By Vikki Watanabe—A Virtual Bankruptcy Assistant (VBA) is an independent contractor who works with Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys providing Chapter 7, 11 and 13 case support and petition preparation. They do not work directly with the public to prepare petitions. The income earned will depend on how much effort the VBA wants to put into this venture. Here are answers to frequently-asked questions.

What are the requirements to be a VBA?
You are running (or starting) a Virtual business. That depends on whether you go it alone or join an association. NSVBA requires their VBA members who are new to the industry to have a high level of technical experience and know-how. After all, we are talking about “virtual services” which relies exclusively on the Internet and SaaS services. In addition, NSVBA will require VBA members who are new to the industry to complete required basic training which is included in NSVBA membership. Each member must set up a Secured Home Office environment—security is important!—set up a Web presence and continue their education.

How much does it cost to start up a VBA business?
Like any other business venture, the cost of doing business is driven by your own budget. Key costs to operate this business involve hardware (computer systems utilizing current technology), software, training, secure e-services, internet connection, phone, web presence, and marketing, marketing, marketing.

How quickly can I begin to make money?
Like any other business venture, your return-on-investment will not be immediate-regardless of what you hear anyplace else. This is not a get-rich-quick venture and if it was don’t you think everyone would be doing it? As a small business owner/operator your time, level of commitment, and budget will determine how quickly you make money.

What is the NSVBA (National Society of Virtual Bankruptcy Assistants)?
NSVBA is a national member organization of Independent Contractors which include Freelance Paralegals, Legal Assistants, Certified Virtual Bankruptcy Assistants, Legal Secretaries and other seasoned professionals from various backgrounds.