Reed Law Firm, P.A. Columbia SC Bankruptcy Lawyer | Florence Debt Relief Attorney South Carolina 2023-06-24T22:02:41Z WordPress /wp-content/uploads/sites/1201465/2019/08/cropped-favicon-32x32.png On Behalf of Reed Law Firm, P.A. <![CDATA[Possible concerns of entering retirement with high levels of debt]]> 2023-06-24T22:02:41Z 2023-06-24T22:02:41Z If you are approaching retirement, you may have spent years preparing and saving for this stage of your life, and you might not want to let anything disrupt your plans for your future. However, things might not always turn out as intended, and it might be challenging to reach this stage of life without accruing debts along the way.  Entering retirement with high levels of debt can be a daunting process, and you might have concerns about how such issues could impact your retirement. There are some types of debt concerns that may be prevalent among those in your position, and preparing to seek relief from the trials of debt could be vital to staving off such issues. 

Prevalent concerns 

Studies indicate that that are a variety of concerns you might encounter when preparing to enter the golden years of life with high levels of debt. Some examples of prevalent concerns may include: 
  • Rising costs of living:  Recent financial issues stemming from inflation have placed a strain on the finances of many, and similar issues remain a prevalent concern for those approaching retirement. 
  • Fixed income:  Another imposing aspect of facing rising costs of living may involve the notion of living on a fixed income. Debt concerns may seem more imposing if your circumstances in life affect your ability to earn additional income. 
  • Impact on savings:  Issues with debt could also affect your ability to save for retirement. In some cases, you may also wonder if dipping into savings to pay off debts is the best path, but this might not always be advisable. 
  • Life expectancies:  Studies also indicate that increases in life expectancies may also trigger a variety of potential concerns. This factor may also affect your preferences regarding retirement timelines. 
It may come as no surprise that facing similar issues can be stressful and harrowing, and seeking advice on the options to help address your debt concerns may be essential to preserving your future interests. 

Seeking debt relief 

Even the thought of entering retirement with high levels of debt can be exceedingly intimidating, but it is also a reality for many. With the impact this could have on your retirement strategies, it might be in your best interests to seek advice in evaluating your options and in preparing to seek much needed debt relief. Such a decision could prove integral to helping you create a strategy to reduce or eliminate your debts and enter the golden years of your life in South Carolina with peace of mind. ]]>
On Behalf of Reed Law Firm, P.A. <![CDATA[Steps during the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process]]> 2023-06-16T20:26:10Z 2023-06-16T20:26:10Z Facing overwhelming debt can place strain and stress on virtually every area of your life. If you are struggling with balances that you can no longer manage on your own, you could feel discouraged, assuming that there is no way out for you. Thankfully, debt problems are not insurmountable when you seek the protection of a bankruptcy filing. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a popular option for South Carolina consumers who currently have a significant amount of unsecured debt.   Before you make a critical choice, such as filing for bankruptcy, you will benefit from learning as much as possible about what is ahead for you. You must first determine if you are eligible for Chapter 7, and if you are, it is important to learn what you can expect from this process and how you can navigate it effectively. Bankruptcy may not sound like an attractive option, but it is often a reasonable way for someone to achieve financial security and deal with certain types of balances once and for all. 

Set your expectations 

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is liquidation bankruptcy. This means that the court could liquidate some of your personal assets, with proceeds going toward some of your balances. However, there are property exemptions available, which means that you will not have to give up all of your property just to get out of debt. After you file for Chapter 7 and receive approval, you can expect the following steps: 
  • The bankruptcy court will assign a bankruptcy trustee who will oversee your case. 
  • The automatic stay will start, protecting you from additional debt collection efforts, foreclosure, wage garnishment and more. 
  • There will be a meeting of your creditors, which you will attend. 
  • You will have to take credit counseling and money management courses. 
In addition to these steps, you will also carefully follow the requirements outlined in your bankruptcy plan. Once these are complete, there will be a discharge of certain balances, and a judge will release you from bankruptcy. 

