Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney in Oklahoma City
Securing Your Financial Future With a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Claim
Bankruptcy is designed to give you “a fresh start,” and Chapter 7 bankruptcy takes a “clean slate” approach by allowing you to liquidate your assets and absolve your existing debts. According to Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute (LII), Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the most common form of bankruptcy in the United States.
That being said, not everyone qualifies for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, so you will need to speak to financial advisors and an attorney before you decide to file. At Jarman Law Office, our legal team is here to answer all of your questions and help you take the next steps in bankruptcy court.
Call us at (405) 221-9696 to discuss your case today.
What Is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
Also called straight bankruptcy or liquidation bankruptcy, Chapter 7 bankruptcy eliminates most of your debts while allowing you to keep just enough “exempt” property to start over financially. When you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the court will appoint a bankruptcy trustee to oversee your case. The trustee then takes ownership of your assets, sells them, and gives the money to creditors.
Certain assets are exempt, however, so the trustee will not sell your residence, automobile, retirement accounts, or property you use to make a living. That being said, exemptions often vary by state, so make sure you consult a local attorney before deciding to file for bankruptcy. Keep in mind that many Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases are also “no asset” cases because not everyone who files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy has assets that are not exempt.
Our Oklahoma City Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer can help you evaluate your assets.
Do I Qualify For Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
As soon as you start thinking about bankruptcy, gather all your financial records, including bank statements, credit card statements, loan documents, and paystubs, and schedule a session with an approved credit counselor. You will not be able to file unless you undergo credit counseling first.
Once you have finished with your credit counselor, you will use the documents you gathered to complete court documents. At this phase, we recommend speaking to an attorney, who can help you file a voluntary petition for relief, schedules of assets and liabilities, proof of debtor education, a statement of financial affairs, and other important documents.
When you file for bankruptcy, you will also have to take the “means test,” which helps you calculate whether you can afford to pay any portion of your debt. If you fail the “means test,” you may have to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy instead.
Fortunately, our Oklahoma City attorney can help you with both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases.
Pros and Cons of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Filing for bankruptcy does not come without consequences. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy can remain on your credit report for up to 10 years, which can make it difficult, if not impossible, to get approved for a mortgage or other loans. You will also lose any property and assets that aren’t considered exempt by your state’s bankruptcy laws. If you have a second car or a vacation home, for example, you will not be able to hold onto them during Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceedings.
You will also lose all your credit cards, and you won’t get rid of all your debt. Chapter 7 bankruptcy does not eliminate your student loans, nor your obligations to pay alimony and/or child support. After you declare bankruptcy, you cannot file again for 6 years – even if you face dire financial straits during that time. The best way to think about bankruptcy is as a part of your long-term financial plan.
Even though you need to think about your long-term finances when filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, relief from your debts works fast. You will be practically debt-free within about 3 to 6 months, and you will be able to keep the assets the court considers necessary. Additionally, after a few years (usually 1-3), you may be able to obtain new credit cards and lines of credit, albeit at a higher interest rate. While you get your financial situation back on track, you also won’t have to deal with aggressive creditors. If you run into financial trouble down the line, you will still be eligible for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, as well.
Ultimately, you are the only person who can decide whether Chapter 7 bankruptcy is right for you. Nevertheless, you should make this decision with the help of a financial advisor and a trusted lawyer.
Experience You Can Trust
Jarman Law Office has more than 15 years of legal experience to apply to your Chapter 7 bankruptcy case. We offer personalized, compassionate legal services, and we are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Our legal team is deeply familiar with bankruptcy court, and we will fight for your rights and best interests, every step of the way.
If you’re looking for a firm with an aggressive but personal approach, look no further than Jarman Law Office.