Credit Lawyer Oklahoma City, OK
If you are struggling with your personal finances and are worried about what filing for bankruptcy might do to your credit score, you undoubtedly have some questions about the bankruptcy process and what it entails. Thankfully, you can get all of your questions answered when you schedule a consultation with a credit lawyer Oklahoma City, OK residents trust. The team at The Law Offices of Marty D. Martin is here to help you navigate all of your bankruptcy and credit repair concerns.
What exactly is bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy is a federal procedure that allows debtors to eliminate and/or catch up on their debts and restructure their finances. There are two different types of bankruptcy for consumers, Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Once you file, you are federally protected from creditors and the potential punishments that come with overdue debts. Speaking with an experienced Oklahoma City, OK credit lawyer can help you to determine which approach is better for your situation.
What does Chapter 7 bankruptcy entail?
Known as liquidation bankruptcy, Chapter 7 is reserved for debtors who don’t earn much income and have little ability to pay back their debts in the future. The Court has the power to sell off a filer’s non-exempt assets before forgiving their eligible debts. Thankfully, most Chapter 7 filers don’t own many non-exempt assets. As a result, many people choose to file under Chapter 7 as their eligible debts are completely forgiven once non-exempt assets have been sold.
What does Chapter 13 bankruptcy entail?
Those who file Chapter 13 must restructure their debts and pay those debts back over a 3-5 year period before the remainder of their eligible debts will be forgiven. When filing, you and your Oklahoma City, OK credit lawyer will have to provide the Court with a detailed payment plan which will be determined based on your income and value of your property. Your Oklahoma City, OK credit lawyer will work with your creditors to figure out what kind of regorganization works for both you and them. Those who choose this option tend to keep all of their assets, which provides a sense of security and peace of mind.
Can I choose what kind of bankruptcy to file, or is the option chosen for me?
There are certain eligibility requirements when it comes to filing for bankruptcy. For example, those with a higher standard of living are only eligible for Chapter 13 as the court system believes they will have the assets to repay their debts within five years or less. If you are unsure on which option works the best for you, a consultation with an experienced Oklahoma City, OK credit lawyer can help you.
Will bankruptcy stay on my credit record?
Yes, bankruptcy will stay on your credit report for anywhere between seven to 10 years, depending on what option was filed. However, our Oklahoma City, OK credit lawyer team can help you to determine how to rehabilitate your credit as quickly as possible in the wake of a bankruptcy filing.
What Other Requirements Come With a Bankruptcy Filing?
Bankruptcy is a major life decision that needs to be treated seriously. Because of this, most individuals filing for personal bankruptcy are legally required to participate in both credit counseling and a debt management educational course. In both cases, the goals of these programs are two-fold. The first is to ensure that debtors have learned enough about managing debt to avoid having to file bankruptcy again later in life. The second goal is to help debtors determine if they have exhausted all other options for debt relief/management (short of bankruptcy).
One of these courses must be taken in advance of filing a bankruptcy petition while the other is taken during the bankruptcy process. If you’re worried about the ways in which bankruptcy will impact your finances and your credit moving forward, know that these classes will shed light on these concerns in addition to providing other valuable information. However, the most direct way to receive personalized guidance regarding your concerns is to speak with a credit lawyer Oklahoma City, OK residents trust. By connecting with the experienced team at The Law Offices of Marty D. Martin, you’ll be able to seek personalized answers to your questions that go beyond the generalized information you’ll receive when taking required credit counseling courses as part of the bankruptcy process.
Credit Counseling: Ahead of Filing
Before you can even file for bankruptcy, you’ll need to attend a credit counseling course approved by the Department of Justice for filers in your state. If you’re unsure of which programs meet the criteria set out by the courts, make sure to ask an Oklahoma City, OK credit lawyer. If you don’t sign up for a program that is approved, you won’t receive credit for your efforts and your bankruptcy petition could be compromised.
Debtor Education Course: After Filing
These classes typically last about two hours and cover topics like creating a budget, managing your money and how to use credit responsibly. The timing of the course is specific. It must be taken after you file for bankruptcy but before your debts can be discharged. Course providers must be approved by the Department of Justice for filers in your area. Again, if you’re unsure of where you can take an approved course, let our Oklahoma City, OK credit lawyer team know and we’ll guide you in the right direction.
