What Happens in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

What Happens in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

When someone comes to our office to meet with our bankruptcy attorney, many times they ask about what exactly happens during the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process. There are many myths about bankruptcy, and our bankruptcy lawyer takes time to help our clients understand all of the options available to them. Our next series of articles will discuss what happens in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Let’s get started:

Overview of Chapter 7

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is designed to provide a debtor relief from debts owed to creditors. It is different from Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which essentially re-organizes debt into a structured plan to pay. In the case of Chapter 7, all qualifying debts may be completely discharged.

Qualifying for and Filing Chapter 7

A debtor must meet a certain set of requirements to qualify for filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy. A bankruptcy attorney can help a debtor determine whether or not they are qualified. If they are qualified to file Chapter 7, then the bankruptcy lawyer will move towards preparing the actual filing. This is a petition to the court which includes a comprehensive and detailed list of all the debtors property, debt, and creditors.

Our next article will outline more details about filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

When considering bankruptcy, Charleston residents and those in surrounding areas who need a trusted bankruptcy attorney may choose to engage Drose Law Firm. Our bankruptcy lawyer handles all types of bankruptcies and debt resolution cases. We have been in business for more than three decades and will be here to serve you if you need us. Give us a call to learn more today.

What Items and Income Are Exempt from Bankruptcy?

What Items and Income Are Exempt from Bankruptcy?

What Items and Income Are Exempt from Bankruptcy?

We are continuing our series of articles discussing the various types of items and income that may be exempt from bankruptcy in South Carolina. Our previous articles discussed equity in your home, personal property, retirement accounts, and equity in your automobile. While only an experienced bankruptcy attorney can advise you of what is exempt in your case, here are more types of items and income that may qualify for exemption.

Professional Tools and Equipment

If you have specific tools and/or equipment that you need and use to perform your work, then these may qualify for exemption. Examples include commercial tractors, lawn mowers, welding equipment, books, computers, telephones, and any other professional equipment you use to earn income. If you have any tools of the trade that you think may qualify, be sure to disclose these to your bankruptcy attorney.

Alimony and Child Support

If you are receiving any alimony or child support, this is exempt from your bankruptcy filings. Once again, be sure to disclose all alimony and/or child support payments you receive to your bankruptcy lawyer.

Many people think that filing bankruptcy means losing everything. That is simply not the case. A bankruptcy lawyer can help you navigate through the difficult process and advise you of what assets you may be able to retain. When it comes to filing bankruptcy, Charleston residents and those in surrounding areas have trusted Drose Law Firm for more than three decades. Our bankruptcy lawyer handles debt resolution, debt settlement, and foreclosure resolution cases, including IRS debt resolution. Give us a call to schedule a consultation with our bankruptcy attorney today.

Bankruptcy Exemptions in South Carolina

Bankruptcy Exemptions in South Carolina

Bankruptcy Exemptions in South Carolina

We are continuing our series of articles highlighting the different types of assets that may be exempt from bankruptcy under South Carolina law. Our previous article discussed the importance of disclosing all of your assets, equity, real estate, property, retirement accounts, etc. to your bankruptcy lawyer. We also covered how a portion of the equity in your primary residence and some personal property such as household goods, clothing, appliances, jewelry, etc. may also be exempt. Today, we will look at two more areas that may be protected when filing bankruptcy.

Some Retirement Accounts

It is important to disclose all of your retirement accounts and assets to your bankruptcy attorney as some types of tax-exempt retirement accounts and pension funds can be protected from bankruptcy. Your bankruptcy lawyer will review your retirement portfolio, retirement accounts, and pension and advise what can be exempt.

Equity in Your Automobile

If you have equity in your primary motor vehicle that you use for transportation, then either a portion or all of the equity may be protected from bankruptcy. Be sure to disclose to your bankruptcy attorney all of the motor vehicles that you own and/or are in your name.

Our next article will cover more types of assets that may qualify for bankruptcy exemption.

