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Bankruptcy May Be Your Option

How do the Oklahoma bankruptcy exemptions work?

Not all property of a bankruptcy estate is subject to disposition by a trustee sale or otherwise during a bankruptcy. The U.S. Bankruptcy Code contains express exclusions from bankruptcy of certain property and assets, and it also makes allowances for states to come up with their own sets of bankruptcy exemptions, which many of not all states have.

In some states the bankruptcy petitioner has the choice whether to use the federal or the state bankruptcy exemptions; in other states the choice is made for the petitioner by state law. Oklahoma is one of the states in the latter category: if you make use of bankruptcy protection in this state, you must use the state's exemptions and cannot use those contained within the federal bankruptcy law. Note that this does not, however, prevent you from using some federal non-bankruptcy exemptions, which we will not go into detail about in this post

Oklahoma exemptions cover a wide range of personal, agricultural, other exemptions; there are 24 different enumerated types of exemptions in the Oklahoma exemptions statute. These include the more well-known exemptions such as the homestead exemption, as well as many lesser-known ones such as rights vested in spousal and child support payments and the personal vehicle limited exemption. Amounts received as damages awards from litigation are also exempt, although exemplary or "punitive" damages are not.

The process of identifying which Oklahoma bankruptcy exemptions you are eligible to use can be easy to identify in some cases (for example, you will likely not need to be concerned with the many farm-related exemptions if you do not own a farm), but in other situations it may be harder to determine eligibility. In these cases, having the assistance of a bankruptcy attorney who is familiar with Oklahoma's exemptions statute can be very helpful in ensuring that you make the maximum use of the exemptions available to you.

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