Filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy has helped countless residents of Oklahoma start over and take control of their finances again. If you are in over your head and cannot pay your mortgage, car payments, and credit card bills, bankruptcy may be a viable option to help you get back on track. However, though some people may believe that bankruptcy is a quick fix, the filing process can be complicated. You will want to make sure you complete every necessary step of the process correctly to make sure that the Oklahoma Bankruptcy Courts will grant your bankruptcy and so you can best protect your valued property. For this reason, it is important to have the guidance and representation of an experienced attorney who is familiar with the Oklahoma bankruptcy process.
Pre-Filing Counseling Requirements
In order for a court to grant your bankruptcy in Oklahoma, you must first undergo credit counseling within the past six months and show proof of this counseling. Furthermore, the counseling agency must be on the list approved by the U.S. Trustee in Oklahoma. Many people who wish to file bankruptcy do not plan ahead and either fail to receive counseling or receive counseling from an unapproved agency. An attorney can help you identify proper resources prior to filing.
Bankruptcy Forms and Filing
In order to initiate a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you must fill out and file a petition. The petition includes several schedules and must be accompanied by several appropriate forms. Additionally, you must complete an extensive financial report called the “means test.” This report helps determine whether you are eligible for certain types of bankruptcy. All of these forms must include accurate, detailed information about all of your finances, and the success of your bankruptcy depends on the correctness of these forms. Furthermore, you must ensure that you file your paperwork in the correct court. Oklahoma has three different judicial districts and the right one for you depends on different factors such as your residence or where you own a home (even if you reside somewhere else). Because you do not want your bankruptcy to be affected by incorrect forms or filing, you should always have the assistance of an attorney.
Though a bankruptcy court may liquidate some of your personal property in order to pay creditors, many types of property qualify for exemption from liquidation. Possible exemptions may include property such as your primary house, primary car, and family heirlooms. Oklahoma uses a state-specific set of exemptions and, therefore, you should have representation by someone familiar with this list to ensure you keep as much property as possible.
In short, bankruptcy can be a solution for you and your family to take control over your finances, however you do not want to risk making mistakes that may affect the success of your bankruptcy. Filing for bankruptcy is never an easy decision for anyone, and you deserve the best guidance possible in making such decisions. If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, contact our office for help with this complicated process.