Why choose Spiro & Browne?
We have represented hundreds of individuals seeking to get their lives back on track through the bankruptcy process. We handle all types of personal bankruptcy cases (see below), from the very routine to the very complex. We are not a “bankruptcy mill” or “high volume” practice. Unlike most firms handling personal bankruptcy cases, our bankruptcy clients are referred to us by other attorneys or former clients, based on our reputation. You won’t see us on TV or on billboards and you won’t receive form letters or other solicitations from us. Because we keep our overhead low, our fees are very competitive.
During our initial free consultation, we will review your entire financial picture and determine, with you, whether bankruptcy makes sense. We will explain all available bankruptcy and non-bankruptcy options for resolving your financial problems. We do not “steer” our clients into bankruptcy or into any particular chapter of bankruptcy. Rather, we know that each client and each case is unique. Our role is to determine what is in the best interests of each client, to help each client make informed choices and to represent each client ethically and to the best of our abilities.
We handle the following types of personal bankruptcy cases:
Chapter 7 cases:
Often referred to as “straight bankruptcy”, chapter 7 bankruptcy is generally the speediest and most straightforward form of bankruptcy. In theory, chapter 7 involves the liquidation of non-exempt assets to pay creditors, with most unpaid debts being “discharged” or forgiven. In practice, we are usually able to “exempt” or protect all of our clients’ assets. This often requires pre-bankruptcy planning, which is permissible and appropriate when done properly and with full disclosure.
Chapter 13 cases:
Chapter 13, often called “wage earner” cases, represent a good option for clients with non-exempt assets and homeowners who are behind on their mortgage payments but wish to save their homes. Chapter 13 stops home foreclosures, car repossessions and many other forms of creditor collection. All property is protected in chapter 13. This form of bankruptcy involves the repayment of a portion of debt through a court-approved payment plan lasting between 3 and 5 years.
Chapter 11 cases:
Individuals occasionally file chapter 11 personally in situations where their debts exceed the limits set for chapter 13 personal reorganization cases. Chapter 11 is more complex, intensive and costly than other chapters. In certain situations, however, personal chapter 11 is the best option, particularly where a client owns a majority of an operating business and has guaranteed substantial business debt.
Chapter 12 cases:
Chapter 12 cases, though not common, are exclusively for family farmers and certain fisherman who meet eligibility requirement set forth in the Bankruptcy Code. We have represented many family farmers and, in each case, obtained a confirmed chapter 12 plan.
Complementing our Debtor practice, the firm often represents creditor interests, under all chapters of the bankruptcy code. Our clients have included lenders, credit unions, auto dealers, trade creditors and bankruptcy trustees. Additionally, our attorneys have served as court-appointed receiver or custodian pendente lite for various businesses. Finally, we often serve as local counsel for out of state firms involved in large chapter 11 bankruptcy cases pending in Virginia.
Our representations have included:
- Investigation and relevation of approximately $400,000.00 in undisclosed assets in “no asset” chapter 7 case, resulting in substantial creditor payouts through avoidance actions in bankruptcy court
- Appointed by Virginia Office of the Attorney General as Receiver for four Virginia corporations
- Represented Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee in multimillion dollar adversary proceeding against international defendant
- Represented national sports-themed restaurant company in receivership and related franchise litigation
- Successful mediation in Chapter 11 case on behalf of secured lender, through creative motions practice, enabling creditor client to foreclose and recover bulk of $2.6MM claim
- Representation of Virginia State Lottery Commission in re-opening of chapter 7 case to pursue nondischargeability fraud litigation, resulting in order of nondischargeability
We have represented dozens of business entities reorganizing or liquidating under chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code. In the majority of these cases, we have achieved confirmed plans of reorganization or liquidation. David K. Spiro is one of only two Richmond-based attorneys to have been certified by the American Board of Certification in Business Bankruptcy.
Please contact us for a list of our chapter 11 cases and for more information and literature on the Chapter 11 process.