Bankruptcy in South Dakota

Are you contemplating bankruptcy or hiring a bankruptcy attorney in South Dakota? Are you tired of creditors calling for payments you can’t make? Maybe looking for a way to get out of debt and have you exhausted all other options? Then bankruptcy might be the solution you seek. It is a legal option that can erase a portion or all of your debts.

Types of Bankruptcy in South Dakota

Bankruptcy is a legal process that helps individuals and businesses get a fresh financial start. It eliminates a portion of or all of their debts or financial liabilities. In South Dakota, to be approved, individuals must prove they have a hardship that prevents them from staying current on their financial obligations. Keep in mind that not all debts qualify. Some liabilities, such as child support arrears, delinquent taxes, alimony, and student loans generally do not qualify for discharge. Consumers who find themselves falling behind in debt can file either Chapter 7, 11 or 13. To determine which option is right for you, you’ll need to assess your goals, assets, and income. You should also consider working with an experienced bankruptcy attorney.

Bankruptcy cases in South Dakota are heard by U.S. Bankruptcy Courts. If you are facing bankruptcy you may have to appear before the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of South Dakota.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Many people find Chapter 7 to be the right solution for their circumstances because it provides them with the opportunity to start over financially. However, before filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you should thoroughly assess your income and ability to repay what you owe. You should also speak with a bankruptcy attorney in South Dakota who can help you to decide if a liquidation plan is right for you.

Typically, individuals approved for Chapter 7 lack stable income or have experienced a change in circumstances that has resulted in an inability to manage their debts. Though Chapter 7 erases debts, the tradeoff is you may have to give up certain possessions, such as your home, car or some other assets. However, once you file your petition, an automatic stay goes into effect that requires all collection activity against you like foreclosures and garnishments, to stop temporarily. However, the automatic stay does not prevent all collection attempts. For example, if you owe child support or restitution for a criminal case, you are still liable for those payments.

South Dakota Bankruptcy Law states that while many people use Chapter 7 to wipe out their debts, this does not apply to all debt. When you file chapter 7 a trustee manages the liquidation of your assets and uses the proceeds to pay the creditors. However, debts such as alimony or child support cannot be wiped away and must be paid. Additionally, if you owe debt related to criminal activity, this must be paid as well.

Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Chapter 11 bankruptcy is more complex than other types of bankruptcy. It is often used by businesses and certain types of people. It allows petitioners to restructure their debts with a reorganization plan, so they are easier to manage over a determined length of time, usually four to 18 months. The main benefit of Chapter 11 bankruptcy is that it does not require petitioners to sell off or liquidate their assets to pay what they owe. It does allow debtors to negotiate with their creditors a reorganization plan that enables them to stay current on their debts moving forward.

The majority of chapter 11 cases are pursued by businesses that desire to restructure existing debt. Ideally, by also paying off creditors without liquidating assets and losing control of the business. The courts will generally allow a restructuring agreement of 3 to 5 years to take place, however, the plan cannot be so long that the court finds it unfeasible or unfair to the creditor. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of South Dakota recently amended it’s procedures and filed an extensive guide online.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is a debt restructuring or wage earners plan. In South Dakota after you file, the courts will assign a trustee to examine your liabilities and assets and ability to pay bills. Unlike other types of bankruptcy, Chapter 13 involves you restructuring your debt with a three to five-year repayment plan. The flexibility of this repayment plan will depend on what property you want to keep and how steady your income is. It may also give you the opportunity to have some or most of your debts discharged.

South Dakota Law Help states that chapter 13 is generally chosen by individuals looking to control their circumstance and situation. Chapter 13 allows the debtor to work with an attorney and establish a 3 to 5-year timeline and a restructuring of a payment plan in order to wipe away their debt based on their existing income. However, it should also be noted that some individuals must file chapter 13 because they have too much income to file a chapter 7. An experienced attorney in South Dakota can best help you make the distinction.

The Bankruptcy Process in South Dakota

There is never an ideal time to declare bankruptcy. However, if you are unable to pay off what you owe within five years, filing for bankruptcy can help you to lessen the negative impact on your situation. As well, it can help you get back on track.

In South Dakota to begin the filing process, gather all of your financial records, including monthly expenses, debts, assets and annual income. This information is crucial to give the courts an accurate picture of your circumstances. Failure to provide all necessary information can result in your petition being denied.

The U.S. Courts describe bankruptcy as a protective process that allows debtors to pay off their debts without being consumed by them. You’ll first have to determine which type of bankruptcy you’re filing, and if bankruptcy can erase your debt. After you’ve discovered if you qualify for bankruptcy you’ll find out what property you can exempt. Then, you should stop paying any qualifying debts. You’ll also need to take a credit counseling class. An experienced attorney in South Dakota can almost certainly help ease the burden of this process.

Additional Facts

Homestead and residential property are exempt under South Dakota Law, as well as life insurance and health insurance benefits. The head of the family can claim personal property exemptions up to $4,000. They can claim additional exemptions on $200 worth of books, their family Bible, and food, clothing, and fuel to last the family a year.

At least six months before you file for bankruptcy, eliminate unnecessary spending. Do not run up the balances on your credit accounts. You’ll also need to complete an approved credit counseling course, usually online or over the phone. Credit counseling is necessary to help you learn financial literacy and help you learn better financial habits. Once you complete the course, you’ll receive a certificate of completion to include in your filing. If you don’t have the certificate of completion from the credit counseling course that you took, the courts will reject your bankruptcy petition.

Work With an Experienced South Dakota Lawyer

Hiring a local bankruptcy lawyer in South Dakota during this process can help reduce the costly risks of self-representation in court. An experienced bankruptcy lawyer understands state and federal bankruptcy laws. He or she can help you understand which laws apply to your case. Especially they can help determine which debts that can be discharged or can’t be discharged. An experienced South Dakota attorney can also offer you guidance to improve the outcome of your case.

Keep in mind that there are debt management alternatives and financial resources that may benefit you more than bankruptcy, such as debt consolidation. Though bankruptcy is an attractive solution, it is best as a last resort. Do you need immediate help? Then one of our experienced lawyers in South Dakota can guide you through the entire bankruptcy process. We can even help you connect with an attorney across South Dakota state lines.

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