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SOUTH CAROLINA
BANKRUPTCY ATTORNEY

Chapter 13 bankruptcy can save consumers from scams

When a South Carolina homeowner is facing severe financial difficulties, the response is to seek assistance in gaining control of debt. Some will file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, while others seek loan modifications. This fact is well-known to scammers, and a multitude of scams have grown around the loan modification industry. The issue has become so prevalent that the office of the Attorney General recently issued a warning to consumers, following two separate legal actions taken by the AG against companies offering such services.

Struggling homeowners are warned to approach loan modification schemes with caution. The first step for a consumer who is interested in loan modification is to take advantage of the 150-day 'right to cure' provision to work out a loan modification agreement directly with one's lender. In dealing with the bank or mortgage company, it is important to respond to all written communication, and to keep making payments.

When looking into outside loan modification offers, consumers should know that there are free services offered by many non-profit institutions. Homeowners should never agree to advance fees for foreclosure-related services. In addition, it is a good practice to avoid companies that advertise that they can stop foreclosure or guarantee loan modification for clients who pay up-front fees.

When considering the options for restructuring debt, South Carolina consumers should research the benefits offered by Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Filing will halt the foreclosure process, and allow consumers the chance to restructure their debt while retaining their home. This is an especially beneficial solution when financial distress was brought about by a sudden change in employment or an unplanned medical or other large expense.

Source: Boston Herald, "AG: Watch out for foreclosure scams," Ira Kantor, March 7, 2013

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Reed Law Firm, P.A.
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Suite 301

Columbia, SC 29210

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Florence, SC 29501

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