If you are considering filing bankruptcy, we can help. Our bankruptcy attorney has been handling debt resolution cases in South Carolina for more than 30 years.  We understand how difficult it can be to file bankruptcy. Charleston residents and those in surrounding areas have trusted Drose Law Firm to help them reclaim their financial freedom. Give us a call to speak with our bankruptcy lawyer today.

What Can I Exempt from Bankruptcy in South Carolina?

What Can I Exempt from Bankruptcy in South Carolina?

Many of the clients who come to us are fearful that they will “lose everything” when they file bankruptcy. This is simply untrue. While you may lose some assets, there are provisions for certain assets to either be partially or fully exempt. It is extremely important for you to disclose all of your assets, property, equity, retirement accounts, etc. to your bankruptcy attorney. Our next series of articles will discuss some of the different types of assets that may be protected during the bankruptcy process. Let’s get started:

Equity in Your Home

In most cases, you can protect a portion of the equity you have in the primary home that you declare as your residence. Your bankruptcy lawyer can tell you how much equity may qualify for exemption based on your marital status and the current amount allowable under South Carolina law.

Some Personal Property

Some personal property may qualify for exemption from bankruptcy. While you will need to discuss this in depth with your bankruptcy attorney, examples of personal property that may be exempt include books, clothing, household goods, appliances, jewelry, firearms, crops, burial plots, and animals.

Our next article will cover more types of assets that may be protected under South Carolina bankruptcy law.

When it comes to filing bankruptcy, Charleston residents and those in surrounding areas have trusted the Drose Law Firm for more than three decades. Our bankruptcy lawyer handles only debt resolution cases. Whether you have a simple bankruptcy or a complex filing, our bankruptcy attorney is happy to review your case. Give Drose Law Firm a call to schedule a consultation today.

How Do I Prepare for Filing Bankruptcy?

How Do I Prepare for Filing Bankruptcy?

Filing bankruptcy is a major decision that takes much thought and careful consideration. Once you make the decision to file either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, consulting a bankruptcy attorney to assist you can make the process much easier.  What kinds of things do bankruptcy lawyers need from clients?  Let’s take a look so you can be better prepared by knowing some of the information you will need to provide:

Documents

Your bankruptcy attorney will ask for documents and information about your current financial situation. Examples of documents you will need to locate and provide to your bankruptcy lawyer include tax returns, bank statements, income statements, and credit card statements.

Accurate List of Debt/Assets

You will need to make an accurate list of debt and assets and provide this list to your bankruptcy lawyer.  Be sure to include everything you own and owe, including all unsecured debt, mortgages, loans, real estate, etc. Your bankruptcy attorney can provide you with further guidance in this area. You want to make sure the information you provide is accurate. Do not use educated guesses or ballpark figures when compiling your list of debts and assets.

Are you considering filing bankruptcy? Charleston residents and those in surrounding areas have trusted Drose Law Firm with their Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy filings for more than three decades. When it comes to bankruptcy lawyers, consider hiring someone whose sole practice area is debt resolution.  The bankruptcy attorneys at Drose Law Firm handle debt settlement, foreclosure intervention, IRS debt resolution, and even student loan debt. Give us a call to schedule a consultation with a bankruptcy lawyer today.

Filing Bankruptcy with Joint Debt

Filing Bankruptcy with Joint Debt

Filing bankruptcy can be complicated. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can help you through the process, especially if you have any special or extraordinary circumstances. One of the circumstances that can complicate your bankruptcy is joint debt.

Joint debt is debt that involves you and at least one other person.  Often times, this other person is a spouse or business partner. When you have joint debt, all parties share the same legal responsibility for it. Joint debt most often occurs on large ticket items such as a home, real estate, business, or vehicle.

If you have any joint debt, it is important to disclose this to your bankruptcy lawyer. At the end of the day, if you file bankruptcy, the individuals you hold the joint debt with will become responsible for paying it back. In otherwards, while your bankruptcy attorney may list the debt in your filing, only you will be absolved from paying it back. This is another reason why speaking with a bankruptcy attorney is so important, as they can advise you on the options you have given your specific joint debt situation.

