Information on Filing Bankruptcy in Oklahoma
Although the bankruptcy code is consistent throughout the United States, there are certain variations that occur on a state by state basis. For example, while some states only have one bankruptcy district, Oklahoma has three. While there is no specific way to know whether or not you should file for bankruptcy, there are several things you should consider beforehand.
If one or more of these apply to you, you may want to consider filing for bankruptcy:
– You cannot afford to pay your mortgage
– You have extensive medical expenses
– You have lost your job and have little chance of replacing lost income
– You can only afford to pay the minimum payment on credit cards and loans, if at all
– You are receiving notices from creditors that your bills are past due
However, while this may seem like a way to do away with your financial problems, there are still certain debts that will remain even if you do successfully file for bankruptcy in Oklahoma, including:
– Most recent back taxes
– Student loans
– Alimony and child support
– Fines owed to federal or Oklahoma government agencies
– Recent cash advances
– Luxury items of more than $550 purchased within 90 days of filing
– Debts accrued due to fraudulent activity
If you do decide to file for bankruptcy in Oklahoma, there are certain characteristics of bankruptcy courts in Oklahoma that you should be aware of. Bankruptcy courts are actually part of the federal court system but each state has at least one bankruptcy district. Oklahoma has three bankruptcy districts located in Tulsa, Okmulgee and Oklahoma City, each of which serves several counties in the state.
Each of these districts has its own set of local rules which govern certain procedures, including the court’s procedure for filing documents. Therefore, it is necessary to consult the rules for the appropriate court before preparing to file for bankruptcy.
For example, in Oklahoma, one of the three districts require documents to be filed electronically while the other two accept paper documents. In Oklahoma, you can file for bankruptcy under either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. Chapter 7, also known as “liquidation,” is available to individuals, married couples, corporations and partnerships and ultimately wipes out all debts except those listed above.
A Chapter 13 bankruptcy functions by setting up a repayment plan to pay back debts over time. Under the Bankruptcy Form Act of 2005, a means test has been put into effect which determines eligibility. This test requires a Chapter 7 debtor to earn below the state median income for his household size in order to qualify automatically for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
For those who do not qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, will be required to file for Chapter 13. Chapter 13 bankruptcies can be filed by individuals or sole proprietors in order to pay off all or part of their debt according to a three to five year payment plan. This course of action allows debtors to reorganize their debt so that they have time to pay it off. In order to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the debtor must have a stable income with no more than $1,010,650 in secured debt and $336,900 in unsecured debt.
The proposed payment plan for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy must provide for the payment of all priority claims in full over the course of three to five years. There is important information you must be aware of and specific procedures to follow when filing for bankruptcy.
These procedures differ state by state and may affect your eligibility for filing for bankruptcy. If you are considering filing for bankruptcy in Oklahoma, you should contact an Oklahoma bankruptcy attorney in order to learn all the information necessary to make this decision.