Chapter 7 You Have Options

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Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorneys in Tulsa

Helping You Obtain Crucial Debt Relief

If you are feeling overwhelmed by credit card debt, medical debt, signature loans, or other unsecured debts, you are not alone. The total credit card debt in America has surpassed $1 trillion and many Americans are finding themselves struggling with debt they cannot pay off.

At The Colpitts Law Firm, we understand the stress that collection calls and unpaid bills can place on you and your family. We take great pride in offering tailored advice for your specific situation. Our bankruptcy attorneys can help you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and overcome the challenges you are facing.

To arrange an initial consultation and find out what we can do for you, contact us at (918) 302-2662.

Understand Chapter 7 Bankrupcty

Credit card debt, medical debt, and signature loans are unsecured by collateral and it can often be completely eliminated through the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process. Those debts may also be reduced by simply contacting the creditors and asking them to work out a payment arrangement with you.

Some creditors are willing to work with you rather than risk losing the opportunity for repayment should you decide to file for bankruptcy. You may also decide to arrange to repay your debts by working with a reputable debt relief organization.

Keep in mind, however, that this process is slow and tedious and if you do settle an unsecured debt for less than the owed amount, you may be subject to pay taxes on the amount you did not have to repay. However, if you file bankruptcy, the unsecured debts will be discharged entirely, and you will not be subject to taxes on those discharged debts.

Finally, a debt work-out typically take years longer to rebuild your credit than bankruptcy. The simple truth is that the credit scoring system responds better to a bankruptcy than to a non-bankruptcy debt work-out. The Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorneys at The Colpitts Law Firm can help evaluate and advise you as to your best debt relief plan.

Trustees to Oversee Sale of Your Assets

In filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a court-appointed trustee is assigned to your case and will require you to turn over any non-exempt assets to be liquidated and sold to pay your debtors. The trustee is given a commission for overseeing this process.

Every individual is allowed to keep certain property. This property is exempt from your bankruptcy estate, and therefore, called exempt property. If you have lived in the state of Oklahoma for at least two years, you are allowed to use the Oklahoma exemptions, which are likely the most favorable exemptions in the union.

In most Chapter 7 bankruptcies, by volunteering to sign a "Reaffirmation Agreement," you may reaffirm (state your desire to repay and demonstrate the ability to do so) certain debts if you desire to retain ownership of the property such as your home, car(s), and furniture for which you are still making payments. Whether to sign a reaffirmation agreement can be a complex issue, but it is one that The Colpitts Law Firm can walk you through.

Chapter 7 bankrupcty Exemptions

While Chapter 7 bankruptcy will completely wipe out a large portion of your debt, it is important to remember that you will still be responsible for paying certain debts.

Even with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will still have to pay:

  • Alimony payments
  • Child support
  • Criminal fines and restitution fees per a court order
  • Student loans
  • Certain taxes

Am I Eligible For Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Determining your eligibility for Chapter 7 bankruptcy involves meeting certain criteria set forth by the bankruptcy laws. While it is essential to consult with a qualified bankruptcy attorney to assess your specific situation, here are some guidelines to help you understand if you may be eligible to file for Chapter 7.

  • Means Test: The test compares your average monthly income to the median income in your state for a household of similar size. If your income falls below the median income, you typically qualify for Chapter 7. However, if your income is above the median, you might be eligible to file for Chapter 13.
  • Financial Hardship: You must be able to prove that you are experiencing financial hardship. This may include circumstances such as unemployment, significant medical expenses, or other financial challenges that make it hard to repay your debts.
  • Credit Counseling: Before filing for Chapter 7, you must complete a credit counseling course with an approved agency within 180 days. The course helps you evaluate your financial situation, explore alternatives to bankruptcy, and understand the implications of filing for bankruptcy.
  • Previous Bankruptcy Filings: If you have filed for bankruptcy before and received a discharge, there are specific time limits between filings. Generally, you must wait eight years from the date of a previous Chapter 7 discharge before filing for Chapter 7 again. If you previously filed for Chapter 13, the waiting period is typically four years.

