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Best Virginia Bankruptcy Lawyers

Navigating the complexities of bankruptcy can be overwhelming. Whether you’re dealing with personal or business financial struggles, finding the right legal support is crucial. Here’s a comprehensive guide to the best bankruptcy lawyers in Virginia, including reviews, contact information, and insights to help you make an informed decision.

What to Look For in a Bankruptcy Lawyer

When selecting a bankruptcy lawyer, there are several key factors to consider to ensure you receive the best possible representation and guidance.

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Experience and Specialization

A lawyer’s experience in bankruptcy law is paramount. An experienced lawyer will be well-versed in the nuances of bankruptcy proceedings, which can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case. Look for attorneys who specialize in bankruptcy law, particularly those who handle Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 cases.

Client Reviews and Testimonials

Client reviews provide valuable insights into a lawyer’s competency and client service. Positive testimonials indicate a lawyer’s ability to successfully navigate bankruptcy cases and provide satisfactory client experiences. Yelp and other review platforms can be great resources to gauge client satisfaction.

Credentials and Affiliations

Ensure your lawyer is licensed and in good standing with the state bar. Affiliations with professional organizations, such as the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA), can also indicate a commitment to staying updated with the latest developments in bankruptcy law.

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Free Consultations and Transparent Fees

Many bankruptcy lawyers offer free initial consultations. This is an excellent opportunity to discuss your case, understand the lawyer’s approach, and get a sense of their communication style. Transparency in fee structures is also important to avoid any unexpected costs.

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Availability and Accessibility

Your lawyer should be accessible and responsive to your needs. Efficient communication is key throughout the bankruptcy process, so choose someone who is available for consultations and updates as needed.

Top Bankruptcy Lawyers in Virginia

Edrie Pfeiffer – Hampton Roads Bankruptcy Services

Edrie Pfeiffer is the managing attorney at Hampton Roads Bankruptcy Services, with over 26 years of experience. She holds an LLM from Georgetown University Law Center and a JD from Regent University School of Law. Edrie specializes in Chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcy, debt settlement, credit repair, and wage garnishment.

Contact Information:

  • Address: 2628 Barrett Street, Suite B2-100, Virginia Beach, VA 23462
  • Phone: (757) 276-6555
  • Website: hamptonroadslegal.com

Client Reviews:

  • “Attorney Pfeiffer appeared knowledgeable, experienced, and thorough about the entire process of filing bankruptcy.”
  • “She gave me straightforward advice and a great referral for a different jurisdiction.”
  • “Treated with kindness and very knowledgeable; I would recommend her services with great pleasure.”

John G. Merna – The Merna Law Group, P.C.

John G. Merna is a senior attorney and founder of The Merna Law Group. He has been practicing since 1991, specializing in Chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcies, debt settlement, and creditor defense. John’s firm is well-regarded for its comprehensive approach to debt relief.

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Contact Information:

  • Address: 621 North Lynnhaven Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23452
  • Phone: (757) 340-4070
  • Website: mernalaw.com
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Client Reviews:

  • “John G. Merna provided clear and helpful guidance throughout the bankruptcy process.”
  • “The team was professional and responsive, making a difficult situation much easier to handle.”
  • “Highly recommend The Merna Law Group for their expertise and client-focused approach.”

Poole Brooke Plumlee PC

Todd D. Rothlisberger at Poole Brooke Plumlee PC offers extensive experience in bankruptcy law, assisting both debtors and creditors. The firm provides a wide range of legal services, including commercial real estate, business law, and personal injury.

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Contact Information:

  • Address: 4705 Columbus Street, Suite 100, Virginia Beach, VA 23462
  • Phone: (757) 552-6055
  • Website: pbp-attorneys.com

Client Reviews:

  • “Informative, professional, and clear in explaining legal terms.”
  • “Exceeded expectations in handling estate planning and bankruptcy cases.”
  • “Very knowledgeable and professional in getting the job done efficiently.”

Understanding Bankruptcy: Chapter 7 vs. Chapter 13

Bankruptcy filings primarily fall under two categories: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Understanding the differences can help you choose the right path for your financial situation.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7, also known as liquidation bankruptcy, involves the sale of a debtor’s non-exempt assets to pay off creditors. This process usually lasts three to six months and can discharge most unsecured debts, such as credit card balances and medical bills. However, it may not eliminate secured debts like mortgages or car loans.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Chapter 13 bankruptcy, or reorganization bankruptcy, allows debtors to keep their assets and create a repayment plan to pay off debts over three to five years. This option is suitable for individuals with a steady income who can afford to make regular payments to creditors. Chapter 13 can stop foreclosure and repossession, giving debtors a chance to catch up on missed payments.

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Eligibility and Benefits

  • Chapter 7: Best for individuals with little to no disposable income. It provides a fresh start by discharging unsecured debts.
  • Chapter 13: Ideal for those with a stable income who want to keep their property and repay debts over time. It offers protection from foreclosure and repossession.

Impact on Credit and Future Finances

Filing for bankruptcy will impact your credit score and remain on your credit report for seven to ten years. However, many find that their credit score begins to improve shortly after filing, as they are no longer burdened by overwhelming debt. Rebuilding credit through responsible financial habits is possible, and many bankruptcy filers can qualify for new credit within a few years.

Preparing for Your Consultation

Before meeting with a bankruptcy lawyer, gather all relevant financial documents, including:

  • Recent pay stubs and tax returns
  • Credit card statements and loan documents
  • Mortgage and car loan information
  • A list of assets and liabilities

Having these documents ready will help your lawyer assess your situation accurately and provide the best advice.

Conclusion

Choosing the right bankruptcy lawyer in Virginia can make a significant difference in navigating the complexities of bankruptcy. By considering experience, client reviews, credentials, and transparency, you can find a lawyer who will guide you through this challenging time with professionalism and empathy.

Table of Top Virginia Bankruptcy Lawyers

Lawyer Firm Name Address Phone Website Specialties
Edrie Pfeiffer Hampton Roads Bankruptcy Services 2628 Barrett Street, Suite B2-100, Virginia Beach (757) 276-6555 hamptonroadslegal.com Chapter 7 & 13 Bankruptcy, Debt Settlement
John G. Merna The Merna Law Group, P.C. 621 North Lynnhaven Road, Virginia Beach (757) 340-4070 mernalaw.com Chapter 7 & 13 Bankruptcy, Debt Settlement
Todd D. Rothlisberger Poole Brooke Plumlee PC 4705 Columbus Street, Suite 100, Virginia Beach (757) 552-6055 pbp-attorneys.com Bankruptcy Law, Commercial Real Estate, Business Law

For anyone facing financial difficulties, seeking the guidance of an experienced bankruptcy lawyer is a crucial step towards regaining control of your financial future. With the right legal support, you can navigate bankruptcy proceedings with confidence and peace of mind.

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