Just because the document says it is a lease does not always make it a lease. The issue of whether a contract is a lease or not a lease is an important issue. You can often do more with a contract than with a lease. The public transportation system in Walterboro, South Carolina is even worse than in Charleston, South Carolina and many times the job the debtor has is far away. Keeping the vehicle may be the only way to keep a job.

As I discussed in part 2, if you want to keep your vehicle after your file your bankruptcy case, you must make the payments that come due after you file if you are leasing the vehicle. You cannot rewrite a lease and change the amount of the monthly payments, the true interest rate or the number of payments. If the document is not a lease, then the payments amounts, interest rate or number of payments may many times be changed.

South Carolina, along with many other states, has changed the law to favor leasing companies over consumers. If you do not like that, you need to let your representatives know that you are watching them. The lenders have given donations to the politicians and get legislation that they want passed. Neither the Tea Party, the Republican or the Democratic parties have shown true concern for debtor/consumer issues. They will not begin to watch these issues until they are concerned that they may not be elected if they do not start.

 What has happened is that the pro-business South Carolina Legislature amended the law to make consumer leases something that cannot be changed or modified in most situations. This same legislature did not make similar changes to commercial lease rules. The unfavorable treatment of consumer leases is similar to the unfavorable treatment of consumer mortgages. The United States Congress did this to consumers and not the South Carolina Legislature. The politicians do not think that these changes are of concern to the voters. SO FAR THE POLITICIANS ARE CORRECT.

 It is very important that a competent attorney review any document that claims to be a lease. If the document is not a lease, you may be able to modify the payment terms and help your cash flow.

Contact me, Nathan Davis, 843-571-4042 to schedule an appointment to come discuss this and other issues.  If I am not available when you call, my staff will be happy to set up an appointment to discuss this matter with me.

About Nathan Davis, Esquire

Born in Charleston, South Carolina, Nathan Davis has been practicing law for many years. Mr. Davis has a wide variety of experiences having practiced domestic relations, criminal law, social security law having also practiced collection law in the past. This knowledge is helpful when someone needs to restart their financial life. The practice is now primarily bankruptcy and debtor representation work, but, Mr. Davis continues to also practice real estate law, trusts and estates and a general litigation practice. I believe that the most important part of representation is trying to leave you better off when the case is finished than when you started. Although I will do as my client directs, I will always tell you if I think that you are making a mistake. Bankruptcy is about a "fresh start". If you do not make changes in what you are doing, you will be doing what you are doing now in the future. There is no shame in bankruptcy or other steps that you may take to start your life over. Too often, people worry more about things than about themselves, their family or their future.
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