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Columbia Bankruptcy Law Blog

Bankruptcy attorney helps clients decide issues re collateral

In South Carolina, when one files a personal bankruptcy, one of the benefits available is that a secured loan transaction can be erased simply by returning the collateral that stands as security for the loan. Thus, surrendering a car will put to rest the creditor's claims. There may be a deficiency amount that the creditor will claim, but in a Chapter 7 straight bankruptcy, the bankruptcy attorney will see to it that any deficiency will be discharged as an unsecured debt.

In a Chapter 13, which is a payment plan, the surrender of collateral will generally end the creditor's claim. However, in the case of a deficiency still due, it may be filed as an unsecured claim in the Chapter 13. Unsecured claims will generally get paid some very small percentage of the debt that is claimed. The difference, therefore, where the collateral is surrendered, is of little significance between a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13 under the foregoing examples.

Is the root of your health problems in your credit card debt?

Most Americans use credit cards, and many credit card holders have debt they carry over from month to month. While many people are able to effectively manage these balances, there are times this type of debt becomes unmanageable, leaving a South Carolina consumer struggling with minimum payments, accumulating interest and receiving calls from creditors. 

The stress of credit card debt can be significant. In fact, there is evidence to suggest that this debt can actually lead to health problems and other issues. The amount that Americans owe on credit cards is the highest it has even been, amounting to approximately $1 trillion. Of the people who have credit card debt, the majority say that they regret it, expressing regret over how their spending led to stress.

Settling credit card debt in South Carolina

Credit card debt can put a damper on anyone's finances. For many people, credit cards are sometimes utilized to purchase necessary items before payday. With continued use, however, consumers may overuse their cards while incurring high interest rates that their credit card companies charge. For many, paying off this debt is a top priority; therefore, South Carolina residents are advised to understand their options when settling credit card debt.

The average credit card debt in U.S. households continues to rise at a steady pace. For many consumers, settling the debt may be the only option, especially when minimum monthly payments become overwhelming. When settling a credit card debt, the consumer and the creditor negotiate the bill balance, ultimately allowing the consumer to pay less than what is owed.

South Carolina residents facing foreclosure

One of the most coveted goals for South Carolina residents is owning a home. This American dream comes with a lot of rewards but also many responsibilities. As the excitement of being a homeowner wears off, the true cost of owning a home can sometimes come as a shock. South Carolina residents are advised to understand the risk associated with home ownership and what to do should their home become subject to foreclosure.

There are many reasons why some homeowners fall behind on their mortgage loan payments. Some of those may include buying a home that was more than they could afford, a second mortgage or an unexpected life event. Whatever the reason may be, the foreclosure process can be extremely lengthy; therefore, it is important for homeowners to understand the process.

Which is better, Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy?

If you stepped into 2018 with serious financial problems, you are definitely not alone. In South Carolina and throughout the nation, many people are currently trying to overcome serious financial obstacles. For some, unexpected job loss or medical crisis quickly turned financial stability to chaos. On the other hand, you might simply be one of many whose spending got out of hand and credit card bills began piling up until your debt outweighed your financial resources. The good news is that most financial problems are temporary.

Much depends on the details of your situation as well as what type of options you access to help you get things back on track. The latter may prove challenging, especially if you haven't a clue as to what types of debt relief options are available in your situation. You'll be glad to know there is guidance support available in your area. Many people use Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcies to resolve their financial problems. The question is, how can you determine which option would help you most?

Columbia residents may benefit from chapter 13

Large amounts of debt can overwhelm anyone, especially when backed into a corner. The calls and letters continue to come and future credit is at risk due to negative effects. For Columbia residents considering the benefits of Chapter 13, it is advised that he or she review the different options available to them.

The second, most common type of bankruptcy is Chapter 13. With this form, debts are not eliminated but rather organized into monthly payment plans based on individual finances. The payment plan normally lasts between three to five years and often times ends in a discharge of certain debts, also known as a legal forgiveness of debt. With a longer payoff time, individuals are also able to reduce original payments amounts and maintain financial stability during this unfortunate hardship.

The burden of medical debt

The cost of health care is rising at a steady pace and is creating havoc for many South Carolina families. Unlike credit card debt, medical debt is usually accumulated from unforeseen illnesses or accidents. Whatever the case may be, tackling the debt head on may help lessen the burden on families and help them regain control of their finances.

As the cost of health care continues to increase, many families with health plans are forced to pay high deductibles, with many of the upfront costs going unpaid. As the bills come in, it is important to understand the difference between a bill and an explanation of benefits. EOBs not only show what an insurance company may have paid towards the claim, they can also prepare an individual for the medical bills that will soon arrive. Understanding the complexity of a bill may help clear up any mistakes and possibly save a person thousands of dollars.

Credit card debt continues to burden many

Deep into the first month of the New Year, you may be pausing to see how your resolutions are coming along. Have you joined the gym yet? Is that closet organized? Are you connected with old friends? How about your finances?

For many, the start of a new year is the ideal time to re-evaluate their finances and figure out how to manage their budgets. This often includes reducing spending, increasing savings and getting control of their debt. Some may find this process exhilarating and encouraging, but you may see it as a wakeup call.

Exempt property makes bankruptcy easier in South Carolina

Consumers overwhelmed by insurmountable debt often understand that bankruptcy is the most appropriate option for securing a better financial future, but many are hesitant to take the necessary steps for filing. People in South Carolina often worry that they will lose everything when seeking bankruptcy protections, and fear that they will be in an even worse position afterward. However, it is possible to keep certain exempt property during bankruptcy.

In both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies, a person's non-exempt property is usually collected and sold to pay off some of his or her debt. Non-exempt property usually includes assets that are not necessary for current modern standards of living. Collector's items, family heirlooms and second or third vehicles are all non-exempt even if a person uses some of these items on a daily basis.

Average South Carolina consumer probably has more credit cards

The credit card market is growing, which could be a sign that the economy is more or less recovered from the Great Recession. Unfortunately, experts point out that delinquency rates are also up. Most South Carolina consumers try to use their credit cards as responsibly as possible, but with interest rates, these financial tools can quickly spiral out of control, complicating some people's already unstable financial matters.

Credit card debt has increased over the past two years, but that is not the only part of the market that is growing. The number of credit card accounts and available credit is also up, meaning that there are more people holding more credit cards with higher credit limits. Unfortunately, rates of late or nonpayment -- delinquencies -- are up from the historic lows between 2007 and 2009, although only slightly.

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