Financials are already difficult to manage. And when you find yourself at a standstill facing bankruptcy, it’s easy to feel trapped. While you’re already struggling to pay living expenses, it seems any money you’re able to put towards your debt barely scratches the surface. So how do you take down a mountain that’s continually growing?
The public perspective surrounding bankruptcy is often a negative one, but in actuality, gives the debtor a new opportunity for a financial fresh start. Stopping garnishments, lawsuits and all other attempts to collect debt are just a few of the benefits. And the myth that it ruins your credit is just that. After you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your credit rating will start improving upon discharge and you should be able to purchase a car or home at a traditional rate within two years.
Wondering how Chapter 7 works? There’s nothing we love more than helping people get their lives back. Give this article a quick read and give us a call at (405) 801-2515 with any questions you may have.
Before You Begin
To qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must show you’ve received credit council from an agency six months prior to filing.
File a Petition
When you file, you must complete a bankruptcy petition, a number of schedules containing detailed information about your finances, and Means Test form.
Complete the Means Test
Here, you’ll compare your household income to the Oklahoma median. If it’s less than the median, you’ll be eligible to file for Chapter 7. If not, you still may qualify but will have to provide detailed information about your expenses and debt payments.
Submit Local Forms
Some courts may require bankruptcy filers to complete local forms. If yours does, contact the bankruptcy filing clerk, some may even be online.
File in the Correct Court
In Oklahoma, there are three judicial courts. You have the option to file under where you’ve been living in the 180-day period prior, or the district your home is located. In most cases, you’ll be required to appear before your case trustee to answer any questions about your finances.
Western District - Oklahoma City
Northern District - Tulsa
Eastern District - Muskogee
Explore Your Exemptions
Before you finish, you’ll want to explore your options for exemptions. These exemptions allow you to protect property from bankruptcy. Under state law, Oklahoma residents may elect to claim the following items:
Property up to 160 acres
Personal injury claims up to $50,000
One motor vehicle up to $7,500
Trade tools up to $10,000
Clothing up to $4,000
Wedding rings up to $3,000
Firearms up to $2,000
Cash value of insurance policies