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Columbia Bankruptcy Law Blog

Chapter 7 bankruptcy offers a hopeful future

People who are facing financial hardships know what they are up against. They see the bills come month after month and hear the phone ring when creditors call. If money coming in is not enough to cover their bills, no one has to tell them they are in financial trouble. Those in South Carolina who are in this situation may be perfectly aware that bankruptcy is an option. In fact, the hardest part of Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be admitting that it is time to take the step.

Chapter 7 liquidates assets and uses the money to pay back unsecured debt -- that is, debt that is not attached to a collateral. In many cases, one's home and car are typically not liquidated, although the danger of foreclosure still may exist. With the right attorney assisting with the bankruptcy, very few of a person's assets -- if any -- may need to be liquidated.

Which chapter is right for you?

If you hear someone talking about chapter 13, chapter 11 or chapter 7, you might assume the topic is the latest novel on some bestseller list, right? However, if the conversation also includes words such as "creditors" "threat of foreclosure" or "debt relief," then it might not be books but various types of bankruptcy at the center of discussion. It's no secret that many South Carolina residents are among those throughout the nation who have been struggling to get back on their feet after serious economic crisis.

Many people hesitate to reach out for support when they're in trouble financially. Perhaps they're embarrassed or don't want others to know their private business. However, there are plenty of hard-working, successful people who, for one reason or another, find themselves facing tremendous financial debt that may prove disastrous if they don't do something about it.

Columbia, South Carolina borrowers may avoid foreclosure

Falling behind on one's mortgage payment can create a snowball effect of debt piling on debt. Sometimes a medical emergency or other financial loss create a shortfall from which the homeowner simply cannot recover. Columbia, South Carolina residents may feel they have no options when they receive the letter from the mortgage holder saying that the foreclosure process is pending. However, there are alternatives that may bring relief to many.

While the thought of personal bankruptcy may bring a negative reaction initially, for those who qualify, it may be a better alternative than losing one's home to foreclosure. In fact, as soon as someone files for bankruptcy, foreclosure procedures must halt until the court determines whether they may proceed. In many cases, if the homeowner has adequate income, the foreclosure can be avoided altogether, depending on the type of bankruptcy sought and the personal circumstances involved.

Emotional spending may lead to credit card debt in South Carolina

Strong emotions, whether they are excitement or stress, seem to drive Americans to overspend. Almost half the people in the country admit to emotional spending. If someone in South Carolina is low on cash, it is common for him or her to pull out the credit card and charge whatever is desired. This may make a person feel better until the credit card debt becomes overwhelming.

Most people agree that it is acceptable to go into debt under certain conditions. For example, making emergency purchases, covering medical costs and sustaining themselves when unemployed are valid reasons for using a credit card. Nevertheless, 87 percent of those surveyed said they would be embarrassed to accumulate credit card debt for reasons like traveling, impulse shopping and cash advances.

South Carolina medical debt ranks high among collections calls

A person with a chronic or progressive illness often requires frequent doctor visits, appointments with specialists and expensive medication. Similarly, an accident or acute condition may also result in costly procedures or treatments. Even with recent affordable medical insurance laws, out-of-pocket health care expenses can accumulate quickly, especially if a person in South Carolina has a high deductible, minimal coverage or no insurance at all.  

In some states, hospitals used to charge higher rates to uninsured patients because insurance companies negotiated for lower rates for their customers. Those hospitals also tended to aggressively pursue payment of overdue bills, including garnishing wages and placing liens on property. However, many states passed laws prohibiting those practices and requiring fair pricing or even free care for low income patients who had no insurance.

Reaching the limit: Credit card debt in the year ahead

If you are like most people in the country, you spend an average of about $98 a day. You may not even think about it when you pull the credit card from your wallet to make those purchases. Whether it is a new TV or dinner out, Americans are using their credit cards more freely than ever before.

Foreclosure defense attorney may prevent loss of home in Columbia

When people gather around a settlement table to purchase a new house, they are usually excited at the thought of spending the coming years fixing it up, raising a family and making it a home. The thought of needing a Columbia, South Carolina, foreclosure defense attorney may rarely come to mind. Until one is nearing the possibility of losing that home, he or she may not consider the effects of foreclosure.

When a bank forecloses on someone's home, the person is given a certain amount of time to vacate. Determining where to go is the primary concern, especially if one has children. While some may have the resources to rent an apartment, others may find themselves living with other family members or staying at homeless shelters. If their employer requires a high credit rating, the person in foreclosure may lose his or her job or find it difficult to get hired.

South Carolina family on home makeover show files for bankruptcy

There are a variety of television shows on the air dealing with home renovations and makeovers. In some cases, families facing hardships may even have their homes completely remodeled as part of a show. Unfortunately, many individuals may struggle with the costs of keeping up these new homes and other financial burdens, as was the case for one family in South Carolina.

Reports stated that the family's home was remodeled in 2011 as part of the show "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition." Though the remodel may have been an improvement for the family, it also came with increased property taxes and higher monthly bills. The man stated that the home was not at risk of foreclosure, but the family had fallen behind on payments. Though they recently filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, they believe that it was due to other issues and not the home itself. 

Millennials are not the only ones struggling with college debt

You may have heard that Americans owe trillions of dollars in student loan debt. You probably know that young people are postponing buying houses, starting families or going on to graduate school because of their loan payments. Some even return to live in their parents' homes because the debt makes it impossible to live on their own.

Fear of bankruptcy may be unnecessary in South Carolina

When considering bankruptcy, many individuals may question whether it is the best decision to address their problems. While it is true that South Carolina residents could face some financial hits due to following this route, it is likely that individuals looking into bankruptcy are already facing damaging financial circumstances. Seemingly insurmountable debt balances and other financial obligations that go unpaid may simply continue wreaking havoc on the finances of individuals who are unsure about their options.

Luckily, bankruptcy is a viable option for many individuals. Though daunting to think about, filing for Chapter 7 may help individuals find their way back to financial security. With this process, many unsecured debts may be entirely discharged through the liquidation process. As a result, parties may be better able to address other financial obligations that may not be forgiven through bankruptcy, such as tax obligations or child support.

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