Bankruptcy in Oklahoma City, OK
Are you contemplating bankruptcy or hiring a bankruptcy attorney in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma? 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 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
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 Oklahoma City, OK 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.
As part of this process, Oklahoma City residents may need to attend hearings. These events or filings may require a trip to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of the Western District of Oklahoma.
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 Oklahoma City 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.
The Oklahoma Bar Association makes a point of telling debtors that they may find a better option through credit counseling. Liquidating your assets can have decades-long consequences. This fact is the reason why the federal government makes it mandatory before filing for Chapter 7.
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.
Some forms may need to go to a trustee instead of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of the Eastern District of Oklahoma. Anyone with domestic support obligations or federal taxes to file will need to keep this in mind. However, most of the Chapter 11 bankruptcies in the U.S. happen with companies or sole proprietorships. For small businesses or individuals from Oklahoma City, the following type of paperwork needs to reach the court:
- Income Statement
- Expenses Statement
- Exempt Property Claim
- Summary of Assets and Liabilities
- List of Creditors With Debts Secured by Property
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is a debt restructuring or wage earners plan. In Oklahoma City, OK 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.
Chapter 13 filing requirements include dozens of forms at the start and within 14 days of the initial filing. A list of your debts, creditors, and complete reorganization plan has a hard deadline. Missing information or insufficient proof of available income to repay may result in a denial. As a result, an experienced attorney from Oklahoma City can become an invaluable part of the process.
The Bankruptcy Process in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
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 and help you get back on track.
In Oklahoma City 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.
Oklahoma Statutes give Oklahoma City debtors options for what kind of property they can keep. For starters, you won’t see a garnishment of public benefits like unemployment or Social Security. Other options and their equity limitations include:
- Up to $2,000 in guns for household use
- Exemptions up to $3,000 in anniversary or wedding rings
- Up to $7,500 in vehicles
- Exemptions for up to 20 sheep, 10 hogs, 2 horses, and 100 chickens with feed for up to 1 year
- Any books, pictures, or portraits you wish to keep
- Food and seed for growing crops
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 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Lawyer
Hiring a local bankruptcy lawyer in Oklahoma City 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 which debts that can be discharged or can’t be discharged. An experienced Oklahoma 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 Oklahoma City can guide you through the entire bankruptcy process. We can even help you connect with an attorney across Oklahoma state lines.
Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!