Walking Away Is Not the Answer
For many hard-working people in South Carolina, bankruptcy is the best option when debts grow out of control. The situation may not be your fault. Perhaps you were laid off from your job. You may be the victim of a mortgage broker or banker who never should have approved your loan in the first place.
Regardless, some people still think defaulting on their debt and walking away is a good idea. They are wrong because it does not solve all of their problems and, in fact, creates new ones. For example, your debtor or creditor can:
- Sue you for the money you owe.
- Place a lien against your home, then collect the profits when you sell, leaving you with no money from your most valuable asset.
- Sell the loan to a collection agency, which will aggressively come after you.
- In the case of an automobile loan, repossess your vehicle.
- Garnish your wages.
- Garnish an inheritance.
In addition, defaulting has a severe negative impact on your credit report for seven years. This can make it difficult to qualify for another loan or credit card, rent an apartment, or even get a job.
Bankruptcy is a better option than sweeping it under the rug
For these and other reasons, your best bet for a secure financial future often is filing for bankruptcy. The legal process determines whether some debts should be discharged, what assets you can keep, and which can be used to pay off the remainder of your debt. What happens depends on whether you choose Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Chapter 7 gives you a fresh start. Most of your debt will be canceled (with some exceptions, such as student loans, child support, taxes, and alimony). You can choose to pay some creditors to keep your car or home.
Chapter 13 is about reorganizing financial affairs. You keep your assets, discharge some debt and implement a three- to five-year payment plan on others. Chapter 13 will let you "catch up" on mortgage and automobile payments.
You may have other options as well. Bankruptcy isn't the answer for everyone, but it's the answer for a lot of people, and talking to an attorney about your options is an important part of your path forward.
A bankruptcy lawyer can help put your life back together
You’ve worked hard all of your life, and when a financial crisis occurs, it is often not of your making. If you try to address the issues on your own, a simple mistake can undermine your future. The big question becomes, who you can trust to straighten out your finances?
At Benjamin R. Matthews and Associates, LLC, we have been fighting for the rights of our South Carolina clients for more than 30 years. We know each situation is unique and legally complex. We will help you take back control of your financial future. We will work hand-in-hand with you to explain your options and find a plan that makes the most sense for you and your family. Secure your future right now by contacting us for a free consultation.