The best financial future for you 

There is no one-size-fits-all solution for dealing with overwhelming debt. If you are struggling with balances you cannot pay, accumulating interest and pressure from debt collectors, you will benefit from seeking knowledgeable insight regarding your options. While you may feel hopeless in your current situation, there are steps you can take that will help you reclaim your stability and peace of mind. ]]>
On Behalf of Reed Law Firm, P.A. <![CDATA[What are the benefits and potential drawbacks of bankruptcy?]]> 2023-05-24T18:11:03Z 2023-05-26T17:59:47Z If you owe a significant amount of debt, you know that this can impact multiple areas of your life. You will experience the stress and strain that comes from knowing you owe more money than you can pay, and you may not believe that you can ever catch up on your own. You may also be getting phone calls from creditors demanding payment, and there could be threats of wage garnishment, foreclosure and more. The burden of debt is heavy and overwhelming.

Fortunately, there could be a way out for you. Through the process of bankruptcy, you may be able to secure what you need to regain your life and your financial security. Bankruptcy offers you the opportunity to pay off debt over time, or you may receive a discharge of certain balances. As each financial situation is different and unique, you will find it helpful to seek an explanation of the benefits and potential drawbacks of this decision.

What you need to know about bankruptcy

While bankruptcy is not for everyone, there are certain situations in which it can be a prudent and beneficial choice. Some of the reasons you may want to consider seeking the protection of bankruptcy include:

  • You will get a break from the creditors contacting you due to the automatic stay.
  • Bankruptcy will protect any future wages that you earn after you file.
  • You will be able to keep some of your personal assets, even in Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
  • You can have peace of mind that comes from knowing you have a solution.

Bankruptcy is an organized process that offers debtors a way to seek a better financial future after struggling with outstanding balances, creditor harassment and other financial hardship. While there are many benefits, it is not the ideal solution in every situation. Some potential drawbacks include:

  • Bankruptcy may require the relinquishment of certain luxury items.
  • It can be expensive to file for bankruptcy, depending on filing fees and attorney fees.
  • It can impact your credit long-term.

The benefits of bankruptcy often far outweigh the potential drawbacks for a South Carolina applicant as it can offer you a way out of a negative debt situation that you can no longer manage on your own.

Know your options

Bankruptcy is a major decision that has the potential to impact the rest of your life. You will benefit from seeking a knowledgeable opinion regarding your legal options and how you can pursue a solution to your debt problem that will allow you to have security and stability in the future.

On Behalf of Reed Law Firm, P.A. <![CDATA[What is going to happen to your property during bankruptcy?]]> 2023-05-24T18:02:13Z 2023-05-25T18:01:23Z For consumers overwhelmed by debt and past-due balances, it can seem like there may be no way out. Dealing with debt may be an insurmountable issue, which is why many people choose to seek the protection of bankruptcy. This option can provide an applicant with a way to deal with his or her debt in an organized and effective manner while also enjoying protection from collection efforts and contact from creditors.

If you are struggling with debt, you may be considering bankruptcy as a way forward to a better financial future. However, there could be some misconceptions that could hold you back from making a beneficial decision for yourself. One of the concerns that may keep you from choosing to file for bankruptcy is the worry that this decision could result in the loss of your property, particularly if you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Exempt property and non-exempt property

Chapter 7 is liquidation bankruptcy. This means you may have to relinquish some of your property in order to pay off some of your outstanding debts. However, this does not mean you will lose all your property or be destitute. Bankruptcy law provides exemptions that will allow applicants to keep certain assets. Types of property you may be able to keep if you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy include:

  • Necessary clothing
  • Reasonably necessary furnishing and goods in your home
  • Jewelry worth up to a certain value
  • A portion of the equity in your home
  • Pensions
  • Proceeds from a personal injury claim
  • Public benefits you currently receive
  • Motor vehicles, worth up to a certain amount

While you will be able to keep many of your possessions during the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process, there are many things you may not be able to keep. Second homes, extra vehicles, valuable collections, cash, expensive musical instruments and more are examples of non-exempt property.

