Bankruptcy Process in Oklahoma City and Surrounding Areas
1. Mandatory Credit Counseling
You must take a mandatory bankruptcy education class prior to filing your case. This costs around $25.00 and can usually be done quickly online. I recommend www.debtorwise.org. When taking this class be sure to list my email address which is firstname.lastname@example.org so that the certificate will be emailed to me.
2. Get the Necessary Documents to Me:
a. Past 6 calendar months of Pay Check Records and Bank Statements
b. Prior 2 years of State and Federal Tax Returns
c. Obtain a credit report or have me pull all 3 bureaus for you for $35.00
d. Auto titles to all vehicles in your name
e. List of all regular expensss (excluding bills to be discharged)
f. List of all property owned such as furniture, cars, guns, jewelry, 401ks, stocks, accounts receivable, etc.
3. File Petition, Schedules, and Statement of Financial Affairs with the Court
I will analyze your financial situation and determine that, based on the means test, you qualify for filing a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. You will come in to my office and I will go over all your paperwork with you prior to signing to make sure that we have everything listed correctly and have included all of your creditors. I can have your papers ready for you to sign and get your case filed, usually, within 2 days of you providing me the needed materials.
4. Meeting of Creditors
This is an informal meeting giving your creditors the opportunity to ask you questions regarding your debts. While most creditors do not attend, this is also an opportunity for the Trustee to make sure that you have filled the paperwork out correctly listing all of your assets, all of your debts and all of your income. You will be under oath so you must be honest at this hearing. Actually though, these meetings are usually very short and most people find that they are not as big of a deal as they thought it would be.
4. The “waiting period”
After the meeting of creditors there will be a period of time (usually about 60 days) in which creditor may object to your discharge. This rarely happens under normal situations. Things that can cause a debt, or even your case, to be denied is lying on your schedules or not divulging all of the relevant information about your debts, assets and/or income up front to me so they can be listed in your forms. Even if you think it’s not imortant please tell me so I can make that determination. I am here to help you make the best decision for you and your family but I can not do that unless you tell me everything there is to know about your finances.
5. Financial Management Course
This is a class similar to the one you had to take prior to filing bankruptcy. You can take it online and the cost is around $15.00 through www.debtorwise.org. In a Chapter 13 case you may also take a very informative class that satisfies this requirement for free on most Thursdays at the Bankruptcy Courthouse. You can actually take this class anytime after I send you your case number.
This is the carrot at the end of the process. Permanent debt destruction for all discharged debts.
7. Credit Rebuilding
I have many credit rebuilding programs that can get you back into all the advantages that having good credit can give you in a surprisingly short amount of time.
The Chapter 13 process is very similar in all respects to a Ch. 7 prior to filing. The documents needed are generally the same. The key difference in a Chapter 13 is that your case will contain what is called a “plan”. This is a budget of sorts that determines and tells the Trustee who is to be paid as well as when and how much they are to be paid. This plan must be accepted and approved by the Trustee as well as your creditors. However, really only the secured creditors having loans like car payments and mortgages have any voice in the process. The approval of your plan is called “plan confirmation” and usually happens within 3 months of filing your case. The unsecured creditors are paid what is determined to be your ability to pay them back as calculated by the means test. The means test is also the test used to determine whether you qualify for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and determines what your disposable income, if any, is.
Once the Chapter 13 case is filed, you will begin making the plan payment 30 days from that date. It is really impossible to determine what the plan payment might be without an in-office consutation. EMAIL ME to schedule a free consultation.
The plan will be confirmed, usually, within 3 months of filing the case. You will continue making the plan payment for a period of 36 to 60 months. The length of time depends on a number of factors such as (1) how much time you may need to get current on an asset that you are wanting to keep (2) your income; basically, if you don’t qualify for a Chapter 7 based on results from the means test then you will have to be in a Chapter 13 plan for 60 months regardless unless you are paying back all of your creditors 100% and you pay them all off early. There are other factors that can affect this and I can explain them to you based on your particular situation.
After you complete the plan you will be eligible for a discharge! Call today (405) 255-2380 or EMAIL ME to set up your free consultation.