Written by the Upsolve Team.
Updated October 1, 2020
If you’re struggling with your finances and don’t have a good solution, Oklahoma City bankruptcy can be your lifeline. Without bankruptcy, as you struggle to stay afloat, your stress may intensify as your financial situation deteriorates. By filing bankruptcy in Oklahoma City, you can start to focus on things that matter, such as your family, friends, career, and hobbies. Rather than spending all of your time constantly worrying about money, you will feel peaceful, worry-free, and clear-headed. The high poverty rate of 17.1% and lower median income in the city are two reasons why many people in Oklahoma City consider filing for bankruptcy.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Oklahoma City is designed to give you a fresh start. Subject to the means test for individuals, bankruptcy relief is available under Chapter 7 regardless of the amount of your debt or whether you are solvent or insolvent. In contrast, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a reorganization where you or your attorney comes up with a payment plan that must be approved by the Court to repay your creditors within five years. In a majority of Chapter 7 cases, people lose no property when filing bankruptcy in Oklahoma City. Under Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you can keep (“exempt”) property that’s protected under Oklahoma law. It is important to decide whether to file for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. A vast majority of people in Oklahoma City seek Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection, a liquidation bankruptcy that provides filers with a fresh start in as little as a few months.
Many of the preconceived notions that many people have about filing bankruptcy are simply false. Bankruptcy often gets a bad reputation based on these half-truths. People think that if they file bankruptcy, they will lose everything. The truth is that most people filing bankruptcy in Oklahoma City keep everything and still get a discharge of their unsecured debt. And contrary to popular belief, you don’t need an attorney to file Oklahoma City bankruptcy as you can get free legal help!
Oklahoma City Bankruptcy Lawyers - Estimated Cost
If you hire an attorney, they will file your Oklahoma City bankruptcy petition, help you through the Means Test and represent you in Court. The typical cost of a bankruptcy lawyer in Oklahoma City ranges from $800 to $1250. Most attorneys in Oklahoma City will work with you regarding a payment plan in case you don’t have the whole amount available all at once. However, hiring a bankruptcy lawyer is not mandatory, and you can file Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Oklahoma City on your own and save a lot of money.
How to File Bankruptcy in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma for Free
Many people want to know how to file bankruptcy in Oklahoma City for free. If you’re one of them, you have come to the right place. This City Guide and other resources will give you an overview of the Oklahoma bankruptcy process so that you can get out of debt soon.
Collect Your Oklahoma City Bankruptcy Documents
Filing bankruptcy in Oklahoma City involves quite a bit of paperwork. When filling out your bankruptcy forms , you will have to disclose information about your financial affairs, like your expenses, income, and assets. There are some documents that are needed to verify your income when filing bankruptcy in Oklahoma City. This is done using your paycheck stubs for the last six months and your federal income tax returns for the last two years. It is good to collect all these documents before filing Oklahoma bankruptcy. To make sure that your list of debts and debt collectors is complete, it’s best to get a copy of your credit report.
Take Credit Counseling
If you decide to file bankruptcy in Oklahoma City, you will have to complete a mandatory credit counseling course through a government-approved agency. The idea behind this credit counseling course is to make sure that you know what you are getting into, what your other alternatives are and the extent of the consequences. It will take about one to two hours to complete this course and having all the Oklahoma City bankruptcy documents you collected nearby will be useful as you go through it. The course is fairly simple, and you can take it over the phone or on your computer. CCCS of Central Oklahoma is an approved creditor counselor in Oklahoma.
Complete the Bankruptcy Forms
Completing the bankruptcy forms before filing bankruptcy in Oklahoma City is the part of the process that is likely to take up most of your time. In addition to your Voluntary Petition for Bankruptcy, you will have to complete all Schedules, and a Statement of Intentions, Statement of Financial Affairs, and several other documents. The first thing you should do is review the instructions manual for the official bankruptcy forms needed for your Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Oklahoma City. If, after going through these instructions, you feel as though they are a little too much to handle on your own, you can check if you’re eligible to have Upsolve help you complete your forms. Keep in mind, though, you’ll be the one that has to answer the questions either way, they just take a different form when you work with Upsolve or with a lawyer.
Get Your Filing Fee
Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Oklahoma City incurs a fee of $338, which is due at the time you file the case. Court fees for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing are set at $313. In light of that, it is crucial to have a plan for how you’ll handle your court filing fee in advance. If you earn less than 150% of the federal poverty line, you can qualify for a fee waiver, meaning your filing fee with the is waived. If you are not able to collect the full filing fee before you file Oklahoma City bankruptcy, plan ahead and complete an application to make the payments after filing your bankruptcy case. Most people choose to pay their fee in four installments.