Your best financial future

The purpose of bankruptcy is to provide debt-burdened South Carolina consumers with the opportunity to seek a better and stronger financial future after struggling with debt. If you believe you could benefit from bankruptcy but have concerns about how this will impact your life, you may benefit from seeking a professional assessment of your case and explanation of the legal options available to you.

On Behalf of Reed Law Firm, P.A. <![CDATA[What will happen to your house if you file for divorce?]]> 2023-05-24T17:50:30Z 2023-05-24T17:50:30Z Owing a significant amount of debt can be a burden on your life. You may find that your financial struggles carry over into other areas, and you could be facing the additional stress of debt collectors, notices from creditors and constant pressure to pay. You might feel like you cannot escape these issues, and while it feels as if there is no way out, bankruptcy could be a way forward for you.

Bankruptcy is a legal process that allows a South Carolina applicant to address certain debts he or she has in an organized manner. While you understand that bankruptcy could be a beneficial and reasonable option for you, it may also be a daunting step to consider. Concerns about how this process could impact your property, such as your home and other aspects of your life, could keep you from taking this important step.

Keeping the home during bankruptcy

What happens to your home during bankruptcy could, in part, depend on the chapter of bankruptcy for which you file. Chapter 7 is liquidation bankruptcy, which means that the relinquishment of certain assets could be necessary. However, there are allowances that exempt certain types of assets from liquidation, which could include your home. Chapter 13 is reorganization bankruptcy, which means the court will organize your debts in a manner that allows you to make payments over time.

Another factor that could affect what happens to your home if you file for bankruptcy is how much equity you have in your home. If you have negative or minimal equity in your home, you may not be able to secure an exemption to keep this asset. However, keeping your home is not always the ideal option. It may be beneficial to consider if you can afford to keep the home and what decisions will be best for your future.

The intent and purpose of bankruptcy

The intent of bankruptcy is not to leave you destitute and without your property in exchange for removing some or all of your debt. As you consider this option as a way to regain your financial stability, it may be helpful to discuss your options with an experienced professional who understands bankruptcy law and can explain the legal requirements of bankruptcy. With the right information, you can make the best possible decisions for your future.

On Behalf of Reed Law Firm, P.A. <![CDATA[Addressing the timeline to finalize bankruptcy filings]]> 2023-04-26T21:22:55Z 2023-04-26T21:22:55Z There might be few things in life as stressful and harrowing as going through extended periods of monetary unrest. The trials of debt could affect your life in various ways, and while there might be a variety of steps to take to pursue much-needed financial relief, choosing a path can be a complex endeavor.  Bankruptcy is an example of a tool that could help provide much-needed relief from overwhelming debts, but you might have questions about what to expect from this process. One of these questions may pertain to how long it might take to finalize the bankruptcy process and begin rebuilding your financial future. 

Length of the bankruptcy process 

The length of the bankruptcy process may hinge on a variety of factors and may depend on the chapter of bankruptcy you file. Some of the steps that might influence the timeline of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy could include: 
  • 341 meeting: Once you file a bankruptcy petition, a date will be set for the 341 meeting, which involves a meeting of your creditors. This date may typically occur 30 days after the official filing.  
  • Deadlines: Once the 341 meeting occurs, deadlines may be set that depict the time the parties involved might have to dispute certain aspects of the process. Such deadlines can run anywhere from 30 to 60 days. 
  • Discharge date: The final step involved may pertain to the date of discharge, and it may only take up to two weeks for the court to close the case. Experts indicate that, in many cases, the discharge date may occur within six months of the initial bankruptcy filing. 
  • Possible delays: It could be helpful to know that there are certain issues that might delay the discharge date, such as the presence of creditor disputes or issues arising from the reaffirmation agreements. 
When it comes to Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the timeline to finalize the process may vary in each situation, but repayment plans for this process may typically persist for anywhere between three to five years. 

