Nobody really considers that financial problems can occur by taking on too much debt. This is especially true at the time they’re enjoying the pleasures of making new purchases. With a
Oklahoma Bankruptcy Attorneys
good credit score, taking on new debt is incredibly easy. A new home, college loans, a new car, can all be obtained by slapping down a credit card. The list of goods we can purchase is endless and so is the financial hardship it causes. When it comes to getting into debt, how do we know our personal limits? How do we know if our spending has gone too far? What are the signs that tell us we should consider talking to an Oklahoma bankruptcy attorney.
The first sign that you’ve taken on too much debt is if you can’t pay it all off in 3 years. Add up all your debts and divide it by 36. That should be your self-imposed monthly debt limit, not the minimum monthly payments calculated by your loan companies. If you cannot pay this amount you need to talk to an Oklahoma bankruptcy attorney. You attorney can help you eliminate to restructure your loans. This will help to get you on a financially responsible monthly payment schedule. Attacking the problem at this stage can make the whole process easier. It will also help you to keep more assets that might other wise have to be surrendered in an Oklahoma bankruptcy.
I Cant Pay My Bills Should I File Bankruptcy:
If you’re unable to pay off your debts in three years, ask yourself “am I paying only the minimum payments?’ If this is the case, chances are your debt is increasing every month without you having bought anything new. Most people believe that the minimum payment will actually pay the debt off.
In reality the minimum payment isn’t even enough to cover the interest you owe on the balance of your debt. This will cause your debt to grow, not reducing it as you hoped. As a matter of fact, if you pay only the minimum, your debt could grow exponentially and potentially double every 7-10 years. Of course how fast it grows depends on the interest rate your paying. It’s not uncommon for some credit card interest rates to be as high as 18% and at that rate, your balance will double every 4 years if left to compound.
Other Indicators Its Time To File Bankruptcy:
Another good indicator that you should talk with a bankruptcy attorney is if you can’t even pay the minimum monthly payment. This is the final test of your ability to service your monthly debt payments. Since the recommended minimum payment is not enough to cover the interest on your debt, simply paying this low amount keeps you afloat but adds to your debt every month. Paying only the monthly minimum makes the monthly minimum increase every month without new purchases and eventually you will have to file for bankruptcy.
It’s better to file sooner than later before you have suffered under the weight and stress of ever-increasing monthly payments. lf you can’t meet the minimum monthly payment and you are getting those evening phone calls from bill collectors, maybe you should consider talking to an Oklahoma bankruptcy attorney because not being able to pay the minimum amounts on your debts will guarantee a bankruptcy is in your near future.
Contact An Oklahoma Bankruptcy Attorney:
If you have any questions or concerns regarding filing bankruptcy in Oklahoma we can help. Our Tulsa county lawyers have helped people file chapter 7 and chapter 13 bankruptcy cases. Call today for free bankruptcy information.
Each year, millions of Americans find relief from oppressive debt through Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If you are struggling to break free from debt, experiencing harassment from creditors, or facing the loss of your home, Chapter 7 bankruptcy may provide you with relief from debt and the ability to achieve a bright financial future. Call our Oklahoma Bankruptcy Attorneys for a free consultation.
The following is an overview of Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Oklahoma. This guide is intended to provide you with some basic knowledge as to the bankruptcy process and what it offers. Your bankruptcy will be able to answer all your questions concerning Chapter 7 and assess whether this form of bankruptcy is right for you.
Oklahoma Chapter 7 Basics:
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the most common type of bankruptcy. It offers individuals and some businesses a means of eradicating all or most of their unsecured debt. Unsecured debt includes debts such as medical bills and credit cards.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is often referred to as liquidation bankruptcy because it requires the sale of your non-exempt assets by the bankruptcy trustee in order to pay back creditors. While the thought of losing possessions initially deters some filers, it is important to understand that many assets are exempt. For instance, in Oklahoma, bankruptcy filers can exempt the entire value of their primary residence and up to $7,500 of equity in your car, truck, SUV, or van. Our experienced Chapter 7 Oklahoma bankruptcy attorneys will review your assets and fully advise you as to what is exempt.
Qualifying for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy:
Both individuals and businesses can qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. To qualify, all individuals or couples must pass the “means test.” The means test does not assess your debts or insolvency; rather, it looks to your income to determine whether it is low enough to meet the Chapter 7 threshold. Your income must fall below the median income in Oklahoma for a similar sized family to qualify for Chapter 7. However, even if your income exceeds that level, you may still be able to qualify if you have substantial debt obligations.
