Written by the Upsolve Team.
Updated September 30, 2020
If you’re struggling under the overwhelming weight of debt, it’s ok to ask for help. Seeking support is a practical and sensible exit. You don’t deserve to live a life plagued with financial stress, uncertainty, and anxiety. When financial situations beyond your control put both you and your family in dire financial straits, filing bankruptcy in Broken Arrow may be the right choice for you. By asking for bankruptcy protection, you can take the necessary legal steps to stop foreclosure proceedings, harassing creditor calls, wage garnishments, and more. Regardless of your specific situation, there’s a way out. Other reasons people file bankruptcy are an unexpected job loss, divorce, and medical debts.
You can file two main types of bankruptcies in Oklahoma. Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows you to sell some of your assets under the oversight and supervision of a court-appointed bankruptcy Trustee in order to honor your debts to creditors. However, the good news is that most of the time, no assets are sold, because your assets can be protected. Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Broken Arrow is the quickest, most economical, and easiest way to eliminate your debts. In contrast, in a Chapter 13 Oklahoma bankruptcy you will negotiate a restructuring of debt and come up with a new, practical payment plan that permits you to make payments to creditors over a three to five-year period. There is another upside to filing bankruptcy in Broken Arrow. In most Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases, you may keep your home and vehicle if there is not excess equity above federal or state exemption laws. When filing Broken Arrow bankruptcy it is important to determine which type of bankruptcy suits you best.
There are several rumors you will hear about bankruptcy and the alleged ramifications of filing for bankruptcy protection. Numerous tales are told about how filing bankruptcy in Broken Arrow will ruin your personal life, your reputation, leaving you with nothing. These falsehoods should be dispelled. A common misconception that people in Broken Arrow have is that filing Oklahoma bankruptcy will hurt their credit for ten years. While the bankruptcy remains on your credit report for ten years, your credit will start to improve immediately after filing. Another myth is that it is difficult to file for bankruptcy relief. Don’t let these myths keep you from filing bankruptcy in Broken Arrow and get free legal help to file bankruptcy.
Broken Arrow Bankruptcy Lawyers - Estimated Cost
It would be much simpler for people if bankruptcy attorneys in Oklahoma all charged the same amount to handle a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Broken Arrow; however, that doesn't happen. The typical cost of a bankruptcy lawyer in Broken Arrow ranges from $800 to $1250. The complexity of your case and the Chapter you are filing under will determine the exact amount you pay. The initial consultation to discuss your bankruptcy is usually free. However, if you are finding it hard to scrape together enough money to hire a lawyer, you can file Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Broken Arrow on your own. You are allowed under law to represent yourself in Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
How to File Bankruptcy in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma for Free
Considering filing bankruptcy in Broken Arrow? When you file bankruptcy you are instantly under the protection of the bankruptcy laws, and a legal mechanism known as the automatic stay. If you want to know how to file bankruptcy in Broken Arrow for free, you have come to the right place. This City Guide will give you an overview of the Broken Arrow bankruptcy process so that you can get bankruptcy relief.
Collect Your Broken Arrow Bankruptcy Documents
It is important to collect all your bankruptcy documents before you start to complete your Oklahoma bankruptcy forms. This way, when you’re ready to start completing all the bankruptcy forms required to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Broken Arrow, you will not have to keep searching for more information. The Broken Arrow bankruptcy forms ask for plenty of specific and in-depth information, and it’s your legal duty to fully disclose all the requested information, and don’t leave anything out. Oklahoma bankruptcy documents include your paycheck stubs, recent bank statements, and your tax returns, among others. You should also get a copy of your credit report.
Take Credit Counseling
The US government has put a few safeguards into the Oklahoma bankruptcy process to help ensure you’re making the right choice and that Broken Arrow bankruptcy is the best for your specific situation. One of these safeguards is the pre-filing credit counseling requirement. You have to complete a credit counseling course from an approved agency before you file your case with the Oklahoma bankruptcy Court. The good news is that this requirement can be easily met not just in person but by phone and online so you won’t have to sit in a class. After completing this credit counseling course, you will be given a certificate of completion that must go with your Oklahoma bankruptcy paperwork when filing. Credit Counseling Centers of Oklahoma, Inc. is an approved creditor counselor in Broken Arrow.
Complete the Bankruptcy Forms
This is where everything comes together. If you are working with an attorney, their office will complete all the bankruptcy forms needed to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Broken Arrow based on the documents and information you provided to them. On the other hand, if you are completing the Broken Arrow bankruptcy forms by yourself, the first document you should review before starting is this helpful instruction manual. It will explain all of the bankruptcy forms you have to complete for your Oklahoma bankruptcy. You have to use the official national bankruptcy forms when you are filing bankruptcy in Broken Arrow.
Get Your Filing Fee
The Court filing fee for filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Broken Arrow is $338. It is better to bring the filing fee with you when you go to file your Oklahoma bankruptcy case, preferably as a money order or cashier's check. You may qualify for a Courtfiling fee waiver if your income is lower than 150 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. As not everyone filing bankruptcy in Broken Arrow will qualify for a fee waiver, the Oklahoma Bankruptcy Court also allows filers to pay their fee in installmentsafter the bankruptcy case is filed. In this case, make all the payments on time. Otherwise, the Court may throw out your case for failure to pay the fee.
