Filing bankruptcy in Oklahoma can give you a fresh start with your finances, but it is important for you to decide if it is right for you. It is just one of several options that you could choose from to help you. While filing for bankruptcy in Oklahoma can stop debt collectors from harassing you, stop wage garnishments, and may even be able to save your home from foreclosure, it is important for you to understand how it works and how it could affect you, especially since you, as a consumer, have two general options when it comes to bankruptcy.
In this blog post, you will learn more about filing for bankruptcy in Oklahoma, including what happens when you file for bankruptcy, and how long a bankruptcy stays on your credit report. You will also learn about other options that you may find work better for you to get out of debt. At Justice Legal Team, we believe that it is important for you to have the information that you need before making a decision.
This blog is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to act as a substitute for legal advice. To schedule a consultation with a qualified Oklahoma bankruptcy attorney, please click here or call Justice Legal Team, PLLC now at 405-493-9090.
Filing Bankruptcy in Oklahoma: Chapter 7
When it comes to filing bankruptcy in Oklahoma, Chapter 7 is the most common. This is because Chapter 7 does not require you to enter into a repayment plan for your debts. To qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Oklahoma, you must first pass the means test. You can only receive a Chapter 7 discharge every eight years. Additionally, certain types of debts, such as unpaid child support and alimony cannot be discharged.
You must attend credit counseling in order to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Oklahoma. Once your Chapter 7 bankruptcy is filed, all collections activity is stopped. Examples of collections activities include:
· Phone calls from debt collectors
· Vehicle repossession
· Wage garnishment
To stop these activities, you may need to send a copy of Schedule F and your bankruptcy petition to the debt collector. Your bankruptcy attorney can also help you.
You will be required to attend a 341 meeting, also known as a meeting of the creditors, with your bankruptcy attorney. The meeting is optional for creditors.
It is important to note that a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Oklahoma only allows you to keep certain belongings. Any additional belongings outside of the exemptions list are likely to be sold by the assigned bankruptcy trustee to benefit your creditors.
After you receive your discharge, you're ready to begin your new life without the financial burdens of before!
Filing Bankruptcy in Oklahoma: Chapter 13
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is often referred to as wage-earners bankruptcy. It is designed for people who need the protection of the bankruptcy code, but also want to keep their assets. Much like Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Oklahoma, there is a petition, Schedules, and the need to complete credit counseling. There is also a 341 meeting. There are certain debts, such as back child support, that cannot be discharged.
The difference is that you would propose a debt repayment plan that would use all of your income that is left after paying your monthly bills to pay down your debt. Many of your creditors will not get paid in full. Once your Chapter 13 repayment plan is approved by the bankruptcy court, you can choose to have your payment deducted from your paycheck.
Until a Chapter 13 repayment plan is completed paid, you would not receive your discharge. However, as stated earlier, it is a great plan for anyone who has assets they would like to keep. It is also an option for anyone who needs the protection of the bankruptcy code who does not qualify for Chapter 7 because they do not meet the criteria of the means test.
How Long Does Bankruptcy Stay on Your Credit?
A bankruptcy can stay on your credit for around ten years after it is discharged. This may seem like a very long time, but let's put it in perspective.
If you filed for bankruptcy, you did so because you were already falling behind on your payments or you weren't making payments. So, your credit report was already damaged. When you make late payments or when you do not make payments, it hurts your credit. By discharging your debts, those debts will eventually fall off. You will be provided with new opportunities to begin slowly building your credit. By making wise credit decisions in the future, you can begin to rebuild a great credit report and score. It will be much easier to overlook an old bankruptcy as you are paying on new accounts and have a good payment history with on-time payments.
What If You Don't Want to File for Bankruptcy?
If you don't want to file for bankruptcy, you may have other options. However, it is important that you proceed with caution.
· You can choose to talk with your creditors to enter into a repayment plan. If you do this, do not give them direct access to your bank account. You may not have any money left in your account if you do.
· If you have access to a lump sum of cash, you can try to settle with your creditor(s). Your creditor(s) may be happy to get something instead of nothing. If you do this, get the settlement amount in writing before you provide them with a money order or cashier's check. Always keep a copy of your receipt.
· You can look into credit counseling or debt consolidation. If you choose this option, use a reputable agency. Debt consolidation works in a similar nature to Chapter 13, but without filing for bankruptcy. There are not-for-profit agencies that provide both credit counseling and debt consolidation services.
Schedule Your Bankruptcy Consultation Today
If you're interested in filing for bankruptcy in Oklahoma, Justice Legal Team, PLLC is here to help. We understand the bankruptcy code and the stress that bankruptcy and debt can cause. We can guide you through. To schedule your consultation online, click here. You can also call us now at 405-493-9090.