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Filing Bankruptcy in Muskogee, Oklahoma

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Written by the Upsolve Team
Updated September 29, 2020

If cash flow issues are a cause of household anxiety and stress and you are not able to relax at night, then it is time you get help. Debt relief is available, and many people in Muskogee find that they qualify for bankruptcy relief. If you are feeling the financial burden of your

growing debt and looking for answers, then filing bankruptcy in Muskogee is a good solution. The high poverty rate of 24.8% in Muskogee causes many people to file bankruptcy. Other reasons to file bankruptcy are a job loss, foreclosure proceedings, underwater mortgages, and medical debts. Oklahoma bankruptcy allows people to repay or eliminate their debts and get the peace of mind they deserve.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Muskogee is also known as the “fresh start” bankruptcy as it allows you to eliminate most of your unsecured debt, including your medical bills, credit cards, and payday loans while stopping foreclosures and garnishments. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the quickest, most economical, and easiest way to eliminate your debts. On the other hand, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to propose a 3 to 5-year repayment plan that your bankruptcy Trustee will oversee. Under this plan, you will repay all or part of your debt from your future income. In most Chapter 7 cases, on the other hand, no payments are required. Additionally, you may keep your home and vehicle if there is no excess equityabove available exemptions. By filing bankruptcy in Muskogee, you can stop wage garnishments, creditor harassment, and stop foreclosures. When filing bankruptcy it is important to determine which type of bankruptcy suits you best. 

The unfortunate fact is that because of many myths, rumors and worries, people in Oklahoma wait too long to file bankruptcy and use upassets that they could keep by filing bankruptcy in Muskogee. A common misconception that folks in Muskogee have is that if they file bankruptcy, they will not be able to buy another house. This is not true as after bankruptcy, you will qualify for credit once again. Many Muskogee residents think that if they file bankruptcy, they may end up losing their jobs. The reality is that it’s illegal for any employer to fire you only because you file for bankruptcy protection. Don’t let these myths keep you from filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Muskogee and get free legal help to guide you through your bankruptcy case. 

Muskogee Bankruptcy Lawyers - Estimated Cost

The amount of fees you will pay to your bankruptcy attorney depends on a variety of factors, such as whether you’re filing bankruptcy in Muskogee under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. The typical cost of a bankruptcy lawyer in Muskogee ranges from $800 to $1250 for a Chapter 7 case. The initial consultation to discuss your bankruptcy is usually free. However, if you are finding it hard to arrange the money, you can file Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Muskogee on your own as it is not mandatory to hire a lawyer. You are allowed under law to represent yourself in Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy - that is called filing “pro se.”

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How to File Bankruptcy in Muskogee, Oklahoma for Free

Can I go it alone? It is a common question that many people ask when filing bankruptcy in Muskogee. This is because many people considering Oklahoma bankruptcy are strapped for cash. If you want to know how to file bankruptcy in Muskogee for free, you have come to the right place. This City Guide and other valuable resources will give you an overview of the Muskogee bankruptcy process so that you can get bankruptcy relief.

Collect Your Muskogee Bankruptcy Documents

Getting organized early will help you feel confident and more in control as you go through the Oklahoma bankruptcy process. This is because you’ll have most of the information available to you. Some of the Muskogee bankruptcy documents you must collect when you are preparing to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Muskogee will be used for completing your bankruptcy forms. Your bankruptcy documents include your paycheck stubs, recent bank statements, your tax returns, car, and home valuations, and your credit card bills. It is better to cross-reference any recent debt collection letters that you may have received, making sure nothing falls through the cracks by comparing everything to what’s on your credit report.

Take Credit Counseling

To qualify for Oklahoma bankruptcy, you have to show that you received credit counseling from an approved counseling provider in Oklahoma within the 180 day period before filing bankruptcy in Muskogee. 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. During the counseling session, you’ll be asked about your expenses and income. Once you complete your credit counseling course, the agency will fax or email you a certificate showing that you completed this Muskogee bankruptcy requirement. GreenPath is an approved creditor counselor in Oklahoma.

Complete the Bankruptcy Forms

Your bankruptcy forms tell your Trustee and the Bankruptcy Court what they need to know about your financial situation. It is vital to make sure that you get everything right, by disclosing everything that is required to be disclosed. This will go a long way toward helping your Oklahoma bankruptcy case progress more smoothly. You have to use the official national bankruptcy forms when you are filing bankruptcy in Muskogee. If you hire a bankruptcy lawyer, their office will do most of the legwork related to inputting the information correctly. Whichever route you go, keep in mind that you’re preparing these bankruptcy forms for filing with a federal Court, and deliberately leaving out important information could have serious consequences.

Get Your Filing Fee

Filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Muskogee comes with a $338Court filing fee. The filing fee is due when you bring your bankruptcy forms to the courthouse for filing. Note that you can only pay the fee in cash or as a money order, so do not bring a personal check; the Oklahoma bankruptcy Court will not accept that. You can pay the fee in installments, and if you make that request, it is important that you make all the payments on time as specified in the payment schedule. Finally, you may qualify for afiling fee waiver if your income is lower than 150 percent of the federal poverty guidelines.

Some of the bankruptcy forms that you will have to complete for your Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Muskogee are time-sensitive. So, it’s a good idea to hold off finalizing your bankruptcy forms and printing everything until after you’ve determined how to pay your filing fee. Although bankruptcy lawyers who assist folks filing bankruptcy in Muskogee have to submit all the documents through the Court's electronic filing system, people who are representing themselves must provide everything to the Oklahoma Bankruptcy Court in paper. That means using standard, white, 8.5" x 11" paper and no double-sided printing. If you don’t have a printer at home or work, you can go to a local print shop, like Office Depot to get everything printed for a small fee.

