North Charleston Bankruptcy Attorney
Why Should I File for Bankruptcy in North Charleston?
Bankruptcy is unfairly stigmatized. At Steadman Law Firm, we understand how good, hard-working people can lose control of their finances. Many North Charleston families do not have extensive savings — therefore, just one medical emergency or job loss can lead to a financial crisis. Bankruptcy is simply a legal process that helps you rebuild your finances and eliminate your debt.
One of the biggest advantages of bankruptcy is its automatic stay. As soon you file for bankruptcy, the court issues an order that temporarily stops all of your creditors’ collection activities, including:
- Collections lawsuits,
- Harassing phone calls at your home and workplace,
- Foreclosure of your home,
- Letters demanding payment,
- Referring your account to a collections agency, and
- Repossession of your personal property.
In most cases, your creditors must stop all of these activities for the entire duration of your bankruptcy.
The automatic stay gives you space to breathe in addition to time to reassess your circumstances. Without the pressure from bill collectors, you will have time to work with both your North Charleston bankruptcy attorney and your creditors to craft a reasonable solution to your debt problems.
Filing for Personal Bankruptcy in North Charleston
There are two types of personal bankruptcy: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Each Chapter offers both advantages and disadvantages. Before you file for bankruptcy, you should carefully consider your options with a North Charleston bankruptcy attorney.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is sometimes called a “liquidation bankruptcy.” During a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a trustee sells your nonexempt assets and uses the proceeds to pay your creditors. Then, most of your remaining debt is released. (A Chapter 7 bankruptcy does not extinguish child support obligations, most tax debt, and most student loan debt.) If you do not have nonexempt property, your debt is simply erased by a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
While most people prefer the speed and efficiency of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your eligibility depends on whether you meet its means test. The means test involves a complicated computation that weighs your income, household expenses, and other factors. It’s typically in your best interest to speak with a North Charleston bankruptcy attorney about your eligibility for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Contact Steadman Law Firm for a confidential evaluation.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you do not have to sell your assets. Instead, you enter a repayment plan with your creditors. Once you complete this repayment plan, most of your remaining debt is extinguished. Typically, a Chapter 13 repayment plan is spread over five years.
While you might rather keep your personal property and real estate, Chapter 13 bankruptcy is not for everyone. Under a Chapter 13 repayment plan, most of your monthly income is used to pay your creditors, thus leaving you with very little discretionary income. If you cannot live a modest life for five years and commit to making all of your payments on time, your Chapter 13 bankruptcy will be unsuccessful. (If you miss payments, the court might dismiss your bankruptcy and refuse to discharge your debt.)
Bankruptcy for North Charleston Businesses
North Charleston business and family farms have different bankruptcy options: Chapter 11 and Chapter 12. These forms of bankruptcy typically involve restructuring your business. If you are considering a business-related bankruptcy, contact a North Charleston bankruptcy attorney at Steadman Law Firm for more information and a confidential evaluation.
Other Debt Solutions
In addition to bankruptcy, a North Charleston bankruptcy lawyer can help you understand other debt solutions. Depending on your circumstances, they might include the following:
- Credit counseling,
- Debt consolidation,
- Defaulting on your loans, and
- Negotiating a debt settlement directly with your creditors.
While these options are not for everyone, we will help you fully evaluate and understand your options. Unlike some bankruptcy firms, Steadman Law Firm values client education and tries to empower our clients. We will listen to all of your questions and concerns — moreover, we’ll make sure we answer them.
What Should I Bring to My Meeting With a North Charleston Bankruptcy Attorney?
It’s important to prepare for your first meeting with a bankruptcy attorney. Typically, you should compile the following information:
- Bank statements,
- Collections letters and paperwork from collections lawsuits,
- Identification and your Social Security number,
- Investment and retirement account statements,
- Recent bill statements, including the following:
- Credit card bills,
- Medical bills,
- Mortgage and car loans, and
- Other household bills,
- Tax returns, and
- W-2 forms and other income-related documents.
You should also expect a detailed interview during your consultation.
Rebuild Your Future With a North Charleston Bankruptcy Attorney
If you have questions for a North Charleston bankruptcy attorney, contact Steadman Law Firm today. Our skilled bankruptcy lawyers will educate you about your debt relief options and analyze your case, as well as help you rebuild your financial future. We’re here to help. Contact us for a free and confidential evaluation.