Do you need an attorney for bankruptcy in Charleston? Not necessarily. You can file for bankruptcy by yourself. But there's more involved to declaring bankruptcy than filing the necessary paperwork. You need to find out which type of bankruptcy is right for you, how to protect your personal assets, and how to get rid of pesky bill collectors. This can get tricky without professional advice.
File under the Right Chapter
Consumers have the option to file bankruptcy under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy can eliminate all of your debt at once, excluding exempt debt like taxes and student loans. Under this type of bankruptcy, all of your non-exempt debt will be discharged, and all of your non-exempt assets will be used to pay the creditors.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is essentially a restructuring of your debt. Under this type of bankruptcy, you'll be put on a debt-repayment plan that lasts anywhere from 3 to 5 years. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy might sound more appealing because you can get rid of debt once and for all, but not everyone qualifies for it. Whether Chapter 7 is an option depends largely on your income.
Protect Your Personal Assets
You might be able to keep your house or your car even if you have to file for bankruptcy. Under Chapter 13, debtors can keep some assets with certain conditions. You have to be able to make the monthly mortgage or car payments and satisfy the loan under its current terms. But if you're currently behind on your mortgage payments, there's no need to despair. Your attorney can help you include missed mortgage payments into your payment plan under Chapter 13.
You are allowed to keep certain personal assets under both Chapters. For example, you won't be asked to give up your personal clothing and other belongings. To find out which other assets are exempt, you should talk to your bankruptcy attorney.
Get Rid of Bill Collectors
Being deep in debt is bad enough without having bill collectors hassle you for payment. One of the biggest advantages of filing for bankruptcy is that it allows you some room to breathe. Your attorney for bankruptcy in Charleston will make sure that the pesky bill collectors leave you alone. After you file for bankruptcy, your creditors will find out soon enough when and how much they're going to get paid, if at all.
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