Go to Court to File Your Forms

People filing bankruptcy in Muskogee have multiple options on how to submit their Oklahoma bankruptcy paperwork to Court, even when they do not have a lawyer. First, you may visit the courthouse to file all your bankruptcy paperwork in person. If visiting the courthouse is inconvenient, you can also file your Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Muskogee by mailing all your documents to the Oklahoma bankruptcy Court. The automatic stay will go into effect when you file your Muskogee bankruptcy paperwork. If you’re not familiar with the part of town that you are going to, it is better to look up the parking options near the Court first. The courthouse for the Eastern District of Oklahoma is conveniently located right in Muskogee.

Mail Documents to Your Trustee

When you file Oklahoma bankruptcy, a Trustee will be assigned to your bankruptcy case. The bankruptcy Trustee’s duties involve looking out for the best interest of the creditors. In Chapter 7 cases the Trustee’s main function is to review the Oklahoma bankruptcy petition and schedules and other documents you must provide the Trustee. When you file Muskogee bankruptcy all your property will become part of the bankruptcy estate. Most Oklahoma Chapter 7 cases are considered no-asset cases, meaning the Trustee doesn’t take any property from you. Although the bankruptcy Trustee doesn’t work for you, you have a legal duty to cooperate in the administration of your Muskogee bankruptcy case.

Take Bankruptcy Course 2

After filing bankruptcy in Muskogee, you also have to complete a financial management instructional course (also known as debtor education) to receive your Oklahoma bankruptcy discharge.  The course lasts approximately  one hour and can be taken by telephone, online, or in person. Failure to complete your debtor education course and file a certificate of completion will result in your Muskogee bankruptcy case being closed without a bankruptcy discharge being granted. There are many approved debtor education providers in Oklahoma. As with the pre-bankruptcy credit counseling, there’s a small fee for this course. During this education program, you’ll receive tools and tips for wise money management and prudent use of financial resources, including credit.

Attend Your 341 Meeting

Every person who files Muskogee bankruptcy must attend a meeting of creditors. As this creditors meeting is required by Section 341 of the US Bankruptcy Code, it’s also known as a “341 meeting.” The 341 meeting is scheduled by the clerk of the Bankruptcy Court shortly after your Oklahoma bankruptcy case is filed, along with other important deadlines, dates, and events. This meeting is an opportunity for your Muskogee bankruptcy Trustee and creditors to question you under oath regarding your assets, liabilities, income and other matters that pertain to your bankruptcy case. Attendance at the 341 meeting is required, and both spouses have to appear if the bankruptcy is a joint case.

Dealing with Your Car

Most people in Muskogee need a car to run errands, commute to work, and get around town. Hence, being able to keep a vehicle through Oklahoma bankruptcy is often a priority for many. There are several options to deal with your car. If you took out an auto loan, then the lender most likely has a security interest in the car. Typically, filing bankruptcy in Muskogee doesn’t change this security interest. Your bankruptcy Trustee is mainly concerned with the amount of equity you have in your car. So, if you have a vehicle worth $4,000 but you have an auto loan of $5,000, then you’ve no equity, and you don’t have to worry about your Trustee taking it. 

Oklahoma Bankruptcy Means Test, Bankruptcy Forms, and Exemptions for Muskogee

Oklahoma Means Test

The main purpose of the Oklahoma bankruptcy Means Test is to compare your monthly income and expenses to determine whether a Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge would constitute an “abuse” of the relevant provisions of Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code. The main mechanism used for determining whether you can qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Muskogee is your income. This is known as the Oklahoma bankruptcy Means Test. Nearly all your income is included in the means test – including gifts and gambling winnings. If you do not qualify for Chapter 7, you may consider filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy to get relief. 

Median Income Levels for Oklahoma

Oklahoma Median Income Standards for Means Test for Cases Filed In 2023
Household SizeMonthly IncomeAnnual Income

Poverty Levels for Oklahoma

Oklahoma Fee Waiver Eligibility for Cases Filed In 2023

Eligible for fee waiver when under 150% the poverty level.

Household SizeState Poverty LevelFee Waiver Limit (150% PL)

Oklahoma Bankruptcy Forms

The Oklahoma bankruptcy forms are the specific forms that people filing bankruptcy in Muskogee submit to the Bankruptcy Court during the course of their case. The Oklahoma bankruptcy forms for Chapter 7 cases are comprised mostly of the official national forms; anyone who files for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Muskogee uses these forms. All of the bankruptcy forms are available for free online.

Oklahoma Exemptions

Oklahoma bankruptcy law protects most of your assets when you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Muskogee. This is done through asset protection laws known as Oklahoma bankruptcy exemptions. These bankruptcy laws protect your property from being taken by your bankruptcy Trustee or creditors. You can find Oklahoma bankruptcy exemption laws in Title 31 of the Oklahoma Statutes and the Constitution. Make the most of these exemptions to maintain a stable life and maximize your fresh start. Oklahoma bankruptcy exemptions offer protections that can protect most assets that you own in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Muskogee.

Written By:

The Upsolve Team

Upsolve is fortunate to have a remarkable team of bankruptcy attorneys, as well as finance and consumer rights professionals, as contributing writers to help us keep our content up to date, informative, and helpful to everyone.

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