Print Your Bankruptcy Forms
The truly hard and document-intensive part of getting ready to file Oklahoma City bankruptcy is now complete, and your bankruptcy forms are ready to be filed. Now you will have to print your forms. If you don’t have a printer at your office or house, you can go to a local print shop, like OKC-Digital. If you have a bankruptcy attorney helping you with your Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Oklahoma City, they’ll submit all your Oklahoma City bankruptcy documents to the Court through an electronic filing system for bankruptcy lawyers after you review and sign everything. If you are filing bankruptcy in Oklahoma City without a lawyer, don't print your forms double-sided, and do not staple them together. Also, if possible, print out a second copy of everything for your own records.
Go to Court to File Your Forms
When you go to the Court for filing bankruptcy in Oklahoma City, you should bring along a government-issued picture ID. As the building you’re going to is a federal courthouse, you will need to pass through security on your way in. If you’re not familiar with the area around the Oklahoma City Bankruptcy Court, make sure you look up what type of parking is available before you head out. As there may be a long line at the clerk's office, it is best that you not to wait until the end of the day to go to the courthouse. If you printed a second set of your forms, bring them with you to the courthouse. The clerk will stamp them for you with the date and time your case was filed and your case number.
Mail Documents to Your Trustee
The bankruptcy Trustee is the person designated by the US Trustee’s Office to oversee your Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Oklahoma City and identify any “non-exempt” assets for distribution to your creditors. A Trustee also ensures that all required documents are timely and properly filed and that you’re not hiding anything. Also, they monitor the progress of your Oklahoma bankruptcy case to prevent any undue delay and report any suspected criminal activity. As bankruptcy Trustees in Oklahoma are independent contractors, they have developed their unique process for performing the required due diligence in Oklahoma City bankruptcy cases that are assigned to them. If you haven’t heard from your Trustee within 2 weeks of filing bankruptcy in Oklahoma City, consider calling their office to find out what documents they require.
Take Bankruptcy Course 2
In addition to the credit counseling certificate from an approved agency, you must file a form certifying the completion of the financial management or debtor education course with the Oklahoma Bankruptcy Court. The debtor education course shouldn’t be taken in the same session as the pre-filing credit counseling course. You have to take it after filing bankruptcy in Oklahoma City. There are many approved debtor education providers in Oklahoma. People who don’t comply with this important requirement will learn the hard way that there’s no way around it when their Oklahoma City bankruptcy case gets closed without a discharge.
Attend Your 341 Meeting
Once your Oklahoma City bankruptcy case is filed, a meeting of creditors, also called 341 hearing is set. A notice is sent to all interested parties. The bankruptcy Trustee conducts this meeting without the presence of the judge. This is a fairly simple meeting, and it happens in all Oklahoma bankruptcy cases. The main purpose of the 341 meeting is to provide creditors who have questions regarding your Oklahoma City bankruptcy case a chance to ask you those questions without actually going through the process of scheduling a deposition. At this meeting, you need to have your social security card and driver’s license. You can prepare for the meeting by reviewing all the documents you filed with the Bankruptcy Court.
Dealing with Your Car
If you have a vehicle, the first thing you should do is make sure you list it on your Oklahoma City bankruptcy forms. Whether you will be able to keep the car when filing bankruptcy in Oklahoma City depends on a couple of factors, such as the value of your car and what exemptions you decide to apply. While filing bankruptcy in Oklahoma City is not a way to a free car, it gives you the opportunity to decide what is best for you under the circumstances. If you determine that your auto loan is more than you can reasonably handle, Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Oklahoma City gives you the opportunity to surrender your car without worrying about the outstanding loan, as that’s discharged
Oklahoma Bankruptcy Means Test, Bankruptcy Forms, and Exemptions for Oklahoma City
Oklahoma Means Test
If you’re considering filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Oklahoma City, you have to first pass the Oklahoma bankruptcy Means Test. The test takes into account your expenses, income, and family size in order to determine whether you have enough disposable income to pay off your debts. While the Means Test was designed to limit the number of filers who can get their debts forgiven by filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a majority of people in Oklahoma who take the test pass it easily. Passing the Oklahoma bankruptcy Means Test gives you the green light for filing bankruptcy in Oklahoma City under 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.
|Household Size||State Poverty Level||Fee Waiver Limit (150% PL)|
Oklahoma Bankruptcy Forms
The Oklahoma bankruptcy forms are a combination of the national forms and some local forms developed by the Oklahoma Bankruptcy Court over the years for facilitating a more efficient administration of cases. The national forms are the same in all bankruptcy districts throughout the country. You’ll have to complete all these forms when filing bankruptcy in Oklahoma City. You can download all the online bankruptcy forms for free for use in your Oklahoma bankruptcy case, and there is no need to buy these forms. If you need assistance, check out our free bankruptcy assistance and see if you are a good fit for our free service.
You will not lose all your property when filing bankruptcy in Oklahoma City. Oklahoma bankruptcy exemptions allow you to protect property or assets that you will need to work and live. Oklahoma bankruptcy exemptions protect up to $7,500 of equity in a car. For a married couple filing jointly, the amount is doubled to $15,000.