West Virginia State Bankruptcy Laws
What Are The West Virginia Bankruptcy Exemptions?
West Virginia law protects all or a portion of your property from being seized by creditors or the bankruptcy trustee in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you are generally allowed to keep all of your assets and property. Certain exceptions may apply, so it’s wise to consult with a West Virginia bankruptcy attorney to find which of your assets will be protected in a bankruptcy filed in West Virginia. In general, the major West Virginia bankruptcy exemptions include:
|GENERAL WASHINGTON EXEMPTIONS|
|Real Estate (the Homestead Exemption)
Up to $25,000 of equity in your interest in real or personal property can be protected.
Up to $2,400 of equity in one motor vehicle can be protected.
$400 per item (and $8,000 in the aggregate) in household furnishings, household goods, clothing, appliances, books, animals, crops and musical instruments; $1,000 in jewelry; $1,500 in books and tools of trade.
|View the complete list of West Virginia bankruptcy exemptions|
Please remember that this page provides general information only, and is not intended to provide legal advice. The information is not a substitute for the advice of a qualified bankruptcy attorney. If you need legal assistance, consult an attorney.
Which state’s exemption laws apply in your bankruptcy?
Generally, the laws of the state in which you lived for the 730 days (2 years) prior to filing a bankruptcy petition will apply in your bankruptcy.
If you have not lived in the same state for the 2 years immediately prior to filing your bankruptcy petition, the laws of the state in which you lived for the majority of the 180-day period preceding the 2-year period will likely apply.
If application of the preceding general rules renders you ineligible for exemptions under any state’s laws, you may be allowed to choose the federal exemptions applicable in your bankruptcy.
Is West Virginia a Community Property State?
No, West Virginia is not a community property state. Because it is not a community property state, you will be responsible for your spouse’s debts only if you voluntarily assumed those debts by, for example, co-signing on a loan given to your spouse. In a non-community property state, one spouse can file for bankruptcy and be eligible to eliminate all of their unsecured debts without the involvement of the other spouse.
How did your senator vote on the new bankruptcy laws?
Following years of intense lobbying by creditors, Congress passed the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA). How did your Senators vote on these largely pro-creditor provisions?
Byrd (D-WV) — YEA
Rockefeller (D-WV) — NAY
West Virginia Bankruptcy Court Locations:
1125 Chapline St.
P.O. Box 70
Wheeling, WV 26003
324 Main Street
P.O. Box 2506
Clarksburg, WV 26302
601 Federal Street
Bluefield, WV 24701
300 Virginia Street East, Room 3200
Charleston, WV 25301
Sidney L. Christie Federal Building
845 Fifth Avenue
Huntington, WV 25701
425 Juliana Street
Parkersburg, WV 26101
110 North Heber Street
Beckley, WV 25801
Note: You may not have to actually go to one of the above bankruptcy courts. Trustees often conduct your meeting at a local venue.
Although bankruptcy is federal law, the bankruptcy courts in each jurisdiction have local rules that must be followed. A local bankruptcy attorney will be familiar with the specific rules in your area.