s $21,323 to get rid of debts that now (with late fees) are over $110,000.   That’s a good deal.

Best case would be a chapter 7 bankruptcy.  Again about $3400 in legal fees, and the whole $110,000 would be wiped out at once.  That’s really a bargain.  If she had seen a bankruptcy attorney when she first contacted the scammers instead, she would have been an easy chapter 7.  Why is that?  What messes up her income eligibility is the new part time job her husband took on the weekends to try to make the payments.  Without that job, eligibility would have been fine.

I’d like to go after these debt negotiators for false advertising and get that money back.  (At this point it would go to the bankruptcy court to pay a little to the credit cards–but that was what Linda was trying to do with it.)  When I checked, I saw how careful they are to avoid any claim of false advertising.  Look at this:

“Some companies “promise” results and advertise exceptional settlements as commonplace. Legal Helpers Debt Resolution is different; we make no promises and will not guarantee you we can negotiate your debts to a certain percentage. We are experienced attorneys and trained legal advocates and adhere to the following minimum performance standard: If we do not reduce your debt by at least 35% of what you owe, we will refund your fees for settling that particular debt and still resolve the debt on your behalf.”

If you read that carefully–they are bragging that they “make no promises” and “will not guarantee.”  Well, they are telling the truth about that.  So its hard to make a false advertising case against someone who says they promise nothing.

I don’t know what to do.  These outfits have loads of money to spend on advertising, because they charge so much and do so little.   The best I can do is warn you.  If it seems too good to be true, it isn’t true.

My recommendation, if you want to try to avoid bankruptcy and work out lower payments, is Money Management International. They know what the credit card companies will agree to, because basically they were set up by the credit card companies. And they will try to give you an accurate estimate of what they can get your payment, including their fee, down to.

There are a number of other companies that are honest and do the same thing.  The National Foundation for Credit Counselling certifies counselors who a trained and tested on being able to help people, rather than scam them.

People who say they can do better than an NFCC member, in nearly every case, are lying.  What if you talk to Money Management or another reputable credit counselor and they cannot give you the help you need?  Then it’s time to talk to a bankruptcy attorney.

PS.  Just was sent this link to a Government Accounting Office study of these “avoid bankruptcy” outfits.  Thanks to Robert Brandt, a bankruptcy attorney in Alexandria VA, who saw my comments and passed on the study.

PS May 15, 2015

Thomas Macey and Jeffrey Aleman, the two lawyers behind Legal Helpers Debt Resolution, were suspended from the practice of law, by the Illinois Supreme Court, yesterday.   US Justice Department lawyers, who are also chasing Macey and Aleman, said, we’re not done with them, yet.

PPS  March 18, 2016

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau won $40 million in fines, against Morgan Drexen, one of the biggest debt settlement operations.  They were also ordered to refund $133 million to the consumers they scammed.  You can read about that, here.  It’s not clear how much they will be able to collect.  This shows the CFPB trying to shut down the worst of these scammers.

Also, this week, we collected $1500 from Global Client Solutions.  Global handles the payments for nearly all of the hundreds of debt settlement operations.  They are one of six defendants we are suing on behalf of one of our clients, named Cary.  So far we haven’t heard form the other five.  They are due in court in mid April.  Cary got scammed out of $1133.  We’ve gotten $750 back so far (we got the other $750 for doing the work.)  Virginia law gives her triple damages, so we’re trying to get to $3400.

PPS Federal Trade Commission Shuts Down Some More Scams

The Federal Trade Commission shut down another set of these debt settlement scammers today.  Here are the details.


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May 2010

At the bankruptcy attorneys convention, what I learned

Posted by / in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy / 1 comment

Attorney Leigh Faugust and I just got back from the annual convention of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys.  We met in San Francico, along with twenty four other bankruptcy  attorneys from Virginia and 1600 attorneys from across the country.

We attended 14 hours of classes, had dinner with old and new friends, traded ideas and strategies late into the night.

One thing I learned that surprised me.

We heard it from Mark Redmiles,  Deputy Director of the Office of the United States Trustee.  He’s the top guy nationally in charge of enforcing the “means test”.  That’s the formula Congress put in place in 2005, to block chapter 7 bankruptcy for people who supposedly can afford to pay.

Redmiles reported that one only out of every eight chapter 7 bankruptcies approved nationally was filed by bankruptcy attorneys for people who did not have automatic Chapter 7 eligibility.

People have automatic eligibility if they earned less than the median income for their family size.  In Virginia, those median income numbers are:

Family size        one                two               three              four

Virginia         $48,190    $64,890     $73, 887    $85,633

Only one out of eight bankruptcies approved nationally as Chapter 7 are over the numbers for their state.

Five out of eight of my approved Chapter 7’s are over.  That’s five times the national average!

What is going on?  Northern Virginia is a high income and high cost of living area in a low income state.  The automatic eligibility formula that bankruptcy attorneys use to get most bankruptcies approved, usually doesn’t work here.

But experienced bankruptcy attorneys do get people here approved.  They get approved using the long formula means test–taking every time in your budget, compared to the allowances for that item, and using the ones we can to show the court why you can’t afford to pay.

The 2005 bankruptcy law made details very important.  But, they are more important here in Northern Virginia than almost anywhere else.   And it’s more important here than most places to have experienced bankruptcy attorneys on your side.

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