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Bankruptcy May Be Your Option

The Chapter 7 bankruptcy process

There are many people in Oklahoma who are struggling with debt. Some are so deep in debt that simple solutions, such as decreasing spending, are ineffective. Their stress is often compounded by the harassing calls of their creditors. Fortunately, Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be an option to help manage such a person's financial problems. However, the process can be complicated.

As part of the filing, the court requires a great deal of information. A petitioner must provide documents regarding assets, liabilities and information regarding tax filings that are filed during the proceedings, as well as tax filings from the previous year, executory contracts and current leases. For individuals seeking relief through bankruptcy, additional documents are needed that detail income, properties and living expenses. Documentation that an individual has created a debt repayment plan as part of credit counseling must also be submitted.

After filing with the court, the petitioner must meet with a trustee and creditors. The petitioner is placed under oath and must answer questions. Cooperation on the part of the petitioner is important to this meeting. The trustee issues a report within 10 days of the meeting.

Filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition also initiates an automatic stay against creditors. This means that lawsuits cannot be initiated or continued. Additionally, petitioners will likely get some relief from wage garnishment and harassing phone calls from creditors. For many in Oklahoma, the decision to file for bankruptcy is a difficult one to make, likely compounded by the fact that the average person has little experience with the process. As a result, many people seek the help of experienced attorneys who can advise them of their options and guide them through the process.

Source: FindLaw, "Chapter 7: How it Works", Accessed on Feb. 29, 2016

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