The costs of both credit counseling and debtor education currently run between $50 and $100 each. Because you are filing for bankruptcy, it is understandable that this could be a financial burden for you. If so, you can request a fee waiver, and it will typically be granted as long as you meet certain income limits.
Are There Emotional Consequences To Filing Bankruptcy?
This may seem like a frivolous question to some, but it is one worth considering. Bankruptcy is a major life decision, and the changes it brings can be both welcome and unwelcome.
On one hand, most people who file for bankruptcy feel a great sense of relief, as though a weight has been lifted off their shoulders. Being in debt is really stressful, and filing for bankruptcy can finally allow debtors to feel like they have a fresh start and a chance at a brighter future.
On the other hand, we can’t ignore the connection between wealth and self-identity. Most people find debt to be very shameful, and they are reluctant to have anyone know about their debt problems. Moreover, there are those who feel that filing for bankruptcy is essentially admitting to being a “failure” who couldn’t manage his or her money. These emotions aren’t rational or justified, but they nonetheless might pop up during the process.
Finally, there are sometimes feelings of loss and limitation after filing for bankruptcy. Chapter 7 filers may need to liquidate some possessions to partially repay creditors, which means giving up material comforts important to you. It also requires filers to learn to live on a leaner budget, and such changes are uncomfortable at best.
All of the emotional consequences that come with bankruptcy can be managed, but they must first be acknowledged. It’s also important to work with an Oklahoma City, OK credit lawyer who won’t dismiss the emotional realities that accompany filing for bankruptcy. They are part of the process and deserve to be treated with the utmost respect. If you’re seeking a knowledgeable yet compassionate approach to the bankruptcy process, our Oklahoma City, OK credit lawyer team will ensure that you’re in good hands.
Common Mistakes to Avoid When Filing for Bankruptcy
If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, it’s important to do proper research about the process and determine if it’s still in your best interests. It’s also crucial to know what not to do before filing. Here are some common mistakes a credit lawyer in Oklahoma City, OK sees bankruptcy clients make.
Lying About Your Assets
When you file for bankruptcy, you’re required to disclose all of your assets and income. This will determine your ability to pay your creditors. The worst thing you can do in this scenario is lie about the assets you have. If you leave out any of your assets and the court finds out, your case could get dismissed.
Maxing Out Your Credit Cards
Just because you have available credit, doesn’t mean you should rack it up before you file for bankruptcy. In fact, as a credit lawyer in Oklahoma City, OK can confirm, making any purchases on credit within 90 days of filing bankruptcy won’t be included in the bankruptcy debts. That means you will be required to pay off the credit debt you recently racked up. To avoid this, don’t use a credit card once you’ve decided to file for bankruptcy.
Repaying Family Members Before Filing for Bankruptcy
A credit lawyer in Oklahoma City, OK has also seen many people pay back family members they borrowed money from before filing for bankruptcy. It’s understandable that you want to settle your debt with family members, but this could backfire. If the trustee finds out that you repaid anyone before bankruptcy, the payment won’t be allowed to go through.
Filing With the Wrong Chapter
When you file for bankruptcy, you have the option of filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. There’s distinct differences between the two and it’s important to understand them. Chapter 7 is best for people with low incomes while Chapter 13 is better for those who want to save their homes. If you’re not sure which Chapter to file, talk to a credit lawyer in Oklahoma City, OK.
Transferring Assets Out of Your Name
Just like you shouldn’t hide any of your assets, you also shouldn’t attempt to transfer them into a family member’s name. While this might seem like a good idea at first, it comes with serious ramifications. For one thing, your bankruptcy case will get dismissed. The court may also accuse you of perjury and you may face hefty fines or jail time.
Not Hiring a Lawyer
While you aren’t required to hire a lawyer to file bankruptcy, it’s certainly in your best interest. Bankruptcy is a complex process and you want someone knowledgeable on your side. He or she will help you file under the right chapter, assist you with the paperwork and help you get the best possible outcome with your case.
“Mr. Martin is very thorough and very professional. I had a consult with several attorneys in Okc and by far Marty Martin put me at ease with his demeanor. He truly cares about his clients and in court he was a true professional. Highly recommended.”