This is Part II of our two-installment blog post answering frequently asked questions about bankruptcy in Oklahoma. Part I of this blog provides more bankruptcy information so if you missed it you can view it here. We address many of the issues and questions by those with overwhelming by debt and consider filing bankruptcy Tulsa as an option. Our Tulsa Attorneys recognize that many people will have questions about their specific situation. Thus we invite you to contact us to set up an initial consultation.
Appearing in Court:
Most consumer bankruptcies do not involve an appearance in a bankruptcy court. Debtors do have to appear at a “meeting of creditors”. This is an informal proceeding that creditors may or may not attend. The meeting is conducted by the bankruptcy trustee who will ask questions about information in your schedules and other paperwork. If you own a home, it is common that a representative of the mortgage company will attend. Many times there are no creditors that even appear at this informal proceeding.
Credit Scores After Filing Bankruptcy:
Bankruptcy will damage a debtor’s credit rating for a period of time. However, the long-term impact may be to improve a person’s ability to obtain financing. When a person obtains a discharge, the individual’s debt to income ratio improves immediately. Further, someone who has obtained a Chapter 7 discharge will be ineligible for another immediate Chapter 7 discharge. This makes the person a better credit risk than a person who has not previously filed for bankruptcy. Many people will re-establish credit with a secured credit card. They then graduate to unsecured cards with less than optimal interest rates. If an individual continues to make timely payments, the credit terms will improve. Debtors can even qualify for an FHA loan two years after their Chapter 7 discharge.
When You Know Its Time to File Bankruptcy:
While most people with no significant non-exempt assets would prefer to file Chapter 7, this requires meeting the income qualification requirements. If a debtor’s household income is below the median for a family of the same size in the state, the individual will qualify for Chapter 7 under the means test. These thresholds are far less exacting than needs based testing for public benefits. For example, the threshold to qualify for Chapter 7 was slightly over $60,000 per year for a family of four in bankruptcies up to April 30, 2012.
Bankruptcy Without Hiring an Attorney:
Although there is no requirement that a person have representation an Oklahoma bankruptcy attorney, there are significant advantages to working with a knowledgeable bankruptcy lawyer. The paperwork for filing bankruptcy is extensive and contains terminology that may be confusing and unfamiliar. Mistakes made because a debtor is not well versed in the law and procedures of the bankruptcy process can have devastating consequences. For example, we order and analyze credit reports from the three main credit bureaus because a bankruptcy discharge will not apply to any creditor who is inadvertently omitted from the bankruptcy paperwork. Debtors also benefit from having a legal representation at the meeting of creditors which can be intimidating without legal representation.
Filing Bankruptcy Tulsa Information:
While we have endeavored to answer many common questions about bankruptcy in Oklahoma, our local Bankruptcy Attorneys invite you to contact us with more specific questions about your situation. Filing bankruptcy Tulsa doesn’t have to be so difficult. Bankruptcy is a great solution helping you resolve your financial problems it does come with lots of questions. Don’t go it alone. Stop creditor harassment and get a new financial start.