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South Carolina Bankruptcy Laws



South Carolina Bankruptcy Laws should be known by every resident of the state of South Carolina. The attraction credit cards bring is irresistible. For citizens of South Carolina consumer credit has been a way of life ever since credit card companies offered the best rates and approved applications easily. Those who can keep up with the payments are fortunate, but for citizens who have been lagging in their monthly obligations the only option is to file for bankruptcy. When creditors threaten and harass debtor for not paying his bills, the debtor panics and usually makes a spur-of-the-moment decision to file for bankruptcy. South Carolina bankruptcy laws have emphasized that the bankruptcy option should be considered as the last option when all other viable means have been exhausted.

In order to emphasize this stand, federal and state laws imposes for each debtor the need to attend a comprehensive credit counseling program for the sole purpose of giving the debtor other options he need to consider before bankruptcy petition. During this counseling, a debtor is taught how to manage his money and develop a budget with which he can work around. Since this is mandatory, the court requires proof of attendance or certification during bankruptcy filing. The counseling should be done 180 days before the formal petition of bankruptcy.

The bankruptcy program of choice for most South Carolina citizens is Chapter 7. Considering that bankruptcy itself provides a safety net for debtors, a fresh financial start will give debtors another chance to prove that he is financially capable. Nonetheless, as much as the growing number of debtors wanting to avail of Chapter 7 look forward to starting anew, the bankruptcy courts involve a complex process for Chapter 7 eligibility. You can be eligible for Chapter 7 in either of the two criteria: a monthly income less than what most South Carolina citizens are receiving or dischargeable cash lower than $100 per month as defined by the federal and state laws. If you pass any of these, then you’re on your way to a new financial start.

However, if you fail in any of these criteria, the court may recommend a Chapter 13 bankruptcy program in your case. Instead of debt liquidation, this program calls for a debt reorganization requiring the debtor to submit a repayment plan a couple of weeks after the formal petition of bankruptcy. This repayment plan will outline how the debtor will pay all his creditors over a maximum period of 5 years granting the court approves the plan. The creditor may refuse to accept the terms of the plan but the final decision will be up to the bankruptcy judge handling the case. Should the judge okay the plan, a randomly appointed trustee will be assigned to your case and will supervise the plan’s implementation.

A list of the non-exempt and exempt assets will be provided. The former will be liquidated to pay off your debts; however, the exemptions are protected from your creditors. South Carolina bankruptcy laws specify the following items as exemptions:

• Homestead exemption for $50,000;
• A vehicle worth $5,000;
• Liquid assets and cash worth $5,000;
• Jewelry worth $1,000;
• Tools of trade for $1,500; and
• Benefits like health aids, veterans’ benefits, social security, and life insurance proceeds.

No matter how much you read and familiarize yourself with bankruptcy laws, there are matters that only an experienced lawyer can address.