Bankruptcy Lawyer Norman, OK
You may be familiar with bankruptcy already, or this might be your first time considering taking action to get out from under your debt – but whatever your situation, you can count on a bankruptcy lawyer in Norman, Oklahoma.
Bankruptcy is an overwhelming process, and there’s a social stigma surrounding it. However, you should never feel too intimidated or ashamed to consider bankruptcy, and you should learn all you can about the process beforehand. When you declare bankruptcy, you’re taking an important step to getting your finances – and your life – back in order. But you should always be aware of the risks.
The Risks of Bankruptcy
It’s true that declaring bankruptcy is a way to escape your debts. You can get relief from all those crushing financial obligations that might be weighing you down, and you can finally breathe easy knowing that your creditors are satisfied. This new freedom alone is enough to make many people consider declaring bankruptcy when their debts start stacking up, and bankruptcy lawyers in Norman, OK, make the process easy. However, there’s always a catch.
When you declare bankruptcy and liquidate your assets, you’re also taking a major hit to your credit score. Good credit is necessary for anything from taking out a loan to getting a new home – and it can even affect your employment prospects. Many employers perform background checks when considering new job applicants, and these background checks usually include a credit check as well.
Aside from setting yourself up for additional challenges in the future, the immediate impact of your bankruptcy might sting even more. You’ll need to understand the different types of bankruptcy and what they can entail for your near future, as well as how they’ll affect your financial situation several years from now.
The Two Main Type of Bankruptcy
There are many different chapters of bankruptcy. You might have heard of chapter 11, for example, which applies to corporate restructuring. When you read about individual bankruptcy, however, you’ll really mainly be dealing with two different chapters: Chapter 7 and chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the more drastic option. It’s also known as liquidation bankruptcy for a reason: It entails you selling off your assets (this includes second homes, cars over a certain value, collections, and even family heirlooms) to pay off your debt. It’s a major decision, and liquidating everything you own can be incredibly painful. Fortunately, there’s another option.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy provides you with a little more time to get your financial situation in order, and usually doesn’t involve selling off all of your prized possessions. Instead, you’ll have to satisfy the requirements of a court-mandated payment plan, which means developing a strong financial plan for the next few years while also making regular payments to your creditors.
Contact a Bankruptcy Lawyer Today
Nobody likes the idea of bankruptcy. Unfortunately, financial difficulties can happen to anyone. Whatever your current financial situation, you should know that there’s always a way to get out from under your debt, and getting legal input before you declare bankruptcy is absolutely essential.
What Should I Do After Filing Bankruptcy?
Hold on to Your Paperwork
You may feel tempted to shove your bankruptcy paperwork into a filing cabinet or drawer and never look at it again, but resist the urge. Your bankruptcy lawyer in Norman, OK, may recommend you keep the documents handy in case creditors continue to hound you for a discharged debt. You may also need the documents to wipe your credit report of old debts. Save yourself a lot of hassle and time by keeping your bankruptcy documents close at hand.
Check Your Credit Report
A few months after filing bankruptcy, check your credit report to ensure it lists your debts as discharged. If you notice a debt that should not exist, work with your bankruptcy lawyer in Norman, OK, from Marty Martin Bankruptcy Law to contact the credit reporting agency with a copy of your discharge letter and debts that qualify for discharge status. Another reason to check your credit report a few months after declaring bankruptcy is so you know how much work to invest in rebuilding your credit.
Revisit and Change Your Habits
Do you know which financial habits caused you to file for bankruptcy? While you may not want to think about the path that led to your financial situation, doing so helps ensure you do not repeat the same mistakes. Perhaps tweaking your budget or eliminating unnecessary spending could keep more money flowing in than going out. Maybe you make impulse purchases when you feel anxious or stressed. By examining your financial footsteps, you get a better understanding of your relationship with money and how to improve your monetary health.
Create a New Budget
After declaring bankruptcy, make a new budget. You may have debts you no longer need to account for, and Marty Martin Bankruptcy Law could offer you tips for improving your budgeting skills. Focus on eliminating unnecessary spending and reducing essential expenses. For instance, clipping coupons, using membership or rewards cards and subscribing to cashback apps could help save money on groceries. If your expenses outpace your income, consider picking up a part-time gig. If you become a gig worker, learn how to navigate your taxes with insights from your bankruptcy lawyer in Norman, OK, so you don’t solve one financial problem only to create another one unintentionally.
Have a Savings Strategy
If you do not already have one, open an emergency savings account, preferably an interest-bearing one. Prioritize putting money into the account every time you get paid or have extra money. Knowing you have money for emergencies and hard times could help you avoid a lot of stress.
Questions To Ask a Bankruptcy Lawyer
How Do I Know if Filing for Bankruptcy Is Right for Me?
A good bankruptcy lawyer in Norman, OK, such as those at Marty Martin Bankruptcy Law, will not just rush into helping you file for bankruptcy. Your attorney should talk to you about both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy options, including the advantages and disadvantages of not only each choice but of filing bankruptcy in general. He or she should tell you what you can expect from either option, including how filing will impact your finances in the coming years.
Who Will Be Handling My Case?
A law firm that has many different attorneys may try to pass cases around to “ease the workload” or make it seem faster. That can be a problem for you, though. If you mesh well with the attorney who consults with you about your case, you probably want to work with that person for the duration of your bankruptcy filing. It will be disappointing if your case is handed off to another attorney, especially if your personalities don’t mesh well or if you receive contradicting information. Bankruptcy can take anywhere from a few months to five years, so make sure your attorney is prepared to stick with you through the long haul.
Should I Anticipate Any Problems?
A professional bankruptcy lawyer in Norman, OK, should be able to spot anything that the courts may consider a red flag. The right attorney typically has handled hundreds of bankruptcy cases and will know which judges and trustees are appointed to your case. Knowing what to expect from the judge can help you determine sooner if there are issues and help you to find solutions before they delay your bankruptcy case or cause even bigger issues.
How Will You Communicate With Me During My Case?
Communication during your bankruptcy case is essential. It is important that you and your attorney have the same communication styles if you want your bankruptcy case to be a success. Will your attorney call daily or weekly? If you prefer email, will he or she communicate that way for you? Is your attorney only available during business hours or will he or she be reachable during the weekend? Consider communication needs in advance to ensure you have what you need during your case. At Marty Martin Bankruptcy Law, our bankruptcy lawyer in Norman, OK, communicates with you on your terms.
The right lawyer can help you fully understand your bankruptcy options, and can walk you through your next steps so you’re never alone in your bankruptcy battle. Contact Marty Martin Bankruptcy Law today, and see how a bankruptcy lawyer in Norman, OK, can help you save your future.