Print Your Bankruptcy Forms
For the moment, the Oklahoma Bankruptcy Court doesn’t allow people who do not have a bankruptcy lawyer to file their Broken Arrow bankruptcy forms online. So, you will have to bring a paper copy of all your bankruptcy documents to the courthouse when filing bankruptcy in Broken Arrow. As some of the information contained in your bankruptcy forms is time-sensitive, make sure you make any necessary revisions and updates if some time has passed since you completed everything. As your signature must appear on your bankruptcy forms, make sure that you sign everything that needs signing. If you don’t have a printer at home or work, go to a local print shop or see if your public library offers printing services at a reduced rate.
Go to Court to File Your Forms
You do not want the forms and other documents filed in your Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Broken Arrow to get outdated, so you should go to the courthouse the same day you print your bankruptcy forms, if possible. While you can mail your Oklahoma bankruptcy documents to the courthouse, it is better to go there in person. It will give you the opportunity to fix anything that may need fixing right then and there. The automatic stay will go into effect when you file your Broken Arrow bankruptcy paperwork. Depending on whether you live in Tulsa or Wagoner County, you will have to file your case either in the Northern or Eastern District of the Oklahoma Bankruptcy Court.
Mail Documents to Your Trustee
After you have filed your Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition, an Oklahomabankruptcy Trustee will be appointed to your case. A bankruptcy Trustee is essentially designated to oversee your bankruptcy proceedings. If you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Broken Arrow, a neutral Trustee will be selected from a panel of trustees. Although the bankruptcy Trustee doesn’t work for you, you have a legal duty to cooperate in the administration of your Broken Arrow bankruptcy case. During your case, your bankruptcy Trustee will sell only unprotected (non-exempt) property and give the proceeds to your creditors. Your Oklahoma bankruptcy Trustee will sit down with you during your 341 meeting. Keep an eye out for any document requests from your Trustee’s office in the weeks after filing bankruptcy in Broken Arrow.
Take Bankruptcy Course 2
Just as you have to receive credit counseling before Oklahoma bankruptcy can begin, you must also receive a debtor education course before receiving a discharge. There are many approved debtor education providers in Oklahoma. The main purpose of this debtor education course is to equip you with the skills you need to avoid excessive debt and additional bankruptcies in the future. The course lasts about one hour and can be taken by telephone, online, or in person. You may think of it as an “exit interview” for Broken Arrow bankruptcy. As with the pre-bankruptcy credit counseling, there’s a small fee for this course.
Attend Your 341 Meeting
A 341 Meeting, also known as a Meeting of Creditors, is usually scheduled to occur around thirty days after you file your Broken Arrow bankruptcy case. While the thought of a “meeting of creditors” could be a bit scary, there’s nothing to be afraid of. A 341 meeting gives your Oklahoma bankruptcy Trustee the opportunity to ask you to verify important details of your bankruptcy. The Trustee will ask you some questions, and you have to answer them truthfully. Keep in mind that your bankruptcy Trustee is not out to get you; it’s their job to verify the accuracy and completeness of your bankruptcy petition. Creditors can attend and ask you questions during this meeting, but that rarely happens.
Dealing with Your Car
One of the great benefits of filing bankruptcy in Broken Arrow is that it allows you to get out from under an oppressive auto loan or lease. If you owe money on your vehicle than it’s worth and surrender it in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Broken Arrow, the bankruptcy discharge eliminates any unpaid balance on the loan, along with other dischargeable debts. If you decide to keep the vehicle, you and your lender can also agree to enter into a reaffirmation agreement. Although a lot of people in Oklahoma choose this option, you should carefully review your budget before making a decision. Another option is redemption, which is especially beneficial if your loan balance is considerably higher than the value of your car.
Oklahom Bankruptcy Means Test, Bankruptcy Forms, and Exemptions for Broken Arrow
Oklahoma Means Test
In order to take advantage of Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Broken Arrow, you have to meet certain eligibility requirements with respect to your current income. And one of these requirements is called Oklahoma bankruptcy Means Test. The Oklahoma bankruptcy Means Test considers your income and financial means to determine if you make too much money to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Broken Arrow. If you do not qualify for Chapter 7, you will have to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Means Test is designed to weed out all the high-income earners from taking undue advantage of Chapter 7.
Median Income Levels for Oklahoma
Oklahoma Median Income Standards for Means Test for Cases Filed On or After May 1, 2021
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Poverty Levels for Oklahoma
Oklahoma Fee Waiver Eligibility for Cases Filed On or After May 1, 2021
Eligible for fee waiver when under 150% the poverty level.
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Oklahoma Bankruptcy Forms
Everyone filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Broken Arrow has to use the official Oklahoma bankruptcy forms. These forms are a combination of the national bankruptcy forms which are the same across the US, and a few local forms designed specifically for use in only the Oklahoma bankruptcy district. All of the bankruptcy forms are available for free online, and you don’t have to buy them. The first Oklahoma bankruptcy form you will have to file is a Voluntary Petition for bankruptcy. If you need assistance, check out our free bankruptcy assistance and see if you are a good fit for our free service.
Everything that you own when your Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Broken Arrow is filed is considered an asset. Note that the applicable exemptions determine which property or assets, if any, may be sold to pay your creditors. Oklahoma bankruptcy exemptions are laws that protect your property from being taken by your bankruptcy Trustee or creditors. All portraits, books, and pictures held mainly for family, personal, or household use are exempt from liquidation in your Oklahoma bankruptcy case. Some other important exemptions protect your home and car when you file Broken Arrow bankruptcy.