Written by the Upsolve Team.
Updated September 30, 2020
Are you facing foreclosure or overwhelming debt? Sometimes life does not go as planned; you run out of money and creditors are breathing down your neck. However, that is not the end of the world. Filing bankruptcy in Lawton is one of the best options to stop the repossession of your property and wage garnishments. Many folks in Oklahoma have been in your situation before and, with sound financial planning, got out of it by declaring bankruptcy. Imagine what it would be like to wake up tomorrow without having to worry about being harassed by your creditors – no more phone calls or piles of threatening collection letters and unopened bills.
The first step when filing bankruptcy in Lawton is to determine which type of bankruptcy suits you best. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is widely known as liquidation bankruptcy. Note that only your unprotected - non-exempt - property will be sold to pay creditors. However, to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy relief, you will have to pass the means test. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy usually results in a discharge within four months of filing. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is also known as a reorganization bankruptcy. Under Chapter 13, your property will not be sold; however, you will have to repay a portion of your debt according to a repayment plan that is approved by the Bankruptcy Court. Either way, you are protected from your creditors during the case, so don’t wait, get the protection you need by filing bankruptcy in Lawton.
Are you worried about the financial consequences of Oklahoma bankruptcy? Don’t worry. Many of your concerns are probably based on old rumors and myths about Lawton bankruptcy. A common misconception that people in Lawton have when filing bankruptcy is that potential lenders will ignore them if they file for Oklahoma bankruptcy. This is not true. After Congress passed the new bankruptcy laws, most of the stigma linked with bankruptcy vanished. Some people in Lawton think that they can’t file bankruptcy on their own if they are married. This is not true as Oklahoma bankruptcy laws permit people to file for bankruptcy, both individually and jointly. Also, you don’t need an attorney for filing bankruptcy in Lawton as you can get free legal help or file bankruptcy on your own!
Lawton Bankruptcy Lawyers - Estimated Cost
Many bankruptcy lawyers charge a flat fee to assist clients. The typical cost of a bankruptcy lawyer for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Lawton ranges from $800 to $1,250. Everyone preparing to file for Oklahoma bankruptcy wants to know the cost. This is because bankruptcy often comes at a time when money is tight. Other than the complexity of your case, the quality of your bankruptcy attorney and the chapter you are filing under will have an impact on your total fee. However, if you can’t arrange about $1000 to hire a bankruptcy lawyer, then don’t worry. This is because you can file Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Lawton on your own, especially if you are good at following instructions, as the process is not as complicated as you may believe.
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How to File Bankruptcy in Lawton, Oklahoma for Free
Considering filing bankruptcy in Lawton? When you file bankruptcy you are instantly under the protection of the Lawton bankruptcy laws, and a legal mechanism known as the automatic stay. Want to know how to file bankruptcy in Lawton for free? This City Guide will give you an overview of the bankruptcy process so that you can get debt relief without incurring high attorney fees.
Collect Your Lawton Bankruptcy Documents
The first step in filing bankruptcy in Lawton is to prepare the bankruptcy forms that you have to submit to the Court in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case. For preparing these forms, you will need certain information and documents, such as your most recent bank statements and pay stubs. You should also collect all the collection letters that you’ve received in the past three months. Another important document is your credit report. You should get a copy of your credit report from all three reporting agencies. For historical income information, you’ll also need your last two income tax returns. Filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Lawton comes with strict requirements to be honest, accurate, and complete in your Oklahoma bankruptcy forms, so meet them to ensure things go as smoothly as possible.
Take Credit Counseling
Under the new bankruptcy laws, you are required to take a credit counseling course (at your own expense) with an approved counseling agency in the six months before filing bankruptcy in Lawton. It is a requirement that applies to all people filing Oklahoma bankruptcy regardless of what led to their financial woes. The course is fairly simple, and you can take it over the phone or on your computer. The credit counseling session usually involves an in-depth look at your current financial condition and an exploration of whether a Lawton bankruptcy proceeding is the smartest choice. InCharge Debt Solutions is an approved creditor counselor in Lawton.
Complete the Bankruptcy Forms
To allow the Oklahoma Bankruptcy Court, and all parties involved in your bankruptcy case, to process all the pertinent information in a uniform and efficient way, you have to use the official national bankruptcy forms when you are filing bankruptcy in Lawton. This is a tedious process because you have a legal obligation to completely disclose all aspects of your financial affairs. If you are planning on completing the Lawton bankruptcy forms by yourself, you should review this instruction manual before getting started. These bankruptcy forms are designed to be self-explanatory and simple to follow. Avoid the common mistakes that people make when filing bankruptcy in Lawton, such as hiding assets.
Get Your Filing Fee
If you have determined that you’re not eligible to have your Court filing fee waived as you make too much money, then make sure you file Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Lawton only after you have raised the full $338. If you are not able to save up the full filing fee needed for filing bankruptcy in Lawton, you may ask the Oklahoma Bankruptcy Court to make payments on it after your bankruptcy case has been filed. The filing fee must be paid in either cash or in the form of a cashier's check or money order.
