What Are the Benefits of Bankruptcy?

Ask anyone who has gone through the bankruptcy process what led them to choose bankruptcy and how bankruptcy affects their lives. The answers may surprise you.

Most will tell you it saved them-from losing their home, from losing their car and from being harassed by creditors. The benefits of bankruptcy don't only apply to being able to hold on to assets, however. When you can keep your most meaningful possessions such as your family home, heirlooms and personal treasures, you also keep your dignity, your identity and your sense of hope for a brighter future. Think about it: Working with a bankruptcy lawyer can actually keep your life fundamentally intact, allowing you to:

  • prevent foreclosure
  • eliminate debts
  • keep assets and possessions
  • learn money management skills
  • create realistic budgets and stick to them
  • stay on top of mortgage, bills and spending
  • rebuild your credit scoreso you can get a loan if you need one
  • start planning for the future

Keep Your Home, Your Treasured Possessions-and Your Dignity, Too

The compassionate legal team at Matthew & Megna knows how tough it is to come to a decision like this. Call us at (803) 799-1700 so we can talk about what you're going through. We know you're wrestling with the old stigma of bankruptcy and worried what people might think. Years ago, it may have marred a person's reputation, but these days declaring bankruptcy shows that a person wants to get control of their finances and work toward a future free of debt. As your attorney, we can also discuss many of the most important topics related to bankruptcy, including how to:

Don't Let Reckless Loan Officers and Ruthless Collection Agencies Win!

Perhaps you tried to refinance your house, but the bank turned down your loan application. Maybe you worked two jobs to catch up on bills but ended up getting laid off from both during the recession. You've tried negotiating with creditors, but they refuse to lower your monthly minimum payments. You've run out of ideas, and you're running out of money. You may even be worried that you'll end up on the street. Bankruptcy can solve all of these worries, fears and frustrations. Call Matthews & Megna at (803) 799-1700 or contact us online for a free initial evaluation today-we can explain exactly what bankruptcy is and show you smart alternatives to help you get back on your feet.

Make Creditors Stop Calling

When you're overwhelmed by debt, creditors and collection agencies can make your life miserable. Perhaps they've been calling you every day and leaving intimidating messages, or sending red warning letters saying "Payment Overdue." Under a provision of the Bankruptcy Code called the "automatic stay," creditors must cease all such activity as soon you have filed your bankruptcy case. In certain bankruptcy cases, you or your attorney should contact the creditor immediately after filing a bankruptcy petition, especially if a lawsuit from creditors is pending or if your personal property or vehicle is about to be repossessed.

We can facilitate the process and stop the harassment. There are several reasons creditors must stop bothering you after you file for bankruptcy:

  • The court will send a notice to all your creditors about your filing, which legally bars them from contacting you. Within a couple of weeks, you should stop receiving calls from creditors.
  • Until creditors get the court notice, when they call, you should tell them you have filed for bankruptcy and give them your bankruptcy case docket number.
  • After your bankruptcy is filed, your attorney will handle all communications with your creditors.
  • A creditor may be subject to court sanctions if it continues to use a collection agency or other bullying tactics after being informed of your bankruptcy.

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Prevent Foreclosure

Your home-whether it's a cherished house that's been in the family for generations or a newer home sold by reckless mortgage brokers offering unaffordable loans-is your sanctuary. You've invested money, time and sweat equity in maintenance, additions and renovations. Perhaps you raised your kids here and planned to leave the house to your children in your will. Maybe you used all your savings to restore your home, but now you can't make the mortgage payments and you're being harassed by collection agencies. Declaring Chapter 13 bankruptcy could be the answer.

One of the greatest benefits of filing for Chapter 13 is being able to stop a foreclosure on a house and catch up on your mortgage after falling behind on payments. If you can't pay the mortgage, choosing bankruptcy can stop the mortgage company from selling your home by financing past due mortgage payments according to the bankruptcy plan. The upshot is that you can stay in your home and not have to uproot your family. You have options, and we can help you understand them.

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Keep Possessions

If you're behind on car payments, your car could be repossessed. If you stopped paying a home furniture loan you took out to buy that new dining room set, the table and chairs may be taken away. If you own fine jewelry, clothing or furnishings, you may have to resort to selling it to pay off creditors. Don't let this happen. You have options, and choosing to declare bankruptcy may be the smartest one.

When you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you can often get your vehicle back from the creditor who repossessed it or help stop it from being taken away in the first place. Bankruptcy can also you pay off your automobile loan, restructuring and reducing payments to a more affordable amount. Remember, if your car has been repossessed and you haven't filed for bankruptcy, you may still have to pay off the balance due on the car loan at the full monthly payments.

We are here to help you keep your life intact and work toward making a fresh start. We have years of experience handling bankruptcy cases throughout South Carolina and thoroughly understand how the legal system works here.

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Eliminate Debt

The reason filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a great way to make a fresh start is because it can make certain debts disappear. In legal terms, those debts are known as "dischargeable debts." Possible dischargeable debts include:

  • Unsecured Debt - This is debt that is not secured with collateral. Unsecured debt may include credit card debt and medical bills.
  • Secured Debt - This debt is "secured" with collateral, which is property such as a home or a car. You may decide to pay the debt. Sometimes we can turn the secured debt into unsecured debt. Sometimes, it is necessary to return the property to the creditor.

Examples of non-dischargeable debts:

  • Child support and alimony
  • Most student loans
  • Some taxes
  • DUI fines

For a full evaluation of your existing debt and to discuss ways bankruptcy may be able to help you get out of debt, contact our law firm and schedule an appointment today.

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If You Lost Your Job

For so many hard-working Americans, this economy has been challenging on every front, especially in terms of the tough job market and widespread unemployment. Perhaps you were part of a mass lay-off, your company went out of business, you had to leave your job due to health problems or you were simply fired. The harsh truth is that you're out of work and either can't find a job or are unable to work.

Don't despair. Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be the lifeline that allows you to begin planning for the future, and we can help you get there! In many cases, if you successfully file for bankruptcy, you can keep your house and eliminate debt. We can show you how and help you understand all your options.

We know that being jobless leaves you vulnerable, especially if you thought you had a good career and didn't have to worry about financial problems. Don't wait until it's too late: Contact us for a free initial evaluation.

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If You Have Medical Hardship

According to one study, over half of the million-plus bankruptcy petitions filed each year come from people who can't keep up with steep medical bills. With nearly 50 million people uninsured in this country, that figure is not surprising. Even those who have medical coverage declare bankruptcy, since private health insurance will not pay the high cost of extended illness and patients will resort to drastic measures to keep hospital collection agencies from harassing them.

Some folks mortgage their homes to pay medical bills. Others sell their cars because of harassment from collection agencies. Still others resort to taking family heirlooms to a pawnshop because they're at risk of losing coverage if they can't pay the high premium anymore.  On average, three-quarters of those who file for medical-related bankruptcy have health insurance, but they may have lost income while recovering and their medical bills just got out of control. What they don't know is that medical bankruptcy can help them avoid the financial crisis that health problems so often cause.

A medical crisis doesn't have to mean financial ruin! Medical bankruptcy could be best path toward financial security. Contact us for a free initial evaluation. We want to help your family get back on firm financial footing.

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