Written by Summerville Bankruptcy Attorney, Russell A. DeMott
If you’re considering filing bankruptcy, you need to know what bankruptcy can do for you. You also need to have a clear understanding of what bankruptcy cannot do. Some conduct can result in the bankruptcy court refusing to discharge your debts.
Some debts are dischargeable, and some are not. Some are dischargeable in Chapter 7, but not Chapter 13. Each case is unique, but this video gives a good overview of the limits of bankruptcy. You should also understand that while the Bankruptcy Code is federal law, it is applied very differently from one bankruptcy district to the next. This means that a debtor in one district might get a very different result than a debtor in another district. For example, in South Carolina, each debtor can exempt $51,450 in equity in her home. However, in Indiana the homestead exemption is a stingy $15,000 per debtor. (No offense to folks in Indiana, but you might want to contact your legislators!)
In addition, our new bankruptcy law, BAPCPA (“Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act”), is interpreted in wildly different ways by in various bankruptcy districts. It’s very poorly drafted, and, consequently, courts simply don’t know what it means much of the time.
Now more than ever, you need to obtain local bankruptcy advice about your unique situation.