Print Your Bankruptcy Forms
As you need to provide all the bankruptcy forms for your Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Lawton to the Court in paper, you’ll have to print all documents at least once. It is better to print everything twice. This way you will have a copy for your own records. If you have an Oklahoma bankruptcy attorney helping you with your Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Lawton, they’ll submit all your Lawton bankruptcy documents to the Court through an electronic filing system. Remember, filing bankruptcy in Lawton carries certain requirements and duties for filers, the primary one being accurate and complete disclosure of all relevant information. If you don’t have access to a printer, you can go to a local print shop to print everything for a small fee.
Go to Court to File Your Forms
While you can technically commence your Lawton bankruptcy case by mailing all your documents and the filing fee to the Oklahoma Bankruptcy Court, it is better to visit the courthouse in person in order to file your initial paperwork. This will avoid any delay due to mailing when filing bankruptcy in Lawton. If you are going to the Court in person, you should bring both of your copies as well as your credit counseling certificate and filing fee. It is best to have everything neatly organized in a single filing package that you may hand to the clerk when you get to the courthouse. The courthouse of the Western District of Oklahoma is located in Oklahoma City. You can go to the Oklahoma Western District Court in Lawton.
Mail Documents to Your Trustee
The U.S. Trustee Program oversees all Oklahoma bankruptcy cases. The program is a part of the Department of Justice. Note that the United States Trustee program is charged with overseeing the administration of bankruptcy cases throughout the US. The bankruptcy Trustee’s job is to represent the bankruptcy estate. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Lawton, the Trustee is mainly interested in what assets you own and what property you may claim as exempt. The job of the Trustee is also to make sure that no one is hiding anything from the Bankruptcy Court or their creditors. Everyone filing bankruptcy in Lawton has a duty to cooperate with their bankruptcy Trustee.
Take Bankruptcy Course 2
This is a two-hour pre-discharge debtor education program that covers a number of financial and budgeting topics, which assure you have the tools needed to build a strong financial foundation after filing bankruptcy in Lawton. During this education program, you’ll receive tools and tips for wise money management and prudent credit use. You can usually take this debtor education course over the phone, in person, or on the internet. The course will often last at least two hours, regardless of the method of instruction. There are many approved debtor education providers in Oklahoma. DebtorEdu is an approved course provider in Lawton.
Attend Your 341 Meeting
After your Oklahoma bankruptcy case has been filed, a meeting of creditors or 341 meeting will be scheduled. This meeting of creditors will be held about four weeks after filing your Lawton bankruptcy. You have to attend this meeting, or your bankruptcy case may be thrown out by the Court. Your case will usually be called from a calendar, which means other bankruptcy cases will also be called during the scheduled time. In most cases, the 341 meeting is a fairly swift process and follows a set procedure. The Trustee will examine your documents and ask you some questions. There is no judge as you’re not on trial.
Dealing with Your Car
What a lot of folks do not realize is that filing bankruptcy in Lawton gives you several options to deal with your vehicle that you do not have outside of the Oklahoma bankruptcy context. If you’re stuck in a bad auto loan, with a very high interest rate, considerable negative equity because you owe more than your car is worth and payments you can't afford, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Lawton gives you the chance to surrender your car without worrying about repaying the rest of the loan. On the other hand, if your car is paid for, you may keep it as long as it is worth less than the bankruptcy exemption you’re using to protect it.
Oklahoma Bankruptcy Means Test, Bankruptcy Forms, and Exemptions for Lawton
Oklahoma Means Test
If your income is above Oklahoma’s median income, then the US Bankruptcy Code requires you to take a means test. The Oklahoma bankruptcy Means Test is an analysis of your income and expenses that determines if you have the disposable income to pay at least some of your unsecured creditors. The Oklahoma bankruptcy law requires Chapter 7 filers to pass the Oklahoma Bankruptcy Means Test to see if they qualify. Nearly all your income is included in the means test – including gifts and gambling winnings.
Median Income Levels for Oklahoma
Oklahoma Median Income Standards for Means Test for Cases Filed On or After May 1, 2022
|Household Size||Monthly Income||Annual Income|
Poverty Levels for Oklahoma
Oklahoma Fee Waiver Eligibility for Cases Filed On or After May 1, 2022
Eligible for fee waiver when under 150% the poverty level.
|Household Size||State Poverty Level||Fee Waiver Limit (150% PL)|
Oklahoma Bankruptcy Forms
The Oklahoma bankruptcy forms are the specific forms that people filing bankruptcy in Lawton submit to the Bankruptcy Court during the course of their case. Keep in mind that the official national forms comprise a majority of the forms when you file Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Lawton. There are some local Lawton bankruptcy forms as well. You’ll have to complete all these forms when filing bankruptcy in Lawton. If you need assistance, check out our free bankruptcy assistance and see if you are a good fit for our free service. As the forms are available for free, you should not purchase blank forms from anyone.
Some folks in Oklahoma who are overwhelmed by debts and bills often worry that they may lose all of their assets by filing bankruptcy in Lawton. The fact is that you can keep a considerable portion of your property when you file Oklahoma bankruptcy because of both the state and federal exemptions. Oklahoma bankruptcy exemptions offer protections that can protect most if not all of your property in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Lawton.