Have medical bills become too expensive to manage? Are you having a hard time keeping up with your mortgage or credit cards? Do you owe back taxes? Don't despair. All is not lost. I can provide you with the legal assistance you need to move past these financial struggles.
Immediately after graduating from law school, I began practicing in the area of bankruptcy law. Whether you are losing your house due to foreclosure or have accumulated high medical bills because of having no health insurance, I am here to offer you some solace and a solution to your nightmare. I have helped many of my clients explore their options for debt relief and file for bankruptcy, both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
In this type of bankruptcy, also known as "straight bankruptcy," the trustee who is in charge of collecting payment from you will take your non-exempt assets and sell them at auction. Any money made from these sales will then be distributed to your creditors on a percentage basis. The good news is that many of your debts will be taken care of, while many of your assets can be exempt from this process such as the equity in your vehicle (up to $7,500.00), your home, most household goods and furnishings, retirement plans, and a wide variety of other assets. When you come out of this bankruptcy you will be allowed to keep your cars and your home, even if there are liens against them, as long as your payments are current.
It's important to know that there is a complicated "means test" that was established in the most recent bankruptcy amendments, which limits the income level an individual can earn while still being allowed to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If filing for Chapter 7, you must be able to pass this test. If you are wondering if filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is right for you, be sure to work with an attorney who is knowledgeable of the changes in bankruptcy law and experienced in the use of the "means test" to determine your eligibility.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
In this type of bankruptcy, also known as "reorganization bankruptcy," the debtor must make payments to the bankruptcy trustee based on his or her disposable income. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is the best fit for those who exceed the median income and fail to pass the "means test" for Chapter 7. This option works well for those who have fallen behind on their car or mortgage payments or owe a large tax debt.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy gives debtors a three to five year period to catch up on delinquent payments. The trustee will distribute your disposable income first to the secured creditors or tax agencies, and if anything remains, the rest will be paid to unsecured creditors. At the end of this bankruptcy period, you will be caught up on all of your secured debts and relieved of any remaining unsecured debt.
Preparing Chapter 13 bankruptcy can be very complicated, and there are many roadblocks along the way. It is important for you to choose an attorney who cares about your future, and is intricately familiar with bankruptcy law.
Understanding Bankruptcy Law in Oklahoma
Anyone considering bankruptcy should know that before filing for bankruptcy, he or she will be required to take a credit counseling class. Then, before a discharge is received, he or she will have to take a financial management class. These classes are relatively inexpensive but are required by the latest bankruptcy laws. There are a few different credit counseling services in Oklahoma, including online options. Although my office is based in Moore, OK I proudly serve the needs of those who wish to file bankruptcy in Moore or Norman and welcome clients from throughout the Oklahoma City area to reach out.