Considering Chapter 7? Your eligibility may be subject to additional factors and considerations based on your individual financial circumstances. Consult with an experienced Chapter 7 attorney at The Colpitts Law Firm who can completely and accurately assess your eligibility and determine the next best course of action for you.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Timeline

The idea of declaring bankruptcy can be intimidating to many people, especially those who don’t know what’s ahead of them. If you’re considering filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you might be dreading the uncertainty of what lies ahead in the days, weeks, and months to follow. So exactly how long does it take to file bankruptcy? To help you better understand what this process entails, here is a brief and highly-simplified Chapter 7 bankruptcy timeline.

How To File Bankruptcy Chapter 7

  1. Initial Consultation: Schedule a no obligation consultation with one of our bankruptcy attorneys. We will have you complete a short intake form prior to the meeting. At the consultation, we will discuss your current situation, including your income, property, and debts, and evaluate whether Chapter 7 is the proper path for you. Afterward, we will give you a longer questionnaire, which you can complete by hand or online, as well as a list of documents to provide to our office.
  2. Preparation of Your Case: Before we can file your Chapter 7 case, you will need to complete the mandatory paperwork and provide the necessary documents. Once we receive your paperwork, our team will prepare your case. If there are any missing documents or information, we will contact you. Your file will be thoroughly prepared and reviewed prior to scheduling an appointment for you to review and sign it. Additionally, you are required by law to complete a credit counseling course, which usually takes around 90 minutes and can be done either online or by phone. We will provide you with the credit counseling course information and let you know when it is time to complete it.
  3. Filing: Once your Chapter 7 case is prepared and has been closely reviewed by one of our attorneys, we will schedule you an appointment to review and sign the paperwork. You will have the chance to review everything to ensure it is all accurate. You will then meet with one of our attorneys to discuss any questions you might have, as well as the next steps. After your appointment, our team will electronically file your case with the appropriate court. Once your case is officially filed, your Automatic Stay will immediately go into effect. The Automatic Stay prevents credits from contacting you or attempting to collect a debt.
  4. Provide Documentation to Your Trustee: Once filed, your case will be assigned a bankruptcy trustee who will oversee affairs and liaise between you and your creditors. Our office will need to provide the trustee with your most recent tax return, pay stubs, and other documents requested. This will happen within a few days of your filing.
  5. Attend a 341(a) Meeting of Creditors: Roughly 30 days after your case is filed, you will attend a Meeting of Creditors that is conducted by your trustee. Most of the time, your creditors themselves do not attend. At the meeting, the trustee will put you under oath and ask you a few questions about your bankruptcy paperwork. These meetings usually don’t last more than 15 minutes or so, and some last less than five minutes. One of our attorneys will meet with you prior to the meeting to discuss the questions the trustee will ask, as well as answer any questions you might have about the meeting or your case in general. One of our attorneys will be present with you for the entirety of the meeting.
  6. Mandatory Budget Counseling: Before your discharge is entered, you’ll have to complete a budget counseling course by phone or online. One of our attorneys will provide you with the course information at your Meeting of Creditors. Once you have completed the course, the company will file the certificate with the court.
  7. Discharge: After your Meeting of Creditors, your creditors will have 60 days to object to your debts being discharged. This is a rare occurrence—if we anticipate a creditor objecting, we will discuss that with you prior to your case being filed. Also during this time, the trustee will make arrangements for you to transfer any non-exempt property to him/her for liquidation—if you have any, that is. Before filing your bankruptcy, our goal is to make you aware of any property that you may lose in the bankruptcy so that you can make an informed decision prior to filing. Once this process is completed, the court sends you a notice that your debts have been discharged. This is the official completion of your case.

Remember, your own case is unique and has its own circumstances and obstacles that must be overcome in order to complete it. To learn more about what your own specific timeline would look like, it’s strongly advised you discuss your options with one of our Tulsa Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorneys.

Contact The Colpitts Law Firm at (918) 302-2662 to discuss your options today.

The Colpitts Difference

What You Can Expect With Us
  • Thousands of Bankruptcy Cases Handled
  • American Board Certified
  • Extensive Knowledge of Bankruptcy Law
  • Almost Three Decades of Experience

Hear from Clients We've Helped

Client Testimonials
    Lauren Colpitts is a wonderful, kind, patient and extremely knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney.

    “Sad to say I had to file bankruptcy but I am blessed to have found Colpitts Law Firm and specifically Lauren Colpitts. Lauren is a wonderful, kind, patient and extremely knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney. She has never made me feel guilty about having to f”

    - Carolyn
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