Written by the Upsolve Team.
Updated July 27, 2020
When you’re sinking under insurmountable debt, you may feel as if there’s no way out. However, by filing bankruptcy in Tulsa you can keep your home and car and get harassing creditors off of your back. Contrary to what people believe, filing bankruptcy in Tulsa isn’t an act of desperation or a last resort. Filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Tulsa is an honest, fair, and time-honored way to easily reorganize your debt and start anew. The high poverty rate of 20% in the city is one reason why many people in Tulsa consider filing for bankruptcy relief.
Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 of the US Bankruptcy Code provides ways for you to avoid desperate measures, such as selling off property that you need on a day to day basis or liquidating your hard-earned retirement fund. There are many crucial differences between a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. One of the biggest differences is the time involved. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Tulsa is usually done within four to six months of filing. You will also get to keep most of your assets, such as household furniture and clothing. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a reorganization where you or your attorney come up with a payment plan that must be approved by your bankruptcy Trustee and the Court to repay some of your creditors within five years. Under this chapter, you may keep all your property, but you need to have a steady income that’s enough to satisfy the requirements of Chapter 13 bankruptcy. If you are filing bankruptcy in Tulsa, you have to decide whether to file for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. The eventual benefit of Tulsa bankruptcy is renewed financial stability and the peace of mind you can enjoy from regaining some financial breathing room.
There is a lot of misinformation out there regarding Tulsa bankruptcy, and a lot of what you think you know may not be true. People think that if they file Oklahoma bankruptcy, everyone will find out about it. Unless you are a movie star, famous politician, or professional athlete, it is likely that the only people who will know about your bankruptcy are your creditors. Also, you don’t need an attorney to file Tulsa bankruptcy as you can get free legal help or file bankruptcy on your own!
Tulsa Bankruptcy Lawyers - Estimated Cost
Filing bankruptcy in Tulsa is often very affordable considering other alternatives. The typical cost of a bankruptcy lawyer in Tulsa ranges from $800 to $1,250. Most attorneys in Oklahoma will work with you regarding a payment plan in case you don’t have the whole amount available immediately. A bankruptcy lawyer in Tulsa can help you fill out all the paperwork and gather all the necessary documents. However, if you can’t shell out about $1,000 to hire a Tulsa bankruptcy lawyer, then don’t worry. This is because you can file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Tulsa on your own as the process is not as complicated as you may believe.
How to File Bankruptcy in Tulsa, Oklahoma for Free
Considering filing bankruptcy in Tulsa? If you don’t have the money to hire a lawyer in Oklahoma, then don’t worry we have you covered. Want to know how to file bankruptcy in Tulsa for free? This City Guide and other resources will give you an overview of the Tulsa bankruptcy process so that you can get out of debt soon.
Collect Your Tulsa Bankruptcy Documents
The documents you need to file bankruptcy, such as pay stubs for the past six months, bills and tax returns, are simple to gather. Filing bankruptcy in Tulsa may seem intimidating at first, especially when looking at the Oklahoma bankruptcy documents. However, the amount of paperwork is considerably less than most folks realize. To make sure that your list of debts and debt collectors is complete, consider requesting a copy of your credit report. Filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Tulsa comes with strict requirements to be truthful, accurate, and complete in your bankruptcy forms, so meet them to ensure things go as smoothly as possible.
Take Credit Counseling
Oklahoma requires filers to take a pre-petition bankruptcy credit counseling course when filing bankruptcy in Tulsa. However, bankruptcy credit counseling isn’t like the things that you often see on TV. Credit counseling is a mandatory course that you have to take before filing Oklahoma bankruptcy. The course is fairly simple, and you can take it over the phone or on your computer. Only a counseling agency authorized by the Office of the US Trustee can issue you a valid credit counseling certificate that you have to submit to the Oklahoma bankruptcy Court along with your Tulsa bankruptcy petition. Money Management International is an approved creditor counselor in Tulsa.
Complete the Bankruptcy Forms
This is the part of the bankruptcy process when things get a little technical. If you are planning on completing the Tulsa bankruptcy forms by yourself, you should review this instruction manual before getting started. It will explain all of the bankruptcy forms you have to complete for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Tulsa. These Oklahoma bankruptcy forms ask you to describe your recent financial status and financial transactions. You may download all official bankruptcy forms for Tulsa as fillable PDF documents for free. As these documents will be part of the official Court record in your Tulsa bankruptcy case, make sure that you don’t miss any questions.
Get Your Filing Fee
While it may seem odd that people filing bankruptcy in Tulsa have to pay a filing fee to the Bankruptcy Court to do so, keep in mind that not every bankruptcy case is the same. Some individuals in Tulsa make a comparatively high income when they file bankruptcy; it’s just not sufficient to keep up with all their minimum payments. The fee to file your Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Tulsa is $335. On the other hand, Bankruptcy Court fees for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing are set at $310. If you are not able to collect the full filing fee before you file bankruptcy, plan ahead and complete an application to make payments on it after filing bankruptcy in Tulsa.