When it comes to filing bankruptcy, Charleston residents have trusted the Drose Law Firm for more than three decades. Our bankruptcy attorney and staff ease the stress and red tape associated with filing either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, helping you establish a clean slate and make a new start.  Not all bankruptcy lawyers understand the complexity of the laws associated with filing bankruptcy in South Carolina. Our bankruptcy lawyer is thorough and is always looking out for the best interests of our clients. Give Drose Law Firm a call to schedule your appointment today.

How Can Filing Bankruptcy Help Ease the Stress of Debt?

How Can Filing Bankruptcy Help Ease the Stress of Debt?

The thought of filing bankruptcy can be intimidating.  Our bankruptcy attorney has been working with clients to help them resolve debt issues for more than three decades.  We not only know the physical process of filing bankruptcy; we also understand the emotions that can occur as a result.  We sometimes meet with clients who are so overwhelmed, they feel there is no way out.  They often ask us if filing bankruptcy will really ease their stress.  While we cannot wave a magic want to make your stress go away, our bankruptcy lawyer can say with quite certainty that many clients report feeling much less stress after filing bankruptcy.

We are continuing our series of articles discussing some ways filing bankruptcy can ease the stress of being in debt.  Our previous article covered the fact that once your bankruptcy attorney files for you, an “automatic stay” takes effect and creditors will be required to stop contacting you. We also discussed the ways in which different types of bankruptcy can resolve debt issues. Today, we will look at two more ways filing bankruptcy can reduce stress of debt.

Prevents Foreclosure

Filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy can help prevent your home from going into foreclosure.  This is because when your bankruptcy attorney files Chapter 13 on your behalf, you are essentially asking for the ability to re-organize your debt, allowing you to catch up on your mortgage and/or finance your past due payments in accordance with the payment plan that has been established as part of your Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Retain Assets

Filing bankruptcy can help protect your personal assets that you already own (i.e., jewelry, clothing, furniture, etc.) as well as help you retain some that you don’t.  For instance, if you have a car loan and are behind on payments, you may be able to keep the vehicle under your bankruptcy financial restructuring plan.  

When in need of an experienced lawyer to help them file bankruptcy, Charleston residents and those in surrounding areas trust the Drose Law Firm.  Give us a call to meet with our bankruptcy lawyer today.

Case Study

Nancy P. – Case Study

Nancy P. survived the loss of a career and a bankruptcy. Now she has some words of advice for those going through the same things.

The economy was still crashing in 2010 when Nancy came to the realization that what she thought were sound business decisions turned into a series of massive mistakes and unfortunate timing. She couldn’t hold on to her restaurant and her three rental houses any longer. Her employees were out of work and she couldn’t pay her vendors.

“I felt so terrible about myself because I couldn’t fix it. It was an avalanche and I couldn’t do anything to stop it,” she wrote in an email to TFS. “Everyone knew I had to close my restaurant and what was once a dream turned into a total nightmare.”

It wasn’t until late January of 2015 that Nancy and her husband filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

While at the time her personal bankruptcy felt like it was an “epic failure” and taking a handout she didn’t deserve, in retrospect Nancy said she should have filed sooner. It ended up being the best thing to do for herself, her family and her future.

She signed up with www.tfsbillpay.com for monthly payments in July of 2017. It wasn’t all smooth sailing. Early in the process, Nancy had a couple of failed payments but still persevered and made “catch up” payments. In all, she made 17 transactions totaling more than $10,000 through TFS.

“Money was tight but eventually I found the reward in making those payments,” she said “It was what I could do to get to the other side of this. It was a form of redemption.”

Now free from bankruptcy, Nancy feels like she was given a second chance.

Her credit is good, she is buying a house and she is even considering a new business opportunity – something she never expected to do.

“You will get out of this, too. Don’t beat yourself up,” Nancy said. “You will learn so much through this process and you will come out of it better and stronger.”

And, she has advice for others as they navigate through bankruptcy.

