Oklahoma City Chapter 7 Lawyer
End Your Overwhelming Debt with McBride & Associates, P.C.
If you are constantly receiving calls or letters from collection agencies or facing harassing collection attempts, it may be time to take legal action. There are several different ways that you may be able to file for bankruptcy, one of the most common being Chapter 7.
How Do I File for Bankruptcy in Oklahoma?
Filing for bankruptcy is a complex process that requires the attention of a skilled Chapter 7 attorney.
First, we want to ensure that filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the right solution for your financial problems. This is a big decision that can lead to relief from debt and collection attempts should you make the decision in your best interest.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be right for you if:
- You have had your wages garnished
- You are being harassed by creditors regularly
- You have received a foreclosure or repossession warning
- You struggle to make your payments each month
If this is you, filing for bankruptcy may be your best option. Be sure to enlist the help of our trusted bankruptcy attorneys in Oklahoma.
What Is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
Chapter 7 is also known as the liquidation bankruptcy, where most of your debt is wiped out in exchange for your non-exempt property.
At McBride & Associates PC, we often recommend this form of bankruptcy for individuals who do not have a steady income or have very little money.
How to Qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
You will need to take a means test to ensure that you qualify for Chapter 7 before you are able to discharge your debt. The Chapter 7 means test takes your income and expenses into account to determine whether you qualify for a Chapter 7 filing.
Before taking the test, you should gather any documentation about your income from over the past six months. Your household income is checked against your state's median income, and if your income is below the median, you pass and can file for Chapter 7. Your household income is adjusted for recent and upcoming changes, like losing a job.
If you do not pass the means test, you can still file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, or you can take the means test again in six months.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Exemptions in Oklahoma
In Chapter 7, you discharge most or all of your unsecured debt by giving up all non-exempt property.
A few examples of the types of debt which are discharged include:
- Credit card bills
- Medical bills
- Certain loans
- Utility bills
Exempt property typically includes your home, any necessary furniture, clothing, and any benefits you are receiving from the government.
Common exemptions in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Oklahoma include:
- Homestead - One acre if you live in a village, town, or city, or up to 160 acres otherwise
- Motor vehicle - Up to $7500 in equity
- Personal property - Includes books, clothing, college savings, food and seed for crops, guns, prescribed health aids, household items, livestock, and burial plots, among others
- Wages - Up to 75% of those earned in the 90 days before filing for bankruptcy
- Pensions - Includes retirement accounts and IRAs as well as job specific pensions for firefighters, teachers, police officers, and other public employees
- Public benefits - Includes unemployment and worker's compensation, social security, and public assistance, among others
Other exemptions exist for alimony and child support, trade tools, settlement for personal injury, and more.
What is the Difference Between Chapter 7 and 13 Bankruptcy?
Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcies differ in that Chapter 7 entails liquidating (selling) non-essential assets to help pay off debt whereas Chapter 13 entails creating a repayment plan to gradually pay off debt, usually over a period of 3-5 years.
Life After Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
In most cases, a Chapter 7 filing only takes three to four months. Once complete, your qualifying debts will be discharged.
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy will stay on your credit report for ten years. Most filers can open new credit cards and other lines of credit soon after receiving their discharge.
When Can You File for Chapter 7 Again in Oklahoma?
If you need to file for bankruptcy again, you will need to wait eight years before filing for another Chapter 7 bankruptcy, or four years if you plan to file for Chapter 13 instead.
Serving Debtors in Edmond & Oklahoma City
If you are in need of legal advice on filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, reach out to our debt relief agency in Edmond and Oklahoma City. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.