Monthly Archives: April 2017

The Role of Bankruptcy Trustee

A bankruptcy trustee is assigned to every Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy case. A trustee has a significant impact on a debtor’s case, but the exact role that a trustee plays in a bankruptcy proceeding is often uncertain. The Justice Department appoints a trustee for each bankruptcy who will often be a lawyer with significant experience in handling bankruptcy.   Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy   The role of a trustee changes on the type of bankruptcy involved.   Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. In these types of bankruptcy filings, the trustee administers the bankruptcy estate and distributes any non-exempt property to creditors. The trustee is paid through a percentage of any funds that are given to creditors. As a result, in situations where the debtor has no non-exempt assets, the trustee is paid a small amount. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. The trustee in Chapter 13 bankruptcies is tasked with reviewing and following the Chapter 13 payment plan and distributing any payments made by an individual to creditors. A Chapter 13 trustee collects a percentage of funds paid through the payment plan.   The Role of Trustees in a Bankruptcy Case   A trustee often has several responsibilities in a bankruptcy.     Read More

Bankruptcy for Business Owners

Operating a business creates a variety of challenges. Some business owners face great odds in launching a business or reaching the point of financial gains. With the many costs that businesses face, it is no surprise that many business owners face financial challenges. Facing personal debt in addition to financial problems with a business frequently results in individuals facing substantial challenges. Fortunately, bankruptcy offers several options for relief for business owners. Available Bankruptcy Options for Business Owners Many business owners are able to select between three bankruptcy filing options. There available bankruptcy options for business owners include the following: Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. This type of bankruptcy results in operations of the business ceasing. Creditors of the business will receive notice that the business is no longer operating and any remaining assets are liquidated by a bankruptcy trustee then divided among creditors in order of highest priority first. A business owner will still be liable for some of the business’s debt provided that there were not sufficient assets to pay creditors in full at the time that Chapter 7 bankruptcy is declared. This option is most often selected by sole proprietors, general partnerships, and even some corporations. Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. In     Read More

New Legislation to Decrease the Rate of Divorce in Oklahoma

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported that Oklahoma is the state with the third highest divorce rate in the country with 4.4 out of 1,000 people getting divorced. The first ranked state is Oklahoma’s neighboring Arkansas with 4.8 out of 1,000 people. These are actually a decrease from Oklahoma’s 1990 divorce rate of 7.7 out of 1,000 people but still mark a particularly high divorce rate in Oklahoma. In addition to this high divorce rate in the state of Oklahoma, Oklahoma legislature also claims that the falling rate of marriages in the United States shows that marriage as an institution is losing credibility.   House Bill 1227   In an effort to increase the difficulty of obtaining a divorce, the Oklahoma legislature voted on House Bill 1227 which added barriers to using incompatibility as a reason for divorce in the state of Oklahoma. Oklahoma legislature hopes to lead more couples towards reconciliation or have the couple provide a more concrete reason for which to end the marriage by approving the bill. House Bill 1227 is currently awaiting to be heard by the House of Representatives.   Earlier Versions of House Bill 1227   The original version of     Read More

The Role of Alimony in Oklahoma Divorces

When individuals in the state of Oklahoma go through a divorce, there are a number of confusing elements. For many individuals, alimony or spousal support is one of the most misunderstood and complicated parts of the divorce process. Alimony refers to a payment made by one former spouse to the other spouse so that the recipient spouse can more smoothly adapt to life after the marriage. There are many rumors that persist in the state of Oklahoma, however, about alimony and as a result individuals can benefit from learning some of the essential information about alimony.   Important Facts to Remember about Alimony   There are some important facts about alimony that individuals should remember, which include the following elements:   Alimony Can Be Modified. Either former spouse can apply for the modification of the court issued alimony order at almost any point. In order to obtain a modification of an alimony order, however, an individual must demonstrate that circumstances have changed since the alimony order was awarded. Alimony Is Not Guaranteed. Alimony is not a mandatory part of divorce proceedings. Courts in Oklahoma have the ability to deny the payment of alimony altogether. For example, in some cases where     Read More

The Divorce Mediation Process

Divorce can be a particularly complicated process. In a large number of cases, divorces are prolonged because both spouse have a difficult time negotiating in a court of law. It is often in the best interest of both parties, however, to not delay the process and allow the divorce to finalize. In an effort to make the divorce process more peaceful and help the process proceed at a faster rate, couples often decide to use the mediation process to resolve a divorce. The mediation process allows both spouses to make all of the decisions regarding the divorce outside of a courtroom and then submit these plans to a court for final approval.   The Role of Attorneys in Divorce Mediation   For individuals who are involved in mediation in the state of Oklahoma, the presence of legal counsel will likely prove valuable at mediation. Legal counsel is often very familiar with an individual’s case as well as the applicable law. As a result, an attorney can act as an important representative for an individual and help ensure that a divorce resolves in a quick and efficient manner. An attorney can also help an individual appreciate all of the potential consequences     Read More

The Role of a Guardian

For individuals who have another individual appointed to act as a legal guardian or drafted a legal document regarding such an arrangement, it is important to understand the various responsibilities that arise when guardianships are created. Many individuals believe that guardians only exist for supervision of children, there are a large number of cases in which guardians  are tasked with overseeing other adults who are unable to make their own legal decisions.   The Guardianship and Conservatorship Act   In the state of Oklahoma, the Guardianship and Conservatorship Act guides the court in making decisions about what a guardian is able to do when granted the power to care for a partially incapacitated or fully incapacitated person including a ward. Under this Act, a guardian is defined as an individual who is appointed with the responsibility of taking care of another person or property belonging to another. The Act also defines a ward as the individual who placed under the care of a guardian. Many individuals are not aware that there are three types of guardianships in the state of Oklahoma: general guardians who have guardianship over an individual and their property, a limited guardian who has limited powers over     Read More

Chapter 13 Payment Plans

A large number of people are frightened from Chapter 13 bankruptcy due to the belief that an individual will be required to pay part of their of their debts. This type of payment plan under Chapter 13 bankruptcy is often helpful with secured debts which cannot be discharged through bankruptcy. A Chapter 13 monthly payment plan is often used to pay secured debts for collateral that a person wants to keep like an automobile or private residence. If you are involved in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceeding, it is often a wise idea to understand exactly how these amounts are calculated. Calculating a Minimum Monthly Payment   The amount of a minimum monthly payment plan depends on what type of debts a person owes. Some types of debts must be paid in full through a repayment plan, which means that an individual frequently must propose a plan that pays off all of these debts within 60 months regardless of one’s income or expenses. While a Chapter 13 payment plan must be large enough to make certain required payments, the payments must be large enough to satisfy certain required payments. In arriving at the amount that is likely due in a     Read More