Chapter 7 Lawyers in Tulsa, Oklahoma
The Henson Law Firm, PLLC is a Chapter 7 bankruptcy law firm in Tulsa, Oklahoma that can assist you if you are considering filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Chapter 7, sometimes called “liquidation bankruptcy” or “straight bankruptcy,” is generally the simplest and quickest form of bankruptcy in Oklahoma. It generally takes 90-120 days to complete. Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy puts a stop to the collections process. This is called the automatic stay. Once you file for Chapter 7, creditors must stop collecting payments, foreclosures are halted, and creditors are not permitted to repossess property. At the end of this bankruptcy process, your debts will be discharged. This is called the “fresh start.” You will not have personal liability for debts that have been discharged. During the bankruptcy process, in exchange for the fresh start, you may be required to turnover some of your nonexempt property to the bankruptcy trustee. The trustee is appointed by the court to oversee your case and to possibly pay creditors with proceeds from certain nonexempt property you may possess.
However, because of Oklahoma’s generous bankruptcy exemptions, most filer’s assets, including their home, are exempt, meaning they can move quickly through the bankruptcy process without losing property through liquidation. In other words, they go through bankruptcy and keep their home, keep their furnishings, keep their clothing, keep their qualified retirement accounts, and often times, keep their cars too.
How to Qualify for Oklahoma Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
In 2005, Congress overhauled the bankruptcy process to favor creditors over debtors. Debtors are required to pass a “means test” in order to qualify for Chapter 7. The Oklahoma means test includes a complicated formula that compares a person’s income and family size with the average income in their county. If your income is below the median for your family or household size, you automatically pass the means test and qualify for Chapter 7.
If your income is above the median, you may still qualify for Chapter 7. This is where the complicated formula is applied and where most people get overwhelmed with the complexity. Certain expenses like insurance costs, medical bills, donations to charity, or tax withholdings can be used to reduce your gross income and get you under the median so you can still qualify. The best news is that you do not have to calculate this on your own. The Henson Law Firm will help you calculate your income for purposes of the means test.
Certain People are Exempt from the Oklahoma Means Test
- Disabled veterans who incurred 50% or more of their debts while on active duty;
- People whose debts are more than 50% business debt (non-consumer debt);
- Social Security Income is not included for means testing;
- CARES Act, COVID-19 stimulus payments are not included for means testing.
The Chapter 7 lawyers at the Henson Law Firm in Tulsa, Oklahoma can take the time to assess your situation, help you understand your rights and options under the law, and assist you with the bankruptcy process, if appropriate. There may also be alternatives to Chapter 7 bankruptcy available to you. The Henson Law Firm in Tulsa, Oklahoma is here to help.
What Property is Exempt in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
When you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Tulsa, Oklahoma, some of your property will be considered exempt and cannot be seized by the bankruptcy trustee for the benefit of your creditors. In order to claim Oklahoma exemptions for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must show that you have been a resident of Oklahoma for at least two years prior to your bankruptcy. What property is exempt under Oklahoma law in Chapter 7 bankruptcy?
- Your home and up to one acre of land if you live in a city, town, or village (the exemption is unlimited as long as less than 25 percent of the home is used for business purposes); the home must be your primary residence.
- Your property, not to exceed 160 acres of land, if you don’t live in a city, town, or village (the exemption is unlimited as long as less than 25 percent of the home is used for business purposes); the home must be your primary residence.
- Your mobile home, provided it is your primary residence.
- Household and kitchen furniture including a personal computer and related equipment.
- All personal and family books, portraits, and pictures.
- Clothes not exceeding $4,000.
- A single motor vehicle up to $7,500 in value.
- Tools used in your trade up to $10,000.
- Wedding and anniversary rings not to exceed $3,000.
- Guns not to exceed $2,000.
- Health aids professionally prescribed for you or your family.
- Personal injury or worker’s compensation claim up to $50,000.
- Qualified pension and retirement plans.
- Your right to receive alimony, support, separate maintenance, or child support payments.
Do you have questions about what property might be considered exempt in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy? In many Chapter 7 bankruptcy situations, families don’t have to sell or surrender any of their property. The Henson Law Firm is a Chapter 7 bankruptcy law firm in Tulsa, Oklahoma that can review your situation and help you understand what Chapter 7 bankruptcy might mean for you and your family.
Need Help Filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Tulsa, Oklahoma?
The Henson Law Firm is a Chapter 7 bankruptcy law firm that can help you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. However, before moving forward with any type of bankruptcy, it is important to understand the pros and cons of any bankruptcy solution, and to assess the various options available to you. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is not the only option. If you have been struggling to pay your bills, you are not alone, and bankruptcy may be an option. Contact the Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyers at the Henson Law Firm in Tulsa, Oklahoma today to schedule a FREE initial consultation to find out how we can help secure a stronger financial future for you and your family.
*We are a debt relief law firm in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
*We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.