If medical bills, unemployment, underemployment, failed business ventures, or divorce leave you with an overwhelming amount of debt, bankruptcy may be the lifeline you need. A Gaffney bankruptcy lawyer from our firm can help you understand the type of bankruptcy that applies to your case, the filing process, and the financial benefits that bankruptcy can provide.
There is no shame or embarrassment in taking advantage of filing for bankruptcy. It exists to help individuals, small business owners, and corporations relieve the stress, frustration, and anxiety of impossible-to-overcome debt loads.
Types of Bankruptcy
Although bankruptcy offers the chance to get rid of overwhelming debt and start building a new financial future, there are different types of bankruptcy, each with its own set of qualifications and requirements. In accordance with United States Bankruptcy Court – District of South Carolina, these include Chapters 7, 11, 12, and 13.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Filing for Chapter 7 requires the applicant to list all assets of every kind. Nonexempt assets can be liquidated to pay off as much of their debt as they can. This sounds scary, but individuals who file Chapter 7 bankruptcy typically do not have nonexempt assets. In such cases, all qualifying debts are discharged, and applicants are able to retain all their assets.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy also does not have any debt limitations to comply with. At the end of the filing process, all qualifying debt is discharged.
Chapter 11 Bankruptcy
Chapter 11 bankruptcy allows individual and corporate debtors to reorganize their debt into a manageable repayment plan. With this option, they are often able to retain control of their assets, and in some cases can convert to Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Like with Chapter 7 bankruptcy, there is no debt limit when filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Chapter 12 Bankruptcy
Chapter 12 bankruptcy is reserved for family farmers and fishermen. While it does have certain debt limitations, those who file for Chapter 12 bankruptcy are able to negotiate a favorable plan for gradual repayment of their debt load. A court-appointed trustee will oversee and assist with debt repayment and farming operations.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Those who file for Chapter 13 typically have steady income but overwhelming debt. As such, they are able to maintain their property and set up manageable payment schedules based on anticipated future earnings. Once the court approves a repayment plan, debts that cannot be fully discharged are paid gradually, and many previously defaulted debts are relieved.
Which Bankruptcy Chapter Is for You?
The debt load and income of individuals, small business owners, corporations, and farmers might mean each qualifies for more than one type of bankruptcy. One of our bankruptcy attorneys can analyze your situation, resources, and filing status (e.g., whether you are filing as an individual or a business) to determine which chapter is best for you.
Know Which Debts Are Dischargeable with Bankruptcy
Dischargeable debts are those the court can completely eliminate. After a bankruptcy discharge, you are absolved of legal responsibility for the discharged debt and never have to pay it back.
Some types of bankruptcy include non-dischargeable debt that cannot be eliminated by the court. These debts vary from case to case and might include:
- Spousal support after a divorce
- Child support payments
- Certain types of tax debt
- Student loan debt
- Restitution and other payments ordered by a criminal court
It can be difficult to determine which debts are dischargeable and which are non-dischargeable. Our team can work hard to help you understand the difference and pick the bankruptcy chapter that covers the debt categories you are struggling with.
Benefits of Bankruptcy Protection
Being in debt is a stressful experience. Although filing for bankruptcy can also be an emotionally difficult decision, it can provide a tremendous sense of liberation if you have exhausted all of your non-bankruptcy options. The U.S. Courts maintain that:
- Discharged debts are no longer your personal responsibility.
- Debt collection efforts must stop once creditors are notified that you have begun bankruptcy proceedings.
- Debt collection phone calls and letters must also stop.
If you are ready to experience the personal, financial, and stress relief of bankruptcy, our team can help you get started on the process of filing for bankruptcy.
Are There Alternatives to Bankruptcy?
As our team can explain further, bankruptcy is not the only option for people struggling with debt. Some people may benefit more from one of the alternatives listed below, which our team can review with you if they are relevant to your situation.
- Debt counseling or education
- Negotiating with creditors
- Staying the course/doing nothing at this moment
Meet Our South Carolina Bankruptcy Attorneys
Our bankruptcy lawyers have the education, experience, and personal dedication to help South Carolina residents and businesses through the bankruptcy process. They and their teams can offer the support you need during this challenging time.
Sharon, one of our former bankruptcy clients, was “very satisfied” with our services and how we provided “understanding without judgment” while managing her case. We would now like to do the same for you.
Get Help Completing the Bankruptcy Filing Process
A bankruptcy lawyer who serves Gaffney, South Carolina, can make the process easier to understand and complete. In South Carolina, the filing process includes:
- Collecting and completing a plethora of necessary forms
- Compiling a list with the names and contact information of each of your creditors
- Understanding and selecting the right bankruptcy chapter
- Choosing the right filing location to which you should mail or personally deliver the required forms
- Paying the fees that are applicable to the type of bankruptcy you file
- Designing a repayment plan that your creditors and the court approve (in most chapters)
In addition, you attend court hearings, submit tax returns, complete financial management classes or counseling sessions, and wait for the final discharge of your debts or approval of your repayment plan. Our team can help you navigate this process, understand and complete all forms, and keep you aware of your bankruptcy status on each step of the journey.
Call Us to Begin the Process
Overwhelming debt can feel insurmountable. That is why we work so hard to provide financial relief to Gaffney-based businesses and individuals who simply need a chance to start anew.
When you are ready to give yourself a new financial start, contact Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC. Call (828) 286-3866 to speak to a client representative and find out how our bankruptcy lawyers can get you started on the road to financial recovery.