All would be Chapter 7 filers must also complete a credit counseling course within six months prior to filing for bankruptcy. You may complete the course in person, online, or on the phone.
The Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Process in Oklahoma:
Completing a successful Chapter 7 bankruptcy begins with the filing of a petition. Your Chapter 7 petition will be drafted by a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney. The petition must include details as to your debts, expenses, assets, income, and any monetary transfers made throughout the two years prior to filing. Your petition must be completed with accuracy and thoroughness.
Once the petition files, an automatic stay issues and stops all collection calls and attempts to collect debts. A bankruptcy trustee gathers and sells your non-exempt assets and distributes the proceeds to creditors. Your attorney will ensure protection of all exempt assets. At the completion of the Chapter 7 process, you will receive a discharge of all or most of your debts.
Tulsa County Oklahoma Bankruptcy Attorneys:
If you are struggling with debt and considering filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the Oklahoma Bankruptcy Attorneys can help. Our experienced bankruptcy attorneys are here to guide you through the bankruptcy process. We will evaluate your asset/debt portfolio to make an educated assessment as to whether bankruptcy will offer the relief you seek. Call the bankruptcy attorneys at Tulsa County Lawyers Group today to schedule your free consultation.
Getting a divorce and filing for bankruptcy are two very important life decisions. They can be confusing without the assistance of a Tulsa divorce and bankruptcy attorney. If you are contemplating bankruptcy and you have a pending divorce, or if you have an active bankruptcy proceeding and are contemplating divorce, you need to be aware of all consequences that may result if you file for bankruptcy or divorce. The consequences may significantly differ depending on whether you and your spouse choose to file for bankruptcy prior to finalizing a divorce, or divorcing first and filing for bankruptcy as single individuals following divorce.
Filing for Oklahoma Bankruptcy First:
If you and your spouse choose to file for bankruptcy before filing for divorce, you will be able to eliminate your debt in a more economical way. For example, the filing fees for a joint and individual bankruptcy filing are the same, so filing jointly with your spouse before divorce will prevent each of you from having to pay the same fee on your own if you file for bankruptcy after your divorce.
Further, filing for bankruptcy prior to divorce will allow both spouses to handle their debt collectively. If spouses wish to resolve their bankruptcy matter as quickly as possible so that they can then finalize their divorce, Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be the better option if they qualify, as Chapter 7 bankruptcy is completed much sooner than Chapter 13 bankruptcy. As such, spouses choosing to file for bankruptcy first may have to wait four or more years before their bankruptcy proceeding completes and all debt discharges if they do not qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Filing for Divorce First:
Spouses wishing to resolve their marital disputes prior to Oklahoma divorce may find that it is in both spouses’ best interests to handle their debt-related issues individually after finalizing their divorce. By filing for divorce first, spouses will know the actual amount of debt they face. They will also know what assets each of them has after dividing their property. It may turn out that some property can sell to satisfy debt without the need to file for bankruptcy. Otherwise, each spouse will have a better understanding of his or her own debt when filing bankruptcy following divorce.
If two spouses feel separation is more important than filing debt jointly, filing for divorce first is better. There are both benefits and drawbacks to approaching bankruptcy and divorce from opposite ends. Regardless of whether spouses file for bankruptcy or divorce first, the potential overlap could create a complex and stressful situation.
Working With a Divorce and Bankruptcy Attorney:
Whether you choose to file for bankruptcy first or divorce first, you must consider how your attorney’s role change. If you choose to jointly file for bankruptcy prior to divorce, then one attorney may represent both of you. However, if you divorce first, and then file for bankruptcy, or file for divorce before your bankruptcy proceeding is complete, there may be a conflict of interest. Thus, one attorney will not be able to represent both of you.
If you are contemplating both divorce and bankruptcy, it is a good idea to seek the advice of an attorney. An attorney dealing with divorce and bankruptcy matters has an understanding of both processes and their effects on each other. Given that conflict generally occurs between two divorcing spouses, each spouse should meet with his or her own attorney. This ensures protection of both spouses’ rights and interests.
Contact a Tulsa Divorce and Bankruptcy Attorney Today
If you are facing a divorce and may need to file a bankruptcy call our attorneys today. Sometimes filing them both is the better solution depending on your particular case. Call our Tulsa divorce and bankruptcy attorney today for a free consultation.
