Understanding Basic Bankruptcy Requirements

The decision to file bankruptcy is not an easy one. Unfortunately, job loss, illness and divorce can wreak havoc on your financial status, leaving you with no real options.

A first step for anyone considering filing bankruptcy is a means test. The means test is designed to help you determine whether your best option is to file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. In addition, all filers must complete a credit counseling course before filing and a debtor education course before the bankruptcy is discharged.

Understanding The Means Test

One of the biggest myths about the means test is that those considering bankruptcy must not own any assets to qualify for Chapter 7. This is simply not true; the means test is designed to ensure that those who have sufficient income to repay a certain portion of their debts are barred from using Chapter 7 to erase those debts.

Understanding The Bankruptcy Chapters

Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows those who are eligible to eliminate nonsecured debt. This includes medical debt, credit card debt and other revolving debt. This will not eliminate debt for past-due child support, judgments or, in most cases, tax debt. Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows for a restructuring of debt and a repayment plan that works for the petitioner. Under Chapter 13, the petitioner must submit a plan to the court to repay most debt within three to five years.

Bankruptcy Exemptions

Under South Carolina bankruptcy law, those filing bankruptcy may use the exemptions allowed under South Carolina statutes. This allows filers the opportunity to keep their home, retirement accounts and some personal property. Attorney Paul Bradley will explain these exemptions to you.

Get The Advice You Need Today

The decision to file bankruptcy is not an easy one, but in some cases, it may be the best alternative to alleviate the stress and strain of overwhelming debt. A bankruptcy lawyer can help you determine which chapter of the Bankruptcy Code is best for your individual needs, as well as help you file the proper forms with the court.

If you are considering bankruptcy in South Carolina, you need a competent attorney who will help you through the process. Contact Bradley Law Firm, LLC, at 843-571-4611 for assistance or fill out our online contact form.

We are located in Charleston.