Frequently Asked Questions about Bankruptcy

Our law firm has answers you can trust

Bankruptcy is a complex process that may raise more questions than answers. We're here to help. At Matthews & Megna, our attorneys have extensive experience helping South Carolinians file for bankruptcy and we're happy to share what we know.

For more information about bankruptcy or to discuss your specific case, contact us today. Our bankruptcy lawyers want to hear your story and help you find the right solution for your financial situation.

What is bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is a legal term for a federal law allowing people to take control of their debt. Depending on the type of bankruptcy, debtors may be able to eliminate their debt completely or consolidate debt to create a manageable repayment plan. Declaring bankruptcy can also let you hold on to your house, your car and other valuable possessions while you work to get back on your feet financially.

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Who is eligible to file for bankruptcy?

No two bankruptcy cases are the same. Each person may have different reasons why they chose to file bankruptcy. Generally, any person owing money to a creditor may be eligible to file for bankruptcy. Common reasons why people file include:

  • Credit card bills
  • Unemployment
  • Medical bills
  • Foreclosure
  • Car repossession
  • IRS debt and back taxes
  • Creditor harassment

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Why should I consider filing for bankruptcy?

It can be difficult knowing what to do when faced with mounting debt and constant harassment from creditors expecting you to repay debt with money you don't have. You may fear losing your car or house. Bankruptcy can save you from losing your valuable possessions and prevent further abuse. Filing for bankruptcy can let you keep your life intact, allowing you to keep your assets, create realistic spending budgets, rebuild your credit score and plan for your future.

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Which type of bankruptcy is best for me?

Typically, debtors are eligible to file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. If you're facing credit card or medical bills, you may be eligible to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy to discharge your unsecured debts. If you want to prevent foreclosure or keep your car and possessions, Chapter 13 might be your best option. Contact an attorney at Matthews & Megna to discuss what option may be best for you.

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What types of debts can be discharged?

Credit card bills, medical statements, utility bills and other types of unsecured debts can be discharged through Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Unsecured debts refer to loans or credit extended without a collateral requirement (such as property or other assets), typically with a high interest rate attached.

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What types of debts cannot be discharged?

"Secured" loans include mortgages, home equity credit lines and car loans. These loans are usually for larger amounts of money than unsecured debts and protected by an asset or collateral that you own. Chapter 13 bankruptcy may allow debtors to keep their assets through the creation of a repayment plan and loan rehabilitation program.

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Can a bankruptcy lawyer in South Carolina help?

Yes. At Matthews & Megna, our attorneys understand how difficult and confusing the bankruptcy process can be. It can only take one missed piece of paperwork or a small income miscalculation for your case to spiral out of control. We're here to help. We readily negotiate with creditors. We can represent you in court. We're familiar with the complexities of the bankruptcy process and how to provide our clients with the new start they deserve.

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What should I bring to my first meeting with a lawyer?

When meeting with a lawyer for your free case evaluation, be sure to compile a list of past and present debts as well as a list of assets and liabilities.

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How long does bankruptcy stay on record?

Bankruptcy will stay on your credit reports from 7 to 10 years. While this may seem like a long time, it's better than having debt continue to pile up for years and harm your credit even further.

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When can I apply for credit again?

This decision varies from creditor to creditor. There's no law that prevents a creditor from extending credit immediately after bankruptcy. However, without the help of an attorney, you may find creditors are wary of extending credit. Contact us today to learn more. Call 803-799-1700.

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