Bankruptcy

US Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Influential Bankruptcy Case

The Supreme Court of the United States recently agreed to determine the intent of Congress when the section of bankruptcy code was created that determines the discharge of debts associated with dishonest or fraudulent conduct. This case serves as a reminder of the many complicated areas in bankruptcy law. Given these complexities, many people are who are involved with bankruptcy cases have found that it is critical to the outcome of a case to obtain the assistance of a seasoned attorney. The Background of the Case The party that originated the class initiated the case against the owners of a business that the party had recently purchased. The party agreed to pay legal counsel on an hourly basis with fees due each month. As the case proceeded, however, the man became delinquent on his payments. These two parties met numerous times to discuss the matter of payment with the legal counsel even reducing the client’s payment despite continued legal representation. In June of 2006, the law firm alleges that the party received a tax refund payment and used this money to make an investment in his business instead of paying outstanding legal fees. When the payment was not made, the     Read More

Tips for Older Americans to Avoid Filing for Bankruptcy

Medical debt is currently the main cause of personal bankruptcy filings in the United States, and people who are 65 or older comprise approximately 8% of the individuals who file for bankruptcy. There are several reasons why this age group has high levels of medical debt including that the 2008 recession impacted this group significantly and wives who are most often outliving their husbands. Older individuals often also face predatory debt collectors. While bankruptcy is often an option for starting over financially, older clients also see bankruptcy as an opportunity to make themselves happy again. In addition to being complicated, filing for bankruptcy can be an embarrassing process for many older adults. This article will review some of the important tips that an older adult in Oklahoma can take to avoid filing for bankruptcy. Contact Your Creditors A person might be able to negotiate a repayment plan with creditors. As a result, it is often important to contact a supervisor at each company to which you owe money as soon as you notice debts. Providing detailed notes about who you spoke to and what time the conversation occurred can later help in various steps of the repayment process. Decide on     Read More

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Department of Justice Issues Cannabis Ruling

There have been some substantial changes in the last few years regarding how the state of Oklahoma treats the use of marijuana. For example, the Governor of Oklahoma has helped to make legal the use of some THC cannabis oil for the treatment of epilepsy. To be considered legal in the state of Oklahoma, the THC oil must be no more than .3% THC. Legislation in the state of Oklahoma also allows marijuana products that are supported by medical studies. With CBD oils legalized, the Governor of Oklahoma is also in the process of attempting to legalize marijuana. Despite the legalization of CBD oil in Oklahoma, marijuana is still prohibited at a federal level. As a result, the federal government still lists marijuana as a Schedule I drug. This clash represents just one of the many contradictions between how state and federal law treat marijuana. A recent decision made by the federal government has had a significant impact on the rights of some marijuana-based businesses in the state that declare bankruptcy. The Recent Bankruptcy Court Ruling In a recent ruling, the United States Department of Justice issued a statement to inform business owners that marijuana-based businesses are not able to     Read More

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Four Myths About Foreclosure

Many bankruptcy cases begin after a person’s home has been foreclosed upon. Foreclosure and bankruptcy are two of the most difficult personal and financial challenges that can be faced by individuals. Because the foreclosure can be complicated and because it is feared by most people, there are a large number of misconceptions and myths that exist about the foreclosure process. This article will discuss some of the most common myths about foreclosure so that individuals can better prepare for the foreclosure process. Myth # 1: A Person is Not Responsible for Paying a Bank’s Legal Fees Many individuals assume that because their home is being foreclosed upon, that they are not also required to pay the bank’s legal fees. Unfortunately, this is simply not true. In reality, most mortgage agreements state that in the case of foreclosure, the person who is granted the mortgage by the lending company is responsible for the bank’s legal fees. Myth # 2: Once in Motion, a Foreclosure Cannot be Stopped Many individuals fear the foreclosure process and believe that once it starts, it is impossible to stop. In reality, if a homeowner is able to somehow find all of the money for all missed     Read More

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Bankruptcy 101

Bankruptcy is a complicated area of law that is difficult for many to understand. Like any body of law, one of the most complicated factors is that it involves a unique group of keywords that are used by judges, lawyers, and individuals in the middle of the legal process. Anyone going through the bankruptcy process can benefit from understanding some of the essential terms used throughout the bankruptcy process. Important Bankruptcy Terms Some of the most important bankruptcy terms that should be known by individuals who are in the midst of the process include the following: Absolute Priority: When a person makes payments during the bankruptcy process, these amounts are distributed in accordance with the absolute priority, which is established in the federal bankruptcy code. Automatic Stay: An automatic stay refers to the block that is created when a person files for bankruptcy and prevents creditors from collecting on debts in any manner. Core Proceedings: There are many things that occur during the bankruptcy process, but core proceedings refer to steps that are decided on by the bankruptcy court. Dischargeable Debt: Debt that is eliminated when a person files for bankruptcy is considered to be dischargeable debt, while debt that     Read More

