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Bankruptcy in South Carolina

Are there any income requirements for filing bankruptcy in South Carolina?

There are no income requirements which apply to Chapter 13 bankruptcy however, there are income requirements that apply to Chapter 7 bankruptcy.  In order to determine your eligibility for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a means test is applied to your annual income for the previous year.  All income must be disclosed for the purpose of this means test.  This includes investment income, child support, alimony, wages, public benefits, and retirement benefits along with any other sources of income.  If your income is determined to be below that of the average income in your state, you will be eligible to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

If I am married, do I have to file with my spouse South Carolina?

The only time that it is necessary for a married couple to file a joint petition for bankruptcy is when the couple resides in a community property state.  Since South Carolina is not a community property state, there is no law that requires you to file a joint petition with your spouse however, that does not mean that this is advisable.  There are many benefits available to married couples who choose to file a joint petition for bankruptcy.  In order to determine whether or not you would benefit by filing a joint petition, it is best to consult with an attorney.

What are the property exemption rules in South Carolina?

The property exemption laws in South Carolina are as follows:

-Homestead exemption of up to $5,000 in equity

-Motor vehicle exemption of up to $1,200 in one vehicle

-Up to $2,500 in household furnishing, appliances etc.

-Up to $500 in jewelry

-Up to $1,000 in cash or other liquid assets

-Up to $750 in tools, books, or other materials necessary for your profession

Will all of my debts be discharged as part of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in South Carolina?

While the majority of your debts will be eligible for discharge as the result of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, not all debts will fall into this category.  The only debts which can be completely discharged as a result of a bankruptcy settlement are unsecured debts.  This means that the debt cannot be secured by any direct collateral.  If collateral such as a house, vehicle, or cash was used to secure the debt, you will not be able to discharge that debt as part of your bankruptcy.

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