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Many people are unaware that bankruptcy is a powerful financial tool that can help hardworking people solve their financial problems and get a fresh start in life. Filing for bankruptcy can stop harassing calls from creditors, protect your home, and ensure that you keep the possessions that matter to you the most.

The Rock Hill bankruptcy lawyers of Schiller & Hamilton can help you take the first step to financial freedom. For many people in Rock Hill, this is the best decision they have made and the most transparent path to a future free of financial stress. By filing for bankruptcy, you are simply reorganizing or eliminating debt.

What Is Bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is a legal process an individual or couple can go through to seek debt relief. Depending on your debt and how much income you make, you may get on a debt repayment plan or have all your debt forgiven without paying. Some debts you can get help managing through bankruptcy include:

  • Credit card payments
  • Personal loans
  • Auto loans
  • Mortgage and rent payments
  • Overdue utility payments

Many people file for bankruptcy after accruing a large amount of debt they can no longer pay off. Incurring a lot of debt can happen to anyone for several reasons.

Perhaps your mortgage broker talked you into financing a home with difficult or impossible-to-pay loan terms. Maybe a salesperson talked you into buying a more expensive car than you could afford. Or your financial situation may have changed due to job loss, illness, or other factors beyond your control. Regardless, it is important to realize that you are not alone and that help is available.

What Bankruptcy Cannot Do

There are certain types of debt you will still be responsible for paying, even if you successfully petition for bankruptcy. This includes alimony, child support payments, and any payments you have been ordered to make by a court based on a criminal conviction (e.g., drunk driving).

Understanding the benefits and limitations of bankruptcy is essential before you file. Our team can help you to understand those differences and ensure bankruptcy is the right option for you.

Types Of Bankruptcy Cases We Can Help With

We help individuals and businesses that struggle to overcome high amounts of debt. If you and your family seek debt relief, we can help you decide between filing for Chapter 7, Chapter 12, or Chapter 13. The differences are as follows:

  • Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: Also known as liquidated bankruptcy, can forgive all or most of your debt. The most significant benefit to Chapter 7 is that you do not have to create a payment plan or pay monthly installments. That makes this option a lot cheaper, so it is meant for people who cannot afford Chapter 13. However, some larger debts may not be forgiven if you are behind on payments, and you may lose these properties, such as your house or vehicle.
  • Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: Also known as the wage earner plan, Chapter 13 allows you to consolidate and pay off all or some of your debts through a repayment plan. This filing can help you protect some or all of your assets and property from seizure. You will have to pay monthly installments over a certain number of months, but the rest of your debt is dismissed. This option is more expensive than Chapter 7 and may be best for those who earn above the state median household income.
  • Chapter 12 Bankruptcy: If you are a family farmer or fisherman overwhelmed by debt, Chapter 12 may be an option. It is a streamlined version of other types of bankruptcies, but, like with Chapter 13, you would be expected to come up with a repayment plan and pay back at least some of the debt you currently owe before the remainder is expunged.

A bankruptcy attorney from our firm can evaluate your financial situation and help you determine which filing makes sense for you and your family.

Businesses that need debt relief can file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. This filing option helps you establish a reorganization plan for your business assets to pay creditors through installments. With this option, you still have control of your assets and how you want to use them to pay off debts. You can also still operate your business to keep making money.

Determining When Filing Bankruptcy Is A Good Option

Bankruptcy can help shield you from more negative marks for late and missed payments on your credit history. But filing for bankruptcy still causes damage to your credit score, so it is best to negotiate a payment plan with your creditors before jumping into bankruptcy court. If you have already tried negotiating with creditors, bankruptcy might be your next best option.

In many cases, people do not make enough money to pay for their debt due to job loss, pay cuts, personal issues, injury or illness, and more. You might consider filing for bankruptcy if you do not have the income to make your debt payments.