What to expect 

How long it might take to finalize bankruptcy filings is just one example of a question you might have when weighing the possibility of seeking relief via similar outlets. Knowing your options and what to expect from the bankruptcy process may be essential to determining if this might be a viable path in your situation. Seeking guidance on every aspect involved with the bankruptcy process may help you better prepare to pursue the relief required via the proper channels and approach your future in South Carolina with financial serenity. ]]>
On Behalf of Reed Law Firm, P.A. <![CDATA[Evaluating recent reports on increases to bankruptcy filings]]> 2023-03-03T20:52:26Z 2023-03-03T20:52:26Z Financial challenges can arise under a multitude of scenarios, and sometimes it might not be easy to keep debt at bay. Issues with debt can gradually build with time or seem to appear overnight, and the fallout thereof may have a lingering impact on your life and leave you with questions about your options for relief.

While facing dire financial straits can be a stressful and daunting experience, it might be comforting to know that you are not alone in this regard. Recent financial challenges have left many individuals in South Carolina facing dire financial woes, and such hardships may be a contributing factor to the rise in bankruptcy filings.

Increases to bankruptcy filings

Data from recent reports indicates that, over the past year, bankruptcy filings increased by nearly 20% across the board. This includes both business and personal filings, and there are various types of financial challenges that likely contributed to this rise, such as:

  • Mounting economic pressure: High levels of inflation have led to mounting economic pressure that caused the price of everyday necessities to soar. Many families have likely felt the sting of such hardships.
  • Rising debt levels: As the price of necessities increases, most people may find it more and more difficult to provide for their needs or build up savings, and this may even make it difficult to keep up with monetary obligations:
  • Limited financial aid: Options for affordable financing may also be somewhat limited, and with high interest rates on many credit offers, this may hardly seem a viable path to resolving debt concerns.

Understanding that you are not alone may help you better prepare to explore the benefits of seeking relief through outlets such as bankruptcy, but you might need guidance in navigating the process. 

Cultivating a healthier financial future

Even if bankruptcy might be just the tool with which to seek relief from the trials of debt, making such a major life decision may rarely be easy. With so much at stake, it might be in your best interests to seek guidance on how to tell if bankruptcy might be a viable option in your situation. In doing so, you could obtain much-needed insight in carefully evaluating your options and developing a strategy to reduce or eliminate your debts through the proper outlets.

On Behalf of Reed Law Firm, P.A. <![CDATA[The possible impact of debt on long-term financial goals]]> 2023-02-24T20:09:13Z 2023-02-24T20:09:13Z There may be many individuals who have clear goals and ideas about what they want for their futures. Setting long-term goals can be an integral component to helping you pursue important milestones in life. While you might not want to let anything stand in the way of your dreams, things might not always go as planned.

Issues with debt could arise in a multitude of scenarios, and regardless of how it occurs, the presence of financial strain can affect your life in various ways. Knowing the impact debt could have on your ability to pursue long-term goals could help you better prepare to confront the situation and seek relief from the trials thereof.

Long-term goals

While long-term financial goals may vary from person to person, there are some examples of milestones that may be common for many individuals in South Carolina, such as:

  • Owning a home: The dream of owning a home is a common example of a long-term financial goal. Unfortunately, issues with debt could affect your ability to buy a home or keep up with mortgage payments.
  • A higher education: High levels of debt could also affect your ability to attend college or help your kids pursue a college education. Seeking relief from debt may be vital to achieving such goals.
  • A healthy credit score: There may be a multitude of individuals who feel that cultivating a healthy credit score is an integral aspect of life. Issues with debt could also create challenges in this regard.
  • Saving for retirement: The presence of debt may also make it difficult to save for retirement or cause you to wonder if it might be necessary to delay retirement and remain in the workforce for years to come.

Prolonged periods of monetary strain could also disrupt your ability to build a financial safety net and may leave you feeling that you are just one emergency away from a potential disaster.

