Deciding to file bankruptcy in Myrtle Beach, SC should not be taken lightly. It is a serious decision that requires a lot of thought and the guidance of a Myrtle Beach bankruptcy lawyer. You do not have to give up all your property if you file bankruptcy in South Carolina. There are specific exemptions for those who pursue bankruptcy filings in the state. In Myrtle Beach, just like the rest of South Carolina, there are specific exemptions that can be claimed. This involves set dollar amounts and specific property that are exempted from being seized during the filing of bankruptcy. You can keep ownership of this property without it being taken away and sold during your Myrtle Beach, SC bankruptcy filing.
When it comes to Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies, exemptions play an important role. If you are filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Myrtle Beach, your exemptions will determine what existing property you have that you can keep. Exemptions claimed in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy impact your monthly payment plan that you will be committing to for the next three to five years. You don’t have to give up all your property when you file bankruptcy protection. Instead, you will get to claim specific exemptions that will let you keep specific assets because that property is protected. Your Myrtle Beach bankruptcy lawyer will assist you in making the right decisions in regards to any exemptions that you can claim.
There are specific kinds of property, such as a car or a wedding ring, that could be kept by claiming exemptions. There are some exemptions that allow to protect up to a set dollar amount of an asset. There are wildcard exemptions, which can be applied toward any property that you do own. If you have the ability to exempt a specific asset, there is no need to worry about it being taken away from you and sold to help pay off your debts during a Chapter 7 or it having an impact on your monthly Chapter 13 bankruptcy payments. You must choose your exemptions wisely, so you should enlist the help of your Myrtle Beach bankruptcy lawyer when making such decisions.
How Bankruptcies are Impacted by Exemptions
Exemptions impact bankruptcies in different ways, and it is also dependent on which kind of bankruptcy you file – Chapter 13 or Chapter 7. Chapter 7 is also called liquidation bankruptcy, and it involves the appointment of a trustee who oversees your case. This trustee will sell off your assets to pay off as much of your debt as possible. Any property that you claim an exemption on, however, cannot be sold. You can protect some property by exempting it in your filing for bankruptcy. While you are permitted to claim either federal exemptions or state exemptions in many states, South Carolina only allows petitioners for bankruptcy to claim South Carolina bankruptcy exemptions. The current bankruptcy exemptions for those in the state went into effect in 2016. They are expected to change again at the beginning of July in 2018. Myrtle Beach bankruptcy petitioners are subjected to these exemptions.
The homestead exemption is one of the most important exemptions available to those filing South Carolina bankruptcy. You are allowed to exempt as much as $59,100 of equity in your primary residence, regardless of whether it is a home, villa, condo, mobile home, or another piece of real estate, such as a co-op. If you a married couple files bankruptcy jointly, the homestead exemption value doubles to $118,200 worth of equity for a primary residence.
Different kinds of property are addressed with South Carolina personal property exemptions. You are allowed to claim musical instruments, clothing, household goods, books, appliances, and furniture not to exceed the value of $4,725. If you do not claim the South Carolina homestead exemption, you are allowed to claim an exemption of a burial plot with a value up to $59,100. As much as $5,900 worth of liquid assets, including cash, can be claimed as an exemption if you don’t claim the homestead exemption.
Other exemptions allowed for Myrtle Beach bankruptcy filers include as much as $1,175 worth of jewelry, all your health aids, and a trust fund that is part of a college investment program. You can also claim an exemption for personal injury and wrongful death settlements from an individual you had counted on for financial support. You are also permitted to claim as much as $5,900 equity in an SUV, car, motorcycle, van, or truck you need for your transportation services.
There are retirement accounts that can be claimed as exemptions as well. Any tax-exempt retirement accounts, such as SEP and Simple IRAs, profit sharing plans, money purchase plans, 401(k)s, and 403(b)s, as well as other pensions specifically defined. Pensions for police officers, firefighters, judges, attorneys, and public employees are exempt as are Erisa-qualified benefits, and your part of a fund for a pension plan. You can exempt a portion of an IRA or Roth IRA, but that figure is adjusted every three years. Check with your Myrtle Beach bankruptcy attorney for the specific amounts.
Some public benefits can be exempted, such as general relief, Social Security, unemployment compensation, local public assistance, workers’ compensation benefits, veterans’ benefits, and assistance for the disabled, blind, or elderly.
Tools of the Trade
If you have tools of your trade or profession, you can claim as much as $1,775 worth of them as exempt. This might include books, tools, or other implements used in your career.
You can claim exemptions for some kinds of life insurance and other insurance policies. Proceeds received from illness, accident, and disability insurance; cash surrender values or proceeds from life insurance policies that benefit the dependents of the insured party, including the spouse and children, but not the estate with certain exceptions; group life insurance proceeds that do not exceed the state’s specified amount at the time; any life insurance annuity that specifies in the contract that the insurer is exempted from creditors; life insurance benefits that are paid as a result of the insured’s death; benefits from fraternal benefit societies; an unmatured life insurance contract that is not classified as a credit insurance policy; any loan, interest, or dividend value of an immature life insurance contract.
You can also claim exemptions for child support, alimony, and property that is affiliated with a business partnership.
As mentioned before, a wildcard exemption allows you to exempt a specific amount of any property that you own. South Carolina lets you take any exemptions that haven’t been claimed by you and combine them to claim as much as $5,900 in a wildcard exemption toward the property you choose.
Myrtle Beach Bankruptcy Representation
In order to file bankruptcy or make sure the South Carolina bankruptcy exemptions have not changed, you should consult with your Myrtle Beach bankruptcy attorney. Your Myrtle Beach bankruptcy lawyer is familiar with both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 filings. A bankruptcy attorney will know the current exemptions and stays up to date on any bankruptcy law changes. Your bankruptcy lawyer will also help you with any questions you may have and will help you choose the best options for your financial needs.