Roanoke Legal Issues Blog

Chapter 7, the meeting of creditors, and the automatic stay

If you are facing serious financial challenges, then you're likely open to all debt relief options. One of the most effective ways to wipe out debt is to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. However, before doing so you should do your best to fully understand the process, its benefits and its disadvantages. This week we hope to give you a little clearer sense of part of the process and one of its biggest advantages.

Let's start with one important part of the process: the meeting of creditors. About a month after a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition is filed, the trustee in the case will bring all of the petitioner's creditors together. The purpose of this meeting is two-fold. First, it seeks to give creditors a clearer sense of the petitioner's financial situation. Second, it serves as an opportunity for the petitioner to be put on the record affirming that he or she knows what the bankruptcy entails. For these reasons, it is important that petitioner's attend these meetings. If they don't, then they may not be successful in seeking bankruptcy.

Debt consolidation may not always be as good as it sounds

When your debt seems insurmountable, the never-ending stream of debt consolidation offers can seem not only ideal, but life-changing. Offers boast promising statements like lowering your interest rates, decreasing your monthly payments and keeping creditors from continually pestering you.

Unfortunately, these promises are sometimes too good to be true. In some cases, debt consolidation is simply not the answer you may have hoped it was.

Child custody, visitation and bird nesting

Dealing with child custody and visitation issues during and after divorce are perhaps the most challenging things a parent can face. Yet, many American parents face this tough reality. Sometimes, though, they are able to work out custody and visitation agreements amicably. Many parents are able to utilize these agreements to ensure that they maintain their bond and relationship with their child. However, in some instances this simply is not the case.Regardless of a parent's situation, creative thinking is often necessary to reach adequate child custody and visitation arrangements. One way to do this is to engage in what is often referred to as "bird nesting." This is a process by which parents keep a familial home so that children can maintain a sense of stability while the parents rotate in and out of the home according to a pre-arranged schedule. Of course, this can be challenging for parents, as they oftentimes will share a separate residence such as an apartment so that they can stay there when it is not their time to stay with the children in the familial home.This kind of arrangement can be beneficial to children because it allows them to stay in the same school, keep their same friends, see their parents regularly and be comfortable in the home that they have grown accustomed to. However, some experts warn that long term nesting can be detrimental to parents' relationships and their relationships with their children. This can be especially true when one parent begins a relationship with another individual. After all, one parent may be hurt and find it problematic when it is their turn to reside in the familial home with the children and they see signs of a boyfriend or girlfriend having spent significant time there with the children. Additionally, long-term nesting can leave children unsure of what the future holds with regard to their parents living arrangements, their living arrangements and their parents' relationship. Therefore, many experts recommend utilizing the nesting technique for only three months to six months.Child custody and visitation issues can be enormously complex depending on the facts at hand. By utilizing creative thinking and addressing issues head-on, an individual can ensure that he or she reaches an agreement that furthers the children's best interest. When these types of arrangements cannot be negotiated with the other parent, then the parents will likely have to take the matter to court and litigate the issue in front of a judge. Whether an individual is able to negotiate a resolution or must litigate it, the assistance of a skilled family law attorney often proves beneficial.

How does Chapter 13 bankruptcy compare to Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

Whether it is due to a job loss, medical debt, credit card bills or a mortgage, there are many reasons why people in Roanoke may be in serious financial trouble. These problems are only exacerbated when debt collectors start calling, their utilities are turned off or they are facing foreclosure. Fortunately, there is a way to address these problems and obtain a fresh financial start: filing for bankruptcy.

Generally, there are two types of bankruptcy a person can choose from. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a person can keep certain exempt assets. Their remaining assets are liquidated, and the proceeds used to pay their creditors. When the process is complete, many types of debts will be discharged. It is a short process, taking only three to six months to complete.

What are some options for adoption in Virginia?

Adoption is a wonderful way to grow a family. Through adoption, Virginia residents who want to be parents are connected to children in need of a family, benefiting all involved. It is truly one of the happier aspects of family law.

In Virginia most adoptions are through the foster care system, although other types of adoptions including adoption by relatives, stepparents or overseas adoptions are also options. Per the Code of Virginia Chapter 12, there are two ways a child can be placed with parents: agency placements and non-agency placements.

Credit card interest rates up in the U.S.

A trend has been happening here in the U.S. lately that credit card users may not be thrilled about. This trend is a general increase in credit card rates.

According to a recent report, the current average interest rate for credit cards in the U.S. is 17.01 percent. One year ago, it was 16.15 percent. Two years ago, it was 15.22 percent.

Preparing children for the changes and impact of divorce

Any married couple who decides to split up knows the process of a divorce will bring a lot of changes to their lives. For parents, the considerations increase tenfold as you are accountable for not only your life but the lives of the children involved as well. Major life changes such as divorce can burden and potentially harm a child’s mental and emotional stability, so as parents it is important to work to lessen these consequences.

As you and your soon to be former spouse to share the news of a divorce with children, consider some preparations and cautions you can take to ensure their wellbeing during this time. There is no prefixed guideline for every family to follow, but there are some general tips to keep in mind as you prepare for life during and after a divorce.

The Importance Of Reputable Bankruptcy Assistance

Bankruptcy plays an important role in restoring the financial independence of people across the country. Unfortunately, some non-attorney advisers attempt to exploit that importance for their own benefit.

Finding a reputable bankruptcy provider is extremely important. This importance is highlighted by the recent bankruptcy court decision punishing an unscrupulous bankruptcy provider in Chicago. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Virginia sanctioned Law Solutions Chicago (doing business as the inaptly-named "UpRight Law"). The sanctions totaled more than $300,000 against the attorneys and its bankruptcy filing privileges were revoked. 

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