“Managing your mental state is probably one of the most important things you can do to get through bankruptcy,” Nancy wrote.

Here are Nancy’s best tips for going through a bankruptcy:

  1. You are not a failure if you file for bankruptcy. 
  2. Get a good bankruptcy attorney.
  3. Don’t wait too long to file. 
  4. Remember, it will eventually end. 
  5. Whether you are required to pay anything back or not, this is your chance to have a new life. It is a massive gift so just accept it graciously and get on with your life. 
  6. Be kind to yourself as you go through this. You are making the right decision for you and your future. 
  7. The world, your creditors and the government are not “out to get you.” Bankruptcy is your chance for a clean slate. 
  8. If you are a small business owner, get an accountant who can do your books and even better if they are savvy on market trends. Pay attention to the economy. 
  9. Learn about finances during bankruptcy. Buy books, take online courses or watch YouTube.  There are some excellent free resources online to help you manage your money. Your bank, investment firms and community centers also offer classes. Create a new relationship with money. 
  10. Did I mention that bankruptcy is not failure? You are not a failure. 
I’m Overwhelmed with Debt. How Can Filing Bankruptcy Help?

I’m Overwhelmed with Debt.  How Can Filing Bankruptcy Help?

Our bankruptcy lawyer understands the burden people face when they have significant debt.  You feel like you are drowning and cannot see a way out. After spending more than three decades helping clients who are overwhelmed by debt, our bankruptcy attorney has seen it all and is extremely gratified when he can help clients realize that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Our next series of articles will cover some ways that filing bankruptcy can help you relieve stress and move on to the next stage of your life. Let’s get started:

Stop the Creditors from Calling

Collection agencies can be ruthless in their attempt to recover debt.  Not only are collection agents persistent in calling, but some can be down right intimidating.  The good news is once your bankruptcy lawyer files for you, an “automatic stay” takes affect and creditors will be required to stop contacting you.

Resolve Debt

Probably one of the most attractive features of filing bankruptcy is that it does resolve your existing debt issues.  Chapter 7 discharges most unsecured debt, while Chapter 13 re-organizes your debt and allows you to be placed on a plan toward paying it off completely. Either way, you are afforded a fresh start.

Our next article will outline more ways filing bankruptcy can help ease the feeling of being overwhelmed by your outstanding debt.  If the bills are piling up and the debtors keep calling, it may be time to discuss your options with our bankruptcy lawyer. At the Drose Law Firm, bankruptcy is all we handle, and we take into consideration both the legal and emotional aspects of each case. When filing bankruptcy, Charleston residents and those in surrounding areas know who to call. We invite you to connect with our bankruptcy attorney today!

bankruptcy attorney

Bankruptcy and Divorce

bankruptcy attorney

Two of the most stressful events that can occur in a person’s life are bankruptcy and divorce.  Each is difficult can be very emotional. If you are considering filing both bankruptcy and divorce, then you should retain an experienced divorce attorney and a bankruptcy lawyer to handle your cases. A bankruptcy attorney can give you information to help you make informed decisions in regard to filing bankruptcy, including:

  • Helping determine what type of bankruptcy to file, Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.
  • Outlining the tax implications involved with filing for both bankruptcy and divorce.
  • Assisting you with the decision of when it would be most beneficial to file bankruptcy (before or after divorce.)
  • Discussing what items you qualify to keep if you file for bankruptcy.

Once the above decisions have been made, your bankruptcy attorney can then help you fully prepare for the bankruptcy process. If it is determined that it is best to file bankruptcy before your divorce, then your bankruptcy lawyer will begin working on your filing right away. If you plan to file after divorce, then it is important to keep your bankruptcy lawyer apprised of when the divorce is scheduled to occur and advised of any changes in your situation or status.

Drose Law Firm has more than 30 years of experience in the practice of bankruptcy. Charleston residents and those in surrounding areas trust us because of the attention to detail and personalized care we put into each case we handle.  If you need a bankruptcy attorney, we can help. Give us a call to schedule a consultation today.