South Dakota Bankruptcy Lawyer
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If you are drowning in debt and can see no way out, you may have to consider filing for bankruptcy. Many bankruptcies are caused by overwhelming medical expenses due to illness or sudden personal tragedy, unemployment, or marital problems. Bankruptcy is most often the result of unforeseen circumstances and therefore should not been seen as shameful or embarrassing. Bankruptcy can mean a fresh new start for people who have fallen on hard times.
Recent changes to the bankruptcy laws make it more difficult for middle class Americans to completely discharge their debt. The types of debts that are eligible for discharge may vary in South Dakota. You cannot discharge student loans unless they were not insured or taken under a government guarantee program. There are exceptions for cases of extreme hardship, but it is hard to achieve this kind of exemption. The bankruptcy court in South Dakota will also exclude back child support, recent unpaid taxes and alimony. You will not get out of paying your mortgage unless the property is sold, which case you can discharge any additional debt as a result of the sale of your home.
After you have appeared in court, gained approval from the judge and taken any required steps, such as credit counseling or a financial skills class, your bankruptcy will be discharged. This notifies your creditors that the debt is forgiven and they cannot attempt to collect it from you in any way. Your creditors can decide to enter into an adversary proceeding. This allows the creditor to attempt to collect all or a portion of the debt when and if the debtor's assets are liquidated. You will likely have to negotiate a repayment plan for a portion of your debt.
A good bankruptcy lawyer will help you navigate the system, and decide whether Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 is right for you. Chapter 7, which is also known as "liquidation bankruptcy," is a good choice for those who have no real assets to protect. Under Chapter 7, people are only be required to liquidate assets that are not exempt by law, such as vehicles that are valued under $2,775. Items that are not exempt will be sold in order to pay off a portion of the debt, and the remainder of the debt will be permanently discharged.
Chapter 13 is commonly referred to as a "wage earner's plan." This allows you to pay off debt over 36-60 months, according to a court-approved repayment plan. This allows you to catch up on your mortgage, and does not require you to sell your home to pay your creditors.
If housing foreclosure and overwhelming credit card debt is a daily source of stress to you, Chapter 13 could be your solution. This form of bankruptcy allows you for a repayment plan over 3-5 years, while still allowing you to catch up on your mortgage payments and keep your home. You can stop harassing phone calls, collection letters and wage garnishments. This is a great option for people with steady income who are struggling financially, due to unforeseen circumstances, and who just need a chance to catch up.
When you declare bankruptcy, you can be denied if it is proven that you have hidden assets or destroyed records with the intent of defrauding your creditors. Your attorney will make you aware of all that is expected of you. It is important that all the requirements are met in a timely manner so your bankruptcy can go forward without needless delays or problems. If you decide to declare bankruptcy, remember to consult with a qualified South Dakota bankruptcy attorney lawyer to ensure that all your rights are protected, and you can get the best deal possible under the circumstances.
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