What to know about filing for bankruptcy

Despite what many individuals in South Carolina think, filing for bankruptcy can actually provide a fresh start that gets one’s finances back on track. Bankruptcy laws exist to give people a second chance, not to penalize them. However, a person shouldn’t resort to filing for bankruptcy at the first indication of financial difficulty. Bankruptcy often comes with many short- and long-term repercussions and should only be considered as a last resort.

Individuals who are considering filing for bankruptcy should consider alternative options first. These options may include trying to negotiate debts, arranging payment plans with creditors or even seeking credit counseling advice. If these options aren’t feasible, filing for bankruptcy may offer a fresh financial start.

For individuals who are unable to repay all or most of their debts, bankruptcy is a process that may discharge some of the debts. Bankruptcy can be filed by a debtor, or in some instances, a creditor may petition a court to file bankruptcy on a debtor’s behalf. The two most common forms of bankruptcy are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Bankruptcy doesn’t discharge all forms of debt; it doesn’t recuse the debtor from paying student loans, child support, court fines or alimony.

Certain eligibility requirements are necessary for an individual to file for bankruptcy. These requirements may include considerations such as the debtor’s income and whether the debtor has the reasonable means to repay the loans.

Bankruptcy laws can be quite complicated, and it’s crucial that filers have all the information they need to proceed beforehand. Since the process of filing for bankruptcy can be so complex, individuals who are considering filing may consider consulting with an experienced bankruptcy attorney first. An attorney who’s familiar with bankruptcy law may be able to help an individual decide if the process is right for his or her current financial situation.