A healthier financial future

These are only a few examples of long-term goals that might be difficult to achieve while struggling under the weight of debt. While you might feel that seeking relief from financial strain may be integral to protecting your future wishes, knowing how to choose the best path forward can seem an intimidating process. Fortunately, you don't have to face this alone. Seeking guidance in exploring your available options could help you better prepare to seek relief via the appropriate channels and start working toward cultivating a healthier financial future.

On Behalf of Reed Law Firm, P.A. <![CDATA[How much does bankruptcy cost? (And can I afford it?)]]> 2023-01-06T19:20:20Z 2023-01-06T19:20:20Z is not free.

Filing fees and credit counseling

To start with, both Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy require you to pay a fee to file in court. The basic filing fee for Chapter 7, also known as liquidation bankruptcy, is $245. The basic fee for filing for Chapter 13, or reorganization bankruptcy, is $235. The court will charge other fees as you move through bankruptcy. As part of the bankruptcy process, the judge generally orders you to participate in credit counseling. Many nonprofit organizations offer this service for free, but if a free version is unavailable, you may have to spend at least $79 for a course.

How bankruptcy attorneys make their fees affordable

Then there are attorneys fees. Every bankruptcy case is different. Some people have relatively simple debt problems that their attorneys can work out with creditors fairly quickly. Other cases take longer and require more of the attorney's time researching the law and dealing with creditors and the court. Most people should budget to spend at least $700 in attorneys fees, but the final bill could reach $2,000 or more. Fortunately, most bankruptcy law firms recognize that you need their help when you are struggling financially. Bankruptcy lawyers typically offer free initial consultations with no obligation to hire them. You can meet with them and discuss the details of bankruptcy relief confidentially and at no cost. Also, many bankruptcy firms offer flexible payment plans to fit your budget. An experienced and dedicated bankruptcy attorney will work tirelessly to resolve your case as efficiently and inexpensively as possible. Used properly, personal bankruptcy protection is an investment in your future that pays dividends over the next few years -- both financially and emotionally.]]>
On Behalf of Reed Law Firm, P.A. <![CDATA[Creating a strategy to reduce or eliminate credit card debts]]> 2022-11-10T20:25:32Z 2022-11-10T20:25:32Z The pursuit of financial stability is a goal that many individuals in South Carolina may share, but things might not always go as intended. Sources of monetary unrest can come in numerous fashions, each of which may place significant strain on your finances and leave you in search of ways to overcome debt hurdles.

Credit card debt is a prime example of a type of financial concern that may pose a threat to your future, and with high interest rates on many credit accounts, such issues may only continue to build with time. Creating a strategy to reduce credit card debt burdens may seem a daunting task, but it may be essential to preparing to protect your financial future.

Possible steps to reducing debt burdens

There are a variety of strategies that may help address your credit card debts, and the paths that work best may vary with each scenario. Some possible steps to take when facing such concerns may include:

  • Spending habits: Addressing your spending habits and limiting credit card use as much as possible could help prevent your balances from continually rising and help you prepare to pay down debts.
  • Additional payments: With high balances, the minimum payment due may only apply toward interest fees. Making additional payments each month or higher payment amounts could be necessary to lowering account balances.
  • Repayment strategies: It could also be helpful to consider using repayment strategies, such as the snowball and avalanche methods, but determining what types of strategies may be most viable to your situation could be challenging at times.
  • Interest rates: Interest rates continue to be a leading cause of concern with credit card debts. Even if you have the option to transfer balances to accounts with lower rates, this may only prove a temporary solution.

While similar strategies may help in certain situations, sometimes these steps may do little to help address the issues at hand. A more long-term solution could be the healthiest path.

Evaluating your options

While dealing with the trials of credit card debt can be stressful enough as is, preparing to choose a path with which to seek relief from monetary strain may also seem a harrowing process. Fortunately, you do not have to handle this alone. Seeking advice in evaluating your situation and your available options for relief may be essential to protecting your interests. Such guidance could help you prepare to pursue the required relief via the proper channels and help you focus on cultivating a healthier financial future.