You have likely heard the phrase Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and may have heard of Chapter 13 as well. If you are like most people, however, you probably do not know of Chapter 20 bankruptcy Options in Oklahoma. Chapter 20 bankruptcy is not actually a bankruptcy chapter, like Chapter 7 and 13. Rather, Chapter 20 is a term used to refer to filing for Chapter 7 to discharge your unsecured debts, then filing for Chapter 13 in order to alleviate your secured debts. This is similar to mortgage payments and non-dischargeable priority debts. Chapter 20 bankruptcy comes with considerable benefits, but also several drawbacks.
The following is an overview of Chapter 20 bankruptcy as one of the bankruptcy options in Oklahoma.
Bankruptcy Options in Oklahoma – Benefits of Chapter 20
Chapter 20 bankruptcy offers several benefits, including:
- Chapter 20 can you qualify for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy: To qualify for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you cannot exceed certain maximum secured and unsecured debt amounts. These are currently $360,475 for unsecure debt and $1,081,400 for secure debts. If you exceed these limits, you will not be eligible for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. By filing for Chapter 7 first, you may lower your debt to the limits applicable for a Chapter 13 filing. This will allow you to pursue a Chapter 13 to restructure and eventually discharge your remaining secured or non-discharged debts.
- Chapter 20 can allow you to focus on secured and priority debts: In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will propose a repayment plan to payback all or most of your debts. Completion of this plan will result in discharge of all included debts. Most people file Chapter 13 in order to catch up on missed mortgage payments or to pay off non-dischargeable debts. By filing for Chapter 7, then seeking a Chapter 13, you focus your repayment plan on secured and priority debts. This allows you to reach total freedom from debt.
The Drawbacks of Chapter 20 as one of many Bankruptcy Options in Oklahoma
Despite its benefits, Chapter 20 bankruptcy also has several drawbacks, including:
- No discharge allowed in Chapter 13: After receiving a Chapter 7 discharge, you cannot receive a discharge under Chapter 13 unless the case it is at least four years later. Although minimal, it could impact those seeking to obtain a lien stripping, as described below.
- Lien stripping may not be allowed: Depending upon your particular court, as each varies on this issue, you may not be able to strip your second mortgage during a Chapter 13 action if you are not eligible for a discharge due to a previous Chapter 7.
- Potential bad faith objection: The court or trustee could raise a bad faith objection if they feel the only reason you file Chapter 7, then Chapter 13, is to avoid paying back creditors. You will have to offer a valid reason for pursing this option if the objection raises.
Contact Us about Bankruptcy Options in Oklahoma:
Bankruptcy options in Oklahoma can offer a means of escaping from oppressive debt and starting a fresh financial future, but is never something to be undertaken without thorough consultation with an attorney experienced in this area of law. If you file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the Oklahoma Bankruptcy attorneys at Tulsa County Lawyers Group can help. Call today for a free consultation with a bankruptcy lawyer in Tulsa. Call our Today (918) 379-4864.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a legal process by which you create a plan to pay off many (but not necessarily all) of your debts within five years. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a reorganization of debt. Unlike other debt reduction plans set out by some otherwise unscrupulous debt reduction firms, a chapter 13 is monitored by the bankruptcy court. A chapter 13 also forces all the creditors to accept the courts plan for debt reduction. Depending on the chapter 13 plan, once the repayment period concludes any remaining debt left unpaid discharges and forgives forever. When considering a chapter 13 make sure you consult a chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney. This is so because many bankruptcy attorneys help people file chapter 7 but not so many are actual chapter 13 bankruptcy attorneys.
Who can file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy:
If you are ineligible to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy because you are over the income threshold, or because you have filed a chapter 7 less than 8 years ago you will have to file a chapter 13. The most important requirement of filing a chapter 13 is that you have employment and can make the chapter 13 plan payments.
Chapter 13 Process:
You chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney will start the process by gathering documents. Your chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney will need to see tax returns, pay stubs (if you are employed), titles to any vehicles you own, as well as bank statements, deeds to any real estate, and other documents depending on the specifics of your case. Your attorney will prepare a bankruptcy petition that includes all the relevant information for your case, including a listing of the things you own (called assets) and a list of all the people and companies you owe money to (your creditors). It will also contain information about your income and expenses, and tax information for the past two years. After preparation and your signing of the document, your attorney will file it with the court. A month later, you will attend a brief hearing. This is a “341.” Here your bankruptcy trustee will ask you a few questions. Your attorney will then prepare a “plan”. This plan describes how much money you will pay each month and how it distributes to your creditors. For the plan to work, it must pay off your secured creditors a percentage (usually at least 90%) within five years. Once the plan confirms, you make monthly payments to the Trustee. Your Trustee will then directly pay your creditors. Once the plan finishes, your remaining debts discharge.
