Personal Bankruptcy Representation in Charleston, SC
Filing for bankruptcy is a big decision. It can be frightening. However, difficult times and uncontrollable circumstances can create financial problems that have no other solutions. South Carolina Bankruptcy laws can provide a way to “start over” and rebuild your finances.
How do I decide to file bankruptcy?
FIRST, before you do anything else, speak with a bankruptcy lawyer to help you decide.
Because filing bankruptcy is a large decision, you need an attorney that fully understands bankruptcy laws to look at your unique situation to find the best path forward.
Make an appointment for a face to face meeting with me, Conrad Falkiewicz, so that you can get the personal attention needed for you to make the best decision. Use the contact form below or call 843-571-4611 so that we can set aside time for YOU.
What Bankruptcy Chapter should you choose?
Choosing the correct bankruptcy filing for your situation is extremely important. The three main type or “chapters” of bankruptcy for individuals and married couples are: Chapter 7, Chapter 13, and Chapter 11.
Each type of bankruptcy is designed for different personal financial situations. Your personal financial situation is unique to you. Together, we will discuss and determine the best path forward for you.
3 Main Types of Personal Bankruptcy
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
This chapter of the bankruptcy code is liquidation or sometimes referred to as straight bankruptcy. Under most circumstances, assets such as one’s house or car, up to the limit of our personal exemptions, even if secured by a lien or mortgage, can be retained by maintaining the payments.
Unsecured debts such as credit cards and signature loans are typically discharged. Under certain circumstances, the court appointed trustee may seize and sell certain assets if they are not under lien and not subject to protection by the state exemption laws wherein the proceeds are distributed to one’s creditors.
It is critical to have a thorough and candid discussion of all of one’s assets and debts with your attorney so that a proper chapter of the bankruptcy code can be chosen.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
This chapter of the bankruptcy code is a reorganization chapter that is sometimes referred to as a wage earner plan.
The reorganization of one’s debts, including bringing a mortgage current, can occur over a period of up to 60 months. To retain an asset secured by a lien, provisions in the plan of reorganization are made for monthly payment to any secured creditors through and under the auspices of a Chapter 13 trustee.
There are legal and strategic reasons why one would choose a Chapter 13 over a Chapter 7 and the attorney will be able to strategize which chapter better suits your needs.
Chapter 11 Bankruptcy
Chapter 11 Bankruptcy is the only reorganization chapter for corporations that can also be used by individuals or married couples. Chapter 11 is use by individuals when it’s unique rules make it beneficial or when an individual or married couples debts exceed the Chapter 13 limits.
In most cases, the debtor, whether a corporation or individual, continues to operate their business or work their job. On occasion, when the court deems it necessary, a trustee or examiner can be appointed to oversee the business.
Typically Chapter 11 affords a longer period of time in order to reorganize and pay back all or a portion of the debts.
Chapter 11s, however, require far more paperwork and monthly reporting than a Chapter 13 which also makes them significantly more expensive to represent. All bankruptcy chapters offer an immediate or automatic stay of civil actions and lawsuits against the debtor which can lead to saving ones’ home or business.
Which Bankruptcy Type or Chapter is best for you?
If you are overwhelmed by credit card debt, medical debts, or other unsecured debt and have limited income and very few assets to protect, then a Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be the way to start over free of most of your debt.
If you have a home to protect, a car, or other property and you have a reasonable income, you may be able to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. With this option, you can clear up your financial problems by paying into a debt repayment plan over 3-5 years. We will formulate and present a plan specifically designed for your situation to the Bankruptcy Court fro approval. These plans often reduce the total amount of debt to be paid becuase the plans often reduce the amounts to be paid to unsecured creditors.
A choice has to be made between a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy to file a personal bankruptcy. Chapter 7 requires a release of all assets to achieve a release from all unsecured debt. While this can release you from credit card debt, medical bills, and personal loans, it does not release you from child support debt, judgments, or most tax debt.
Debt secured by assets or property will be usually paid by the submission of that property. However, to file for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, a means test must be met. If the means test determines an individual has sufficient income to pay a sufficient level of their debts, then they may not qualify to file a Chapter 7.
Even if you do qualify for a Chapter 7, you may still decide to file a Chapter 13 to try to keep ownership of secured properties like your home. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy makes a plan to restructure all of your debts, eliminate some debt, and pay off remaining debts in an affordable manner under a repayment plan. Your attorney will make the plan to present to the bankruptcy court after receiving all of your financial information. Exemptions in South Carolina state law that are recognized in bankruptcy law may help you keep your home, retirement assets or personal property.
Filing for Personal Bankruptcy in South Carolina
Filing for Bankruptcy is not a decision to take lightly. While you may feel overwhelmed by your current financial situation, there is help and a path forward.
Bankruptcy law is complex in South Carolina, and an attorney can help you make the right decisions to clear up the financial challenges that you’re facing.
Imagine the feeling of a fresh start. Imagine standing on solid financial ground. Take the first step to your new life today.