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Three Things to Avoid Before Filing for Bankruptcy

If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, you need to fully prepare for the many obstacles that can arise during the process. Failing to sufficiently prepare or taking incorrect steps during the bankruptcy process has the potential to significantly jeopardize your future. So that the bankruptcy process can continue as smoothly as possible, this article has been created to inform an individual who is planning for bankruptcy about various things that must be avoided before filing for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Error #1: Treating Family Members Differently Than Other Debtors Many individuals who have significant debt and who must ultimately file for bankruptcy believe that it is permissible to treat family members more preferentially than other debtors. This type of activity is not allowed, however. A bankruptcy trustee is able to reclaim any amount that a person repays to a family members within two years of filing for bankruptcy. As a result, individuals should treat family members like any other person to whom the individual owes money and wait to repay them. After the bankruptcy process is over, an individual will be able to pay back anyone that he or she chooses. Error #2: Not Appearing at     Read More

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How Long Will Bankruptcy Take?

While bankruptcy allows individuals a chance to rebuild their credit and start on new ground financially, this action is not for everyone. There are many distinct factors that can affect a bankruptcy and influence how long the process ultimately takes. This article will list some of the various factors that can influence how long a person’s bankruptcy process will take. Factor #1: The Number and Value of Assets a Person has In some cases, a person might have a great number of assets that the person wishes to save, while in other cases, a person might declare bankruptcy because the individual has fallen into debt. Generally, the greater and more valuable the assets that a person has, the longer that person’s bankruptcy process will take. Factor #2: Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Resolves Faster Than Other Types of Bankruptcy In many cases, Chapter 7 bankruptcy lasts between three to four months. Frequently this process will involving obtaining an experienced bankruptcy attorney, filing an issue with the court, and liquidating a person’s nonexempt assets. While Chapter 7 bankruptcy is good for many individuals, a person is at risk of losing many of his or her assets in the process. The advantage of Chapter     Read More

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Buying a House After Bankruptcy

Recovering after a bankruptcy is not something that occurs quickly. Many individuals who declare bankruptcy have questions about how long it will take before they will be able to purchase a home. In many cases, the type of loan that a person requires for a house and how the person handles credit after their declaration of bankruptcy influences this process. Mortgage companies offer different “seasoning periods” after a person declares bankruptcy. Lenders might also have additional requirements about the length of time a person must wait after declaring bankruptcy. While some individuals struggle to recover after declaring bankruptcy, other individuals discover that they are able to buy a house within few years. If you are interested in buying a house, it is important to increase your credit profile and sometimes even obtain the assistance of a skilled attorney. This article will list some of the various factors that can influence the amount of time that a person can expect it will take to obtain a loan to purchase a house after declaring bankruptcy. Factor #1: Whether a Person Declares Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Whether a person declares Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy will also determine how long     Read More

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Paying Utility Bills After Declaring Bankruptcy

In many cases, a person filing for bankruptcy might have fallen behind on his or her utility bills, which can include electric, gas, telephone, sewer, or water bills. As a result, many individuals are often left wondering how utility bills should be handled after they declare bankruptcy. This article will explain some important details about the bankruptcy process and your utility bills. Automatic Stays in Bankruptcy After initiating the bankruptcy process, a person needs to make sure that utility bills are listed as debts in his or her bankruptcy schedule. These schedules must list all delinquent accounts including utility debts that are owed and accounts that a person intends to keep paying. All companies included in the bankruptcy schedule will then receive notice that the person has filed for bankruptcy protection. As a result of these notices, the utility company is not permitted to discontinue a person’s utility services. Due to the automatic stay that is created when a person files a bankruptcy petition, all efforts by utility companies and associated collectors are prohibited. These efforts can include bills, lawsuits, or phone calls. Despite this protection, however, a person will be required to pay new bills that arise after filing     Read More

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The Difference Between Debt Consolidation and Bankruptcy

While many people are familiar with the bankruptcy process, debt consolidation is also a unique process. Debt consolidation involves combining debts into one, more manageable debt. Not only does debt consolidation simplify the repayment process for individuals, it also reduces monthly payment and interest rates. Many individuals confuse debt consolidation with debt settlement, which involves a person paying an amount lower than the total amount that is owed. Bankruptcy, however, follows a distinct process from debt consolidation. In Chapter 7 bankruptcy a person sells property to creditors to pay off debts, while in Chapter 13 bankruptcy a repayment or reorganization will be arranged with creditors. Deciding on bankruptcy or debt consolidation depends on a person’s financial goals. Advantages to Filing for Bankruptcy One of the largest advantages of filing bankruptcy is that it offers greater protection against creditors because an “automatic stay” is placed that prevents creditors from obtaining money. An automatic stay also prevents foreclosure, repossession, and shutting off utilities due to nonpayment. Bankruptcy also offers the advantage of clearing a person’s debts, which means that the process lifts financial difficulties from a person. After eliminating these debts, a person can then begin to rebuild their credit and move     Read More

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