When you can no longer keep up with payments and debt seems to just keep piling up, it may be time to consider filing for bankruptcy. This is not an easy decision to make, especially since bankruptcy seems like a scary process, and it can feel like you’re losing everything. However, South Carolina code offers some protections to those filing bankruptcy, so an experienced Charleston Bankruptcy attorney can help to make the process much less painful.
Can I Keep My Home?
One of the biggest concerns for homeowners filing for bankruptcy is, of course, keeping a roof over their heads. The good news is that South Carolina law does allow homeowners to keep residential property through exemptions, as long as their equity interest is not more than $50,000.
This means that the value of the property minus all debts against the home, such as mortgages, is $50,000 or less. However, if you are married or have another owner listed alongside you on the deed, each owner is allowed to maintain up to $50,000, up to a maximum of $100,000 in equity in residential real estate.
South Carolina offers numerous bankruptcy options, each subject to different rules and regulations, which will be briefly discussed here. Deciding which one is right for you is an important, and often difficult, process, so contact an experienced attorney to determine which is right for you.
- Chapter 7 bankruptcy can make it trickier to keep your home. In this form of bankruptcy, your debts will all be wiped clean, but in exchange, it requires the sale of all non-exempt property. If you are behind on mortgage payments, it is unlikely that you will be able to keep your home. In that case, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be a better choice for you.
- Chapter 11 bankruptcy is primarily designed for businesses to allow them to restructure debts and assets. However, it can be an option for individuals if you do not qualify for any other bankruptcy option and, again, you should be able to keep your home as long as your equity is not more than $50,000.
- Chapter 12 bankruptcy is designed to assist family farmers and may be an option if you are a farmer with regular income. However, since it is not as commonly utilized, it will not be discussed further here. Be sure to contact an experienced lawyer if you believe Chapter 12 may be an option for you.
- Chapter 13 bankruptcy, rather than erasing all debt, allows you to make a plan for repaying debt and therefore allows you to keep the property for which you can make an acceptable repayment plan. You’re only allowed three to five years to pay off debts in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, so be certain that you have enough income to make this feasible for you.
Contact a South Carolina Attorney Today
The attorneys at David Aylor Law Offices can help you maximize your bankruptcy exemptions under South Carolina law. Consult your attorney today to determine which kind of bankruptcy is right for you and to begin the process of eliminating debt while keeping as much of your property as possible.
David Aylor is a Criminal Defense Attorney who practices in Charleston, Walterboro, and Myrtle Beach, SC. He graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law, and has been practicing law for 11 years. David Aylor believes in defending the accused. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.