Bankruptcy / West Virginia / Martinsburg

Filing Bankruptcy in Martinsburg: 7 Things You Need to Know

Written by Ben Tejes
Updated Apr 16th, 2024

You are considering filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Martinsburg. Bankruptcy is a common debt relief choice. In fact, many people in West Virginia have received bankruptcy relief, and Martinsburg is no different. In fact, there were 1,857 bankruptcies filed in West Virginia in the year ending June 30, 2021 (Source). With a population of 17454, I’d estimate a fair number of those were in Martinsburg.

The purpose of this article is to provide an extensive list of filing bankruptcy in Martinsburg including:

  1. Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Martinsburg
  2. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Martinsburg
  3. Martinsburg Bankruptcy Attorney Fees
  4. Finding a Reputable Bankruptcy Lawyer in Martinsburg
  5. Estimating Loss of Belonging (i.e.
  6. Getting Bankruptcy Help in Martinsburg
  7. Bankruptcy Alternatives and Conclusion

Without further ado, let’s get started with Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Martinsburg

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the most common consumer bankruptcy in the United States. People appreciate the simplicity of Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the cost of the Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and the speed of debt relief. For example, in Martinsburg, you could get debt relief in about 120 days with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

One of the challenges of Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Martinsburg is that you have to qualify. In order to qualify in Martinsburg, you often have to pass the West Virginia bankruptcy means test. You can estimate that qualification below in Martinsburg. Let’s cover how you can qualify.

Chapter 7 Qualification

The first part of the means test is to understand your income in relation to the median income levels for West Virginia. It considers the average family size and income.

To estimate your qualification, you can take the Martinsburg Chapter 7 qualification calculator below that is specific to Martinsburg.

Finally, the most recent West Virginia median income levels is for cases filed on or after April 1, 2024, and can be found below. 

# of PeopleAnnual Income

If your income exceeds the median, you can move on to the second part of the means test to estimate qualification. The second part of the means test is to understand your actual expenses. You can check out our guide covering trying to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy above the median.

For example, the average median rent amount in Martinsburg is $948, but let's say your rent is almost double that amount. Could you potentially still qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy because of those additional expenses? What you are able to state as ab expense is limited, and you can refer to the current national standard for the maximum amounts, but you may want to speak with your attorney about this situation.

Which Could Would You File In If You Live In Martinsburg?

Martinsburg is located in the West Virginia Northern district, so our understanding is that you would be filing your bankruptcy in the Clarsburg bankruptcy court. Here's the estimated information we have for your court:

Clarsburg Bankruptcy Court
Address: 324 W Main St, Clarksburg, WV 26301
Phone: (304) 623-7866

Does that mean you would have to drive to court?

Not necessarily. 

Please note that main meeting for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the 341 meeting of creditors, which is often online via Zoom or another teleconference after the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is known as a wage-earner bankruptcy. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a voluntary reorganization of debt.  In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the individual has debt that they can no longer manage and often own assets that exceed state and/or federal relief. Folks file Chapter 13 bankruptcy often when they do not qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.  

Most individuals in Martinsburg will qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy as long as they are below the debt limits.

Compared to Chapter 7, there is no liquidation in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. Although, the discharge won’t be until around 3 to 5 years. The Chapter 13 bankruptcy will stay on your credit report for 7 years.

Martinsburg Bankruptcy Attorney Fees

When looking for a bankruptcy attorney, we recommend that you look for these 5 attributes: Rate, Reliability, Referrals, Reviews, and Relevancy. You can check our guide to find a top bankruptcy attorney in Martinsburg.

The estimated Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer fee in Martinsburg is: $950 - $4300.

The estimated Chapter 13 bankruptcy lawyer fee in Martinsburg is: $3,500. The Chapter 13 attorney fee is often set across the district, meaning that all Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorneys in a district may charge around the same fee.

Martinsburg Bankruptcy Attorneys

One of the most important things to do is to find a reputable bankruptcy attorney in Martinsburg if you decide to hire one. This is legal advice related to finances that are going to affect your future. For example, making sure you are in the right bankruptcy chapter (Chapter 7 vs Chapter 13) could cost you thousands more and take you years longer.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyer

As stated above, Martinsburg has a population of 17454. In many cases, individuals in larger cities such as Charleston or Huntington would like a bankruptcy lawyer close by. In smaller cities, I have found that individuals have questions about whether the bankruptcy will show up in the newspaper or whether friends will hear about it. This is a valid question.

