Bankruptcy Top Ten FAQ in Charleston South Carolina
Some Common Questions I Receive as a Charleston Bankruptcy Attorney
At the bankruptcy law office of attorney Ingrid H. Rudolph in Charleston South Carolina, I advocate for people throughout the low country who are facing debt problems. As an experienced Charleston bankruptcy attorney, I understand that many debts were caused by unforeseen circumstances such as job loss or personal injury. As your bankruptcy lawyer I work personally with you to address your debt concerns and help you obtain the fresh start you need. If you are in need of a dedicated bankruptcy lawyer call my Charleston South Carolina law office at (843) 814-4215 or fill out this form to set up a consultation.
What exactly is bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy is really just a compilation of laws called the Bankruptcy Code, which is contained in Title 11 of the United States Code. Bankruptcy is designed to assist debtors, both individuals and businesses with overwhelming financial debt to reorganize their affairs and get a fresh start financially. These laws give debtors protections and benefits that are simply not available outside of bankruptcy. The most important of these laws is the automatic stay, which prevents creditors from contacting you or making any attempts at all to collect on debts owed by you. Most Chapter 7 bankruptcy debts are forgiven at discharge, with few exceptions. When you file a bankruptcy, you must disclose all of your assets, liabilities, income and expenses. As an experienced bankruptcy attorney in Charleston South Carolina I can guide you through this process.
Is my bankruptcy going to be in the public record? Is it viewable online?
Bankruptcy records, with few exceptions, are available on PACER to bankruptcy attorneys and those who have accept to PACER. Other than going through PACER, there is no way to access your bankruptcy records. PACER is an acronym for Public Access to Court Electronic Records. The service provides on-line access to U.S. Appellate, District and Bankruptcy court records and documents.
Do I have to take the Credit Counseling Certification course?
Taking the required credit counseling course is necessary under the 2005 Bankruptcy Act. All filers are required to submit their certificate of completion with their petition for bankruptcy. The counseling is available online, takes about an hour to complete, and the U.S. Trustee’s website offers a list of court-approved agencies who offer the counseling. You can find the list here: Approved South Carolina Bankruptcy Credit Counseling Agencies. Please remember that the class must be taken within 180 days prior to your filing. As your bankruptcy lawyer, I will incorporate this certificate into your bankruptcy petition.
Do I have to go to Bankruptcy Court?
Yes, you will have to go to Bankruptcy Court for a process called "The Meeting of the creditors". This is a quick procedure lasting approximately 20 minutes. I, as your bankruptcy lawyer, will inform you when that date is set. For a list of locations for the bankruptcy courts serving the Charleston South Carolina area check here on uscourts.gov.
What should I do if a creditor keeps calling me after I file?
When a creditor keeps attempting to collect their debt after the bankruptcy is filed, the creditor is likely doing so in violation of the automatic stay. If you are being harassed by creditors, you should notify your bankruptcy lawyer at once. It is possible the creditor did not receive notice of your filing. If the creditor continues to contact you, you are entitled to take legal action against the creditor, in the form of an adversarial proceeding. As your bankruptcy attorney, I can take that action on your behalf.
Will my wage garnishment stop when I file bankruptcy?
Yes! And as your bankruptcy lawyer I will make sure of it.
Can I keep my car?
If you have a great Charleston bankruptcy attorney such as myself then in most cases, yes!
What does it cost to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy?
The filing fee for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in South Carolina is $335. Most credit counseling courses are about $10 to $20. If you wish to obtain a copy of your credit report before filing, and you don’t have access to your free credit report, that can run about $45. There is an additional required financial management course you are required to take after you file, which is about $15. Other than that, the only fees you will pay will be your bankruptcy attorney fees, which vary, depending on whom you hire. Being an experienced bankruptcy attorney I can explain more at our consultation in my Charleston South Carolina law office.
How long does a bankruptcy stay on my credit report?
Filing bankruptcy in South Carolina will affect your credit score for 7 to 10 years. There are things you can do to ensure your score rises, which include making timely payment on an auto loan or a school loan. You can get your annual free credit report to keep track of your progress. If there is an error on your report, either at Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion, you can contact the agency directly and have it corrected. You can find out how to dispute credit report errors at the Federal Trade Commission website.
Won’t Bankruptcy Negatively Impact My Credit Score?
While it is true that filing for bankruptcy will lower your credit score, rebuilding your credit is fairly easy. By consistently making payments to credit cards and other accounts on time, you could raise your score in as little as six months to a year. Although each case is different, hiring an experienced bankruptcy lawyer and filing for bankruptcy allows you to obtain the fresh start you need to begin again.