How to File for Bankruptcy in South Carolina
The process of filing for bankruptcy in South Carolina follows many of the same guidelines and requirements as filing for bankruptcy throughout the rest of the country. It is useful and important to become familiar with national bankruptcy laws if you’ll be filing in the state of South Carolina. In addition, it is extremely beneficial to become familiar with the local laws and requirements within the state.
It will be necessary to determine which form of bankruptcy is appropriate before actually filing any paperwork with the court. Most people will end up filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the most popular form of bankruptcy because if offers a discharge of any debts that cannot be paid. However, not everyone will qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Some people will need to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy if it can be proven that they have the means to pay back creditors slowly using a scheduled payment plan. Fishermen and farmers have the option to file for Chapter 12 bankruptcy. There is also the option to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy for some people who have extremely large debt amounts or business debts.
A means test will be conducted early on in the process of filing for bankruptcy to determine which form is appropriate. A debtor will need to supply detailed information regarding their personal finances as part of the test. Factors like income, assets, liabilities and more will be used to determine which form of bankruptcy a debtor is eligible to file under. It is extremely important to provide information that is accurate, truthful and complete when filling out the forms that are part of the means test. Any attempts at concealing assets or misrepresenting finances could result in serious repercussions. Working with a lawyer to avoid errors and delays is highly recommended. Any errors made while filing a petition could result in extra fees, scheduling delays or a case being dismissed from court.
A Closer Look at Filing for Bankruptcy in South Carolina
The United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of South Carolina has locations in Charleston, Columbia and Spartanburg. The forms required when filing for bankruptcy in the state of South Carolina can be found here. The cost to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in South Carolina is $335. The cost to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in South Carolina is $310. A list of complete fees that can be expected when filing for bankruptcy in the state of South Carolina can be accessed here.
Key Steps in the Bankruptcy Process
The process of filing for bankruptcy officially begins when a debtors files a petition with the court. This petition will trigger something that is called an automatic stay. What this means is that creditors will not be permitted to contact a debtor or attempt to obtain any debts that are owed. It will be necessary for anyone planning to file for bankruptcy in the state of South Carolina to complete a credit counseling course in the six months leading up to filing. The course taken must be administered by an agency that is approved in South Carolina. The list of approved course providers can be found here. It is also required that all debtors complete a debtor education course during the bankruptcy process. The list of approved providers of this course can be found here.
One important obligation that debtors must complete while filing for bankruptcy is attendance at a meeting of creditors. This is typically a brief meeting that merely serves as a formality. However, it is important because it provides creditors with an opportunity to try to uncover any nonexempt assets that may be on the table.