The word “bankruptcy” is scary for many people. Pursuing bankruptcy is often unfairly perceived as an admittance of failure rather than the invaluable process that it can truly be. Those in South Carolina who are drowning in debt can utilize bankruptcy to create a better, more secure financial future for themselves.

Deciding to file for bankruptcy is not always easy. There are costs associated with the filing, and bankruptcy filings show up on credit reports for not insignificant periods of time. Chapter 7 filings remain on credit reports for 10 years, while Chapter 13 bankruptcy only hangs around for seven years. However, these implications often pale when compared with the benefits of bankruptcy.

In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a person’s debt are effectively wiped out, although there are some exceptions to which debt can be discharged. A person’s major assets are usually sold to help pay back some of those debts before they are discharged. In Chapter 13, filers can consolidate and reorganize their debts, which are then repaid through a single plan. This is usually much easier for people to handle when compared with dozens of different payments to various creditors.

Whether it is the slow accumulation of smaller debts or the sudden onslaught of bills from a single, catastrophic event, owing an insurmountable amount of money can be overwhelming. Some in South Carolina forgo essentials — such as groceries or utilities — as they attempt to pay off what little they can. For most, bankruptcy provides relief from harassing creditors and monthly bills while paving the way for a more successful financial future.

Source: host.madison.com, “Should I File for Bankruptcy?”, Maurie Backman, Dec. 18, 2017