Regardless, you can check the Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyers in or near Martinsburg using the table below. You just need to input your zip code, and voila, you can choose which Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer you would like to speak to near or far away from Martinsburg in a free bankruptcy lawyer consultation

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Lawyer

Filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Martinsburg may be a bit more intensive, so you may consider a Chapter 13 bankruptcy that is closer to you. That said, with the internet and the pandemic, many of the meetings are now online and you can generally submit your documentation online as well.

How much a Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney often charges is based on what's called a no-look fee. We do our best to track the Chapter 13 attorney fee in Martinsburg.

Bankruptcy Exemptions in West Virginia

As you live in Martinsburg, you are often able to use the West Virginia bankruptcy exemptions to help you keep your belongings.

One of the biggest questions people have is whether they are able to keep their homes in bankruptcy. This is where bankruptcy exemptions come into play. As Martinsburg has a home ownership % of 48.3% and an estimated estimated home value of $152222, you can understand that many people want to keep this asset. You can often keep your assets using bankruptcy exemptions.

Here are the West Virginia bankruptcy exemptions. The exemptions are revised on different occasions, so you may wish to check the most current information on exemptions. Also, as a reference, West Virginia is a place that does not allow you to use federal bankruptcy exemptions. You often have to choose which one to use, so a bankruptcy attorney can help you with that option.

Homestead Exemption

The homestead exemption is often broken down by age and whether you are married. 

  • Single and under 65: $35,000
  • Single is 65 or older: $35,000
  • Married and under 65: $70,000
  • Married is 65 or older: $70,000

West Virginia specific homestead bankruptcy exemption text: “W. Va. Code § 38-10-4(a). Real or personal property used as residence; unused portion of homestead may be applied to any property.” (Source)

Automobile Exemption

The automobile bankruptcy exemption in West Virginia is $7,500.

Jewelry Exemption

The jewelry bankruptcy exemption in West Virginia is $1,000.

Tools of Trade Exemption

The tools of the trade bankruptcy exemption in West Virginia is $1,500.

Wildcard Exemption

The wildcard bankruptcy exemption in West Virginia is $800.

Special Exemption Handling for West Virginia

Below is specific special handling of bankruptcy exemptions in West Virginia.

Bankruptcy Help in Martinsburg

Unemployment can cause both frustration and angst about options. The most recent statistic I found is that the Martinsburg unemployment rate is 11.2%. There may be resources available to help. In addition to the unemployment rate, Martinsburg has a disability rate of 19.1%. As such, if you are truly in need and don’t have income, there are resources that may be available that can help you.

Check out the legal aid and free resources that may be available in Martinsburg.

Legal Aid and Free Resources

Here are some legal aid resources that may be helpful to you in Martinsburg.

The bankruptcy court and district may have free resources that are available to you. I have included the information below. 

Lastly, Martinsburg also has a limited English rate of 0.8% and a poverty rate of 29.5%. If you have limited English, you may check out the court websites for West Virginia for additional information on how you can be served. You can also see how filing bankruptcy without an attorney can work if you cannot afford a bankruptcy lawyer.

Courts and Districts in West Virginia

Northern District

  • 500 West Pike Street, Room 301
    P.O. Box 2857
    Clarksburg, WV 26302
  • P.O. Box 1518
    300 Third Street
    Elkins, WV 26241
  • 217 W. King Street
    Room 102
    Martinsburg, WV 25401
  • 1125 Chapline Street
    P.O. Box 471
    Wheeling, WV 26003


  • 601 Federal Street,
    Room 1000
    Bluefield, WV 24701
  • Robert C. Byrd United States Courthouse
    300 Virginia Street, East, Suite 2400
    Charleston, WV 25301
  • Sidney L. Christie Federal Building
    845 Fifth Avenue, Room 101
    Huntington, WV 25701
  • 110 North Heber Street,
    Room 119
    Beckley, WV 25801

Debt Settlement in Martinsburg

One of the most common alternatives to bankruptcy is debt settlement. A debt settlement firm would negotiate for a lower amount due on your debt in the case of financial hardship. The goal would be to reduce your debt in half. In this case, you would have a lower monthly payment.

If you are looking at debt settlement in Martinsburg, you may want to consider a national debt settlement firm to a local one in Martinsburg. For example, most of your creditors are probably national banks instead of local Martinsburg banks. As such, you can potentially get lower fees by using a national firm. You should strongly consider the pros and cons and credit score impact before taking the plunge as Ascend only recommends 2 debt settlement firms nationwide that both offer free phone evaluations.


Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Martinsburg can provide debt relief. That said, you may want to consider the cost of bankruptcy in Martinsburg, the different bankruptcy chapters, reputable attorneys in Martinsburg and alternatives to help you make the most informed decision. 

You can also take our Chapter 7 vs Chapter calculator below to help you estimate the cost and qualification of Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Martinsburg.