West Virginia Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy laws and resources vary from state to state. The following page provides information and resource links for the state of West Virginia.



If you are not looking for information regarding West Virginia, please use the links on the left to find information for your state.



West Virginia Bankruptcy Courts - Location and Contact Information

West Virginia bankruptcy courts are divided into two districts, which are further divided into several divisions.  Generally, the debtor’s county of residence will determine which district and division the bankruptcy petition is filed.  It may also be determined by the location of the debtor's principal place of business or principal assets.



NORTHERN DISTRICT OF WEST VIRGINIA

Counties of Jurisdiction:

Clarksburg Division - Braxton, Calhoun, Doddridge, Gilmer, Harrison, Lewis, Marion, Monongalia, Pleasants, Ritchie, Taylor and Tyler Counties

Elkins Division - Barbour, Grant, Hardy, Mineral, Pendleton, Pocahontas, Preston, Randolph, Tucker, Upshur and Webster Counties

Martinsburg Division - Berkeley, Hampshire, Jefferson and Morgan Counties

Wheeling Division - Brooke, Hancock, Marshall, Ohio and Wetzell Counties

DIVISION STREET ADDRESS MAILING ADDRESS TELEPHONE
Clarksburg
Division
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
324 Main Street
PO Box 2506
Clarksburg, WV 26302

Same (304) 623-7866
Elkins
Division
This divisional office is unstaffed. Refer to the Clarksburg and Wheeling Divisions for contact information.
Martinsburg
Division
This divisional office is unstaffed. Refer to the Clarksburg and Wheeling Divisions for contact information.
Wheeling
Division
(Main Office)
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
1125 Chapline St.
PO Box 70
Wheeling, WV 26003
Same
(304) 233-1655

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SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF WEST VIRGINIA

Counties of Jurisdiction:

Beckley Division - Fayette, Greenbrier, Raleigh, Summers and Wyoming Counties

Bluefield Division - Mercer, McDowell and Monroe Counties

Charleston Division - Boone, Clay, Jackson, Kanawha, Lincoln, Logan, Mingo, Nicholas, Putna, and Roane Counties

Huntington Division - Cabell, Mason and Wayne Counties

Parkersburg Division - Wirt and Wood Counties

DIVISION STREET ADDRESS MAILING ADDRESS TELEPHONE
Beckley
Division
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
110 N. Heber Street
Room 271
Beckley, WV 25801
Same
(304) 253-7402
Bluefield
Division
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
601 Federal Street
Bluefield, WV 24701
Same (304) 327-9798
Charleston
Division
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
300 Virginia Street East
Room 3200
Charleston, WV 25301
Same
(304) 347-3003
Huntington
Division
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Sidney L. Christie Federal Building
845 Fifth Avenue
Huntington, WV 25701

Same (304) 529-5588
Parkersburg
Division
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
425 Juliana Street
Parkersburg, WV 26101
Same (304) 420-6490

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West Virginia Bankruptcy Laws and Exemptions

West Virginia Exemptions

The U.S. Bankruptcy Code allows individual debtors to exempt certain property from creditor claims based on exemptions under either federal law or state law. Exemptions vary from state to state. Some states have adopted their own set of bankruptcy exemptions that are used in place of the federal exemptions. However, other states give debtors an option to choose between either state or federal exemptions.

For West Virginia bankruptcy filings, state exemptions are used.

Following are common state exemptions in West Virginia:

Homestead Real property or personal property not to exceed $25,000 in value
Automobile One motor vehicle not to exceed $2,400 in value
Household
Goods
Household furnishings, household goods, wearing apparel, appliances, books, animals, crops or musical instruments not exceeding the aggregate value of $8,000 and not to exceed $400 in value in any particular item
Books & Art Objects See "Household Goods"
Wearing
Apparel
See "Household Goods"
Furs & Jewelry Up to $1,000
Tools of the Trade Implements, professional books or tools of the trade not exceeding the aggregate value of $1,500
Other Professionally prescribed health aids

Click here to read the text of bankruptcy exemptions pursuant to West Virginia Code Section 38-10-4.

Contact a West Virginia bankruptcy lawyer for more information regarding West Virginia bankruptcy exemptions.

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West Virginia Means Test

The new bankruptcy laws enacted in 2005 also require that debtors pass a means test before filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. There are two ways to pass the means test:

1. the debtor's annual income (calculated using the average gross income for the six month period prior to filing) must be below the state median. Census Bureau statistics for state median income by family size can be found here (for cases filed between April 1, 2013 and April 30, 2013).

2. If income exceeds the median income, individuals may still file Chapter 7 bankruptcy based on results of Form 22A: Chapter 7 Statement of Current Monthly Income and Means-Test Calculation.

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West Virginia Credit Counseling and Debtor Education Agencies

Pursuant to the new bankruptcy laws enacted in 2005, individuals who file personal bankruptcy (with limited exceptions) in West Virginia must:

1. take a credit counseling course from an approved West Virginia credit counseling provider within six months before filing bankruptcy; and

2. complete a debtor education course from an approved West Virginia debtor education agency prior to receiving a bankruptcy discharge.

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West Virginia Personal Bankruptcy Attorneys

To find West Virginia bankruptcy lawyers in your area, you may want to contact your local county bar association or the West Virginia State Bar Association:

West Virginia State Bar Association
2006 Kanawha Boulevard East
Charleston, WV 25311-2204
Telephone:(304) 558-2456
Toll Free: (866) 989-8227

Based on income, free bankruptcy advice and representation may also be obtained from the following organizations: See the Legal Aid of West Virginia's directory for a list of organizations that provide legal services to low income clients in West Virginia.

If you are concerned about the representation provided to you by a West Virginia bankruptcy attorney, visit the West Virginia State Bar Association's "Office of Disciplinary Counsel" page for information regarding how to file a complaint.

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Resources for West Virginia Bankruptcy Laws

U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of West Virginia - administrative and procedural information for Northern District of West Virginia bankruptcy filings

U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of West Virginia - administrative and procedural information for Southern District of West Virginia bankruptcy filings

Office of the U.S. Trustee for Region 4 - oversees the administration of West Virginia personal bankruptcy cases and case trustees

West Virginia State Bar Association - information about the West Virginia bar, membership, ethics, continuing legal education, and resources for the public.

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