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Oklahoma Bankruptcy Laws



Oklahoma Bankruptcy Laws should be known by every resident of the state of Oklahoma. Owning a lot of credit cards, aside from the monthly obligations can take its toll on an average citizen earning a regular monthly income. Should any untoward hospitalization or expense comes up, the monthly budget will be upset. Delays on payments occur and credit card payments are usually sacrificed. When the time comes that the bills and payments are too much to bear, the individual immediately thinks of bankruptcy protection. Oklahoma bankruptcy laws are strict when it comes to the qualifications and requirements of a debtor to qualify for Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.

One of the requirements before filing for bankruptcy protection is to attend a credit counseling program. This program must be taken 6 months prior to the formal application for bankruptcy and the necessary certification should be submitted together with the required paperwork and filing fee. While this program may not sway the debtor’s resolve to file for bankruptcy, it teaches debtors how to handle their money and manage their debts, as well as develop a budget they can keep. The federal courts do not discourage bankruptcy protection, but it also do not encourage.

There are two choices offered to individuals, couples, and families: these are Chapters 7 and 13. For any bankruptcy type, a trustee is arbitrarily assigned by the bankruptcy courts to process each debtor’s bankruptcy application. Chapter 7, also known as the liquidation bankruptcy, dissolves all your dischargeable debts by selling non-exempt assets. The proceeds will be used to pay off all the creditors and the remaining balance of your debts will be eliminated as per the trustee’s prerogative. While the non-exempt assets are sold, there are federal and state exemptions that won’t be confiscated during the proceedings. This type of bankruptcy program will give debtors their much needed fresh start from their financial obligations.

If a debtor is denied the Chapter 7 bankruptcy program, the other alternative is to apply for Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection. This option is viable for regular income earners and debtors who want to protect their possessions from being liquidated. Chapter 13 is also known as the debt restructuring program as the debtor is enrolled in a repayment plan where debts are repayable for 3 to 5 years. This repayment plan is developed by the debtor, with the supervision of the trustee assigned to the bankruptcy case. When the time comes for the monthly payments to be made, the debtor gives the funds to the trustee, and it is the latter’s responsibility to distribute the payments accordingly.

If the federal laws have specific exemptions to follow, Oklahoma bankruptcy laws have defined a list of assets protected from the creditors and are subject to the court’s protection. The list of exemptions is presented:

• A home acquired within a period of 1,215 days before filing for bankruptcy with an equity of $125,000 or if more than the specified number of days, may be kept without limitations;
• 75% of wages for the last 90 days;
• Clothing worth $4,000;
• A vehicle up to $7,500;
• Wedding and anniversary rings amounting to $3,000;
• Tools of trade worth $10,000;
• Other personal belongings and personal benefits like life insurance, burial plot, and funeral benefits.

The debtor may choose to elect the services of a lawyer, but he can file the bankruptcy application himself.