Are you struggling with past-due bills? Are debt collectors calling the house or sending correspondence threatening legal action? If you answered yes to one or both questions, declaring bankruptcy is a possible solution. Bankruptcy could allow you to retain possession of some (or all) of your assets while stopping ominous phone calls or aggressive collection activities. A bankruptcy lawyer can assist you with the process.
Schiller and Hamilton’s bankruptcy lawyers help many people make a fresh financial start by declaring bankruptcy. You may not realize bankruptcy is a useful tool that many businesses and businesspeople use to reorganize or eliminate their debts so they can receive much-needed financial relief. In fact, many people and businesses emerge from the bankruptcy process and move on to great success.
What Is Bankruptcy and How Can It Help You?
Bankruptcy is a legal process in which you declare that the total value of all your debts and financial obligations exceeds your net worth and income to such an extent that it’s unlikely you will ever fully pay it. Depending on the debts you carry, a bankruptcy lawyer with our law firm may be able to help you do the following:
- Negotiate a reduction on some or all your debts
- Negotiate a lower interest rate or reduced penalties on your past-due bills
- Negotiate a single payment plan to pay off your creditors
Filing for bankruptcy essentially allows you to create a fresh start financially. Not only can you go forward without being shackled by your old bills, but you will stop receiving phone calls from collectors, and legal action creditors have taken against you will cease. Once you are free of these obligations, you can focus on rebuilding your financial future on a more solid footing.
What Kind of Debts Can Bankruptcy Settle?
You may be able to settle or reduce a wide range of debts through bankruptcy. Some of these debts include:
- Car loans
- Medical bills
- Personal loans
- Credit card bills
- Mortgage payments
- Delinquent utility bills
- Some legal judgments
Limits of Debt Reduction in Bankruptcies
It’s important to understand that bankruptcy cannot settle all debts. You cannot negotiate debts like alimony, child support payments, and civil fines imposed pursuant to criminal convictions through bankruptcy. The same applies to delinquent student loans. With that said, if a bankruptcy lawyer from our firm can get relief on enough of your credit card and personal debt, paying child support and student loans may be easier.
A bankruptcy lawyer from Schiller & Hamilton can review all your debts and properly advise you on which ones you could seek relief from under South Carolina’s bankruptcy laws. This will save you the trouble of making an incorrect bankruptcy filing, which could lead to the court rejecting your case and forcing you to start over again.
Why Do People Declare Bankruptcy?
Most people declare bankruptcy when their financial situation changed from when they took on the debt, and now they can’t catch up to pay it. Any unforeseen circumstances can cause financial insecurity, leading people to consider bankruptcy filing. Common contributing causes of bankruptcy filings include:
- Long-term debilitating illness or injury
- Death of a spouse or breadwinner in a two-income household
- Sudden disability
How Can a Bankruptcy Lawyer Help You?
Bankruptcy is a legal process that involves a tremendous amount of planning, negotiations, and even court appearances. A bankruptcy lawyer will advise and advocate for you throughout the process. We will file your paperwork accurately and submit it in accordance with the court’s requirements. Other areas we can assist you with include:
- Examining your debts, assets, and income to advise you on which type of bankruptcy makes sense for you
- Contacting your creditors directly to advise them that you have entered the bankruptcy process
- Serving as your legal advisor for all court hearings, depositions, and related matters
Most importantly, we can be the line of communication between you and your creditors. We will reach out to them directly to negotiate a payment plan and handle all the correspondence. Throughout the process, we will do all we can to help you keep as much of your property and assets as possible.
What Kinds of Bankruptcies Can a Lawyer Help You With?
Most of the people or families seeking debt relief under bankruptcy will file one of the following three types of bankruptcy cases:
- Chapter 7: In this type of bankruptcy, you will reduce or eliminate most of your outstanding debt as opposed to organizing all your debts into one installment payment. This is the most inexpensive type of bankruptcy, but it may not entirely remove larger debts like mortgage or car payments. That means your home may go into foreclosure, or your car could be repossessed.
- Chapter 13: In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you have a portion of your debts eliminated while rolling your remaining debts into a single payment. The payment proceeds are then split between your remaining creditors, and you may be able to keep your home or car. Chapter 13 bankruptcies are often known as “wage earner” plans because they are ideal for people making money but not enough to meet their obligations.
- Chapter 12: This specialized bankruptcy is usually available only to owners of farms and fisheries. Like Chapter 13, it will require a payment plan in exchange for some of your debt being wiped away.
It’s important to note that personal bankruptcies are not the only ones our lawyers can assist you with. If your business is struggling with debts, we may also be able to assist you with filing a Chapter 11 bankruptcy. This will allow your business to organize its debts and consolidate them into one payment while keeping the business up and running.
Talk to Us Today – Our Bankruptcy Lawyer Can Help
Feeling overwhelmed by bills and debts you can’t pay is an incredibly frustrating and stressful experience. If you find yourself in this situation, bankruptcy might be a viable option for you. Bear in mind, however, that bankruptcy has consequences. In the short term, your credit rating may suffer, and you might find it harder to access financial services. So, you must weigh these potential downsides against the benefits of filing.
If you feel like you are at the end of your rope financially and can’t pay your bills, filing for bankruptcy may be the answer. Schiller and Hamilton’s bankruptcy lawyers have over 20 years of experience helping people like you. We offer a free initial consultation to assess your debts and assets and review your options. Call us today and see how we can help you.