Large Debt Amounts in Chapter 13:
Yes. So once the repayment plan confirms, the amount of debt is immaterial. The type of debt matters for how the plan is constructed (secured debt, such as mortgages or cars and priority debt like back taxes or child support must be included in the plan). Unsecured debt is not put in the plan. Those debts discharge at the end, with the exception of student loans. Student loans are not ordinarily dischargeable in either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.
Can I keep my Property:
Yes. Most people assume that their property forfeits in a bankruptcy proceeding, but this is not the case. Many kinds of property, including wages, household furnishings, clothing, cars, and guns are “exempt”, meaning the trustee cannot seize them. In terms of property that secures a loan (home for a mortgage, car for an auto loan, etc.), you have two options. You may either surrender the property, or you may keep it, as your plan will pay off the creditor. Your chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney will go over this with you.
Benefits of filing a Chapter Bankruptcy:
The largest benefit is peace of mind. After filing, your creditors will no longer be able to harass you about your debts. If you hava garnishments, the garnishment will cease. You will be secure in the knowledge that your secured debts are being paid every month through your plan payments and that at the end of the plan, you will have a fresh start. Also, if behind on your home the arrearage becomes part of the plan. This allows you to keep your home.
Contact a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorney:
If you are considering bankruptcy a call to a chaptyer 13 bankruptcy attorney at Tulsa County Lawyers Group is the answer. The call is free and you will get answers to your bankruptcy quastions within moments. Call our Tulsa Lawyers at 918-379-4864
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a legal process by which you are relieved of your obligations to creditors. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is also called a fresh start. This is because most if not all of your unsecured bills are eliminated and you get a fresh financial start.
Who can file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy?
To be eligible to file, your monthly income must fall below a certain threshold. Your household size and certain types of expenses determine this. Anyone seeking to file a bankruptcy must not have filed a bankruptcy in the last eight years.
So I qualify, how does the process work?
The process begins with gathering documents. Your bankruptcy attorney will need to see tax returns, pay stubs (if you are employed), titles to any vehicles you own, as well as bank statements, deeds to any real estate, and other documents depending on the specifics of your case. Your attorney will prepare a bankruptcy petition that includes all the relevant information for your case, including a listing of the things you own (called assets) and a list of all the people and companies you owe money to (your creditors). It will also contain information about your income and expenses, and tax information for the past two years. After preparing and having you sign the document, your attorney will file it with the court. A month later, you will attend a brief hearing, called a “341”, in which your bankruptcy trustee will ask you a few questions and send you on your way. The process is simple and usually lasts less than half an hour. A few weeks after that hearing, you will receive a discharge, which is the court’s indication that your debts are clear.
I have a huge amount of debt! Can I still file?
The amount of your debt doesn’t matter. What does matter is what kind of debt. Certain types of debts, namely alimony, child support, back taxes, court fees and fines, and student loans are not dischargeable. Other kinds of debt, such as credit cards, mortgages, judgments, and medical bills are all dischargeable.
Can I keep my property?
Yes. Most people assume that their property will simply forfeit in a bankruptcy proceeding, but this is not the case. Many kinds of property, including wages, household furnishings, clothing, cars, and guns are “exempt”, meaning the trustee cannot seize them. If you have debts connecting to a piece of property, such as a mortgage or car loan, you generally have three options: surrender, continue to pay, or reaffirmation,. Surrender returns the property to the creditor. Continue to pay is where, post bankruptcy, you keep the property and continue making your regular payments until you pay off the loan. This is sometimes used for loans with only a few payments left to make. Reaffirmation is a process where you keep the property and sign a new agreement with your creditor, post bankruptcy filing, to renew or reaffirm the loan. This is usually done on the same terms as the prior loan.
What are the benefits of filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy?
The largest benefit is peace of mind. After filing, your creditors will no longer be able to harass you, by phone or mail or any other method, about your debts. If you have garnishments, the garnishment will cease. You will be secure in the knowledge that your prior debts wipe away and you have a fresh start to move forward. In addition, your credit score may rise, and it may be easier to make positive financial decisions.
Contact a Bankruptcy Attorney in Tulsa Oklahoma:
If you’re having trouble paying your bills or maybe faced with a foreclosure, repossession or a garnishment call the Bankruptcy attorneys at Tulsa County Lawyers Group. We offer free bankruptcy consultations and can help you file either a chapter 7 bankruptcy or chapter 13 bankruptcy. Call today!