Print Your Bankruptcy Forms
If you have a bankruptcy attorney helping you with your Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Tulsa, they’ll submit all your Tulsa 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 Tulsa without a lawyer, you’ll have to bring your paperwork to the Court in person. To save your time at the courthouse, carefully review all pages and sign your name wherever necessary. It is always helpful to have a comprehensive checklist in front of you when you print everything. You have to print everything on standard, white, 8.5" x 11" paper.
Go to Court to File Your Forms
Although filing bankruptcy in Tulsa can be completed by mailing all of the relevant documents to the Bankruptcy Court, if possible, it’s best to go to the Court in person. If you’re not familiar with the area around the Tulsa Bankruptcy Court, make sure you look up what type of parking is available before you head out. When filing bankruptcy in Tulsa, make sure you bring along the second copy of all forms with you and have the courthouse clerk endorse or stamp it. The courthouse where you’ll submit your paperwork is located right in Tulsa. The clerks at the Court will take your Tulsa bankruptcy forms and your filing fee and then provide you with a case number.
Mail Documents to Your Trustee
A couple of things happen once you’re done filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Tulsa. A Tulsa bankruptcy Trustee is assigned to administer your case. The job of the Trustee is to make sure that no one is hiding anything from the Bankruptcy Court or their creditors. The Trustee also sells items that the Oklahoma bankruptcy laws do not protect and acts on behalf of unsecured creditors as their unbiased representative in all Chapter 7 bankruptcy matters. Your Trustee needs to review your latest federal income tax return so you should send a copy to their office. Cooperate with your Trustee to make sure your discharge is entered as soon as possible.
Take Bankruptcy Course 2
In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Tulsa, you have to take the debtor education class within forty-five days of the date scheduled for the 341 meeting of creditors or risk having your case closed without a discharge. Unlike the credit counseling course, this class is all about financial management. It will help prepare you for dealing with the various financial pitfalls which led to your Tulsa bankruptcy. After you’re done with this course, make sure you ask whether your course provider will file the certificate of completion with the Court on your behalf. There are many approved debtor education providers in Oklahoma. Stand Sure Information Services, Inc. is an approved course provider in Tulsa.
Attend Your 341 Meeting
One of the next things that happen once you file Tulsa bankruptcy is your meeting of creditors, also known as a 341 Meeting. This is a fairly simple meeting, and all Oklahoma bankruptcy cases have it. At this meeting, you need to have your social security card and driver’s license. You have to attend this meeting, or your bankruptcy case will be dismissed. The Trustee will examine your documents and ask you some questions. What most people in Tulsa do not realize is that the meeting does not involve a judge. Typically, this meeting lasts less than ten minutes. 341 meetings in Tulsa are held at these locations.
Dealing with Your Car
Many people are understandably worried about what will happen to their vehicle after filing bankruptcy in Tulsa. However, what they do not realize is that they’ll have the opportunity to do what makes the most sense financially. If you’re happy with everything as is and do not have any problems paying the balance of your loan, you may keep everything essentially the same by entering into a reaffirmation agreement. Of course, there is another option, which is to surrender your car to the creditor. In this case, your lender will file a motion with the Oklahoma Bankruptcy Court, asking permission to retake your car.
Oklahoma Bankruptcy Means Test, Bankruptcy Forms, and Exemptions for Tulsa
Oklahoma Means Test
The Oklahoma bankruptcy Means Test aims to determine whether you’re eligible for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Tulsa or if you have sufficient money to repay your creditors. The Means Test is a crucial part of the Bankruptcy Reform Act. The Oklahoma bankruptcy law requires Chapter 7 filers to pass the Oklahoma Bankruptcy Means Test to see if they qualify. The test helps prevent unqualified people from using Chapter 7 to discharge all of their debts, despite the fact that they can pay some of them back. If you do not earn below the median household income in Oklahoma you won’t qualify for Chapter 7 and you will have to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Median Income Levels for Oklahoma
Oklahoma Median Income Standards for Means Test for Cases Filed On or After May 1, 2020
|Household Size||Monthly Income||Annual Income|
Poverty Levels for Oklahoma
Oklahoma Fee Waiver Eligibility for Cases Filed On or After May 1, 2020
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 essentially a set of forms and attachments that you have to fill out and file with the Bankruptcy Court. The Oklahoma bankruptcy forms required when you first file Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Tulsa are comprised of the official forms used nationwide and some local Tulsa bankruptcy forms. You’ll have to complete all these forms when filing bankruptcy in Tulsa. All of the Oklahoma bankruptcy forms are available online at the US Bankruptcy Court.
Oklahoma bankruptcy exemptions offer protections that can protect property you own when you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Tulsa. You can find Oklahoma bankruptcy exemption laws in Title 31 of the Oklahoma Statutes and the state Constitution. These exemption laws protect the majority of assets for most individuals in Oklahoma who have lived in the state for at least the last two years. It is extremely important to list all your belongings in your bankruptcy forms and claim them as exempt on Schedule C when filing bankruptcy in Tulsa. You are entitled to exempt one car of up to $7,500 in value. The homestead exemption in Oklahoma puts no cap on the value of your home.