Filing for bankruptcy has many benefits to managing your debt and getting a fresh start in your financial life. Here are some ways bankruptcy can help you and your family recover financially:

  • Protecting your assets, like your house and car, from repossession and seizure
  • Forgiveness of some or all of your debt
  • More management payment terms for some or all of your debt
  • No more harassment from creditors
  • All legal action against you regarding your debt stops

When you no longer have to worry about paying back massive amounts of debt or dealing with harassing creditors, you will have the time to take a breath, reassess your financial life, and take steps to ensure things never get so bad again.

How To File For Bankruptcy In South Carolina

The steps for filing for bankruptcy in South Carolina are much the same as filing in other states across the country. The main differences are the types of exemptions you can claim to protect certain assets and property. Here is how to file for bankruptcy in South Carolina:

  • Gather your financial documentation: Collect and organize all proof of debts and your income. Use this information to determine how much you owe and which type of bankruptcy filing makes sense for you. Of course, you will also need much of this documentation when filing your petition.
  • Take a credit counseling course: You must complete an official credit counseling course within at least six months of filing for bankruptcy. This course helps you review your debts and your ability to pay them in full, a process meant to determine whether you need to file for bankruptcy. Find an approved credit counseling course provider in the Rock Hill area by searching on the U.S. Trustee Program website.
  • Complete and file bankruptcy paperwork: Include your financial documentation, your petition for debt relief, your means test form, and your credit counseling certificate for the trustee and court.
  • Attend court hearings: Your assigned trustee will meet with creditors to verify the details of your petition. You may answer questions about your debt during the hearing.
  • Take a debtor education course: You must take this financial management course to verify you understand the terms of your repayment plan and discharge.
  • Hire a bankruptcy lawyer: We can help you navigate the entire process, from organizing your financial documentation and filing the petition to representing your best interests in court.

If you are nervous about meeting or negotiating with people like judges and creditors, hiring a bankruptcy attorney from Schiller & Hamilton could be the right solution for you. We will handle all communications on your behalf. This includes:

  • Notifying them all that you are filing for bankruptcy
  • Presenting the repayment plan for their approval
  • Working with them to resolve any issues or disagreements they have with the repayment plan
  • Delivering messages between the two sides and helping you decide how to respond to what they say to you

You Can File For Bankruptcy More Than Once

For most people, bankruptcy is a once-in-a-lifetime event. However, if you find yourself in financial trouble years after the initial bankruptcy filing, you have the right to file a second time.

As with your first bankruptcy, a second bankruptcy could have serious consequences on your credit score, ability to get a loan, and so on. In addition, per the United States Bankruptcy Court District of South Carolina, bankruptcy filings are a matter of public record, so anyone with an interest in your financial history would be able to see that you filed, why, and how many times.

You will want to think very carefully about if the rewards are worth the drawbacks. A lawyer from our firm would be happy to review your case and see if bankruptcy is right for you, regardless of a previous filing.

A Bankruptcy Lawyer Can Make A Difference In Your Case

We are dedicated to helping people and families recover from financial hardship due to debt. We know how stressful and scary the bankruptcy process is, so we are proud to offer you our support and guidance at every step.

Here is how we can serve you as you consider bankruptcy and go through the process:

  • Review your debts and income to determine which type of bankruptcy makes sense for you
  • Ensure you comply with every step of the filing process
  • Make sure your petition is accurate and filed on time
  • Provide legal counsel during hearings
  • Help protect your property and assets
  • Answer all your questions about our payment plan or debt forgiveness

Having someone available to answer all of your questions is especially important at a time like this and can provide you with some much-needed peace of mind. While we can schedule in-person meetings as necessary, we also encourage you to contact us via:

  • Phone
  • Email
  • Zoom

Telephonic and virtual meetings can provide you with the same level of conscientious service we have always offered, with the added benefits of convenience and keeping you safe. In addition, modern technology ensures that we can always be there for our clients when they need us.

Contact A Rock Hill Bankruptcy Attorney From Our Firm To Get Started Today

Our Rock Hill bankruptcy lawyers at Schiller & Hamilton have two decades of experience helping clients navigate complex legal situations, including bankruptcy filings. We can help you choose a bankruptcy option that reduces or eliminates your debt so you and your family can get your financial life back on track. Contact us today for your free case review.

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