Do I really need a lawyer? Why can’t I just do this myself? Well, you do need one. That’s one I feel pretty confident in answering. Unless you have done them before, there is a very steep learning curve. My average case has 70 to over 100 pages of documents filed. You have to run a statutory means test, got to do many schedules, you’ve got to understand the statement of financial affairs. You’ve got to gather up the correct period of paystubs, and run all that through math calculations to determine what’s left over and what can be taken out and what can’t. In other words, it’s almost impossible, even on a simple bankruptcy, for you to get it right. And even if so, your paperwork will probably be missing statutory language. So, there’s that.
Secured debts can be bifurcated, talked about that last time. If you bought your car, for example, less than 310 days prior to the filing of the bankruptcy, you can bifurcate your note into secured and unsecured portion.
Unsecured means that there is no collateral securing the debt, hence unsecured. As opposed to a secured loan, which, for example, a car note. If you default on the loan, got to give the car back. Or mortgage, default on the loan, got to give the property back. That property, whether it’s personal or real is security for the lender that they’re going to get at least some of their loan paid back. So, what are unsecured debts? Well, number one, credit card, medical bills. Probably 75% of the debt that I see discharged in bankruptcies or paid a portion thereof, in chapter 13s and then ultimately discharged, is unsecured debt. It’s the easy one. It’s the one you want when you’re in a bankruptcy.
The only situation you might get into trouble is if you’ve got a credit card through a bank that has cross collateralized the loan and we’ll talk about cross collateralization in another video, but your general credit cards, MasterCard, Visa, that are just issued as single cards, generally they don’t even attempt to get collateral.
Oklahoma Attorney Edward Kelley goes over part 2 in his series on Chapter 13. The 3 year plan is based on your income. If your income is under the cutoff for a chapter seven and you would be able to do a seven if you wanted, then your chapter 13 will be only three years or 36 months in duration. You can still take it out as long as 60 months if you need to, to cover the secured debt.
Most people think they are totally out of luck on taxes, but that’s not entirely true in the state of Oklahoma. The rule is that if taxes have been properly filed and are at least three years old, that’s going to be three years from when they were filed them, they can be fully discharged.
Around 25% of our clients have tried use debt consolidation and it was found that the companies did not negotiate a settlement that they could afford. In many cases, they were almost unable to stop the auto-draft from the debt consolidation companies.
Can I get rid of all of my debt? No. Student loans and child support are not forgiven or dis-chargeable. Although, if your taxes are three years old, they can be discharged. Remember that’s three years from when they’re filed.
Chapter 13 is basically a debt repayment plan approved by a federal bankruptcy court and administered by a court-appointed bankruptcy trustee. Each bankruptcy case is different, but the following information is a general summary of what you can expect under Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Oklahoma.
Federal bankruptcy law allows debtors to discharge certain debts in order to receive a fresh financial start. There are, however, limitations to what an individual can do under federal bankruptcy laws. This article discusses a few of the main limitations of filing bankruptcy for debt relief. Non-dischargeable Debts Federal bankruptcy law only allows you to […]
There are few common questions individuals and families ask regarding the discharge of student loans through bankruptcy: Can I file bankruptcy on my student loans? Are private student loans dischargeable? Are federal student loans dischargeable? The answer to each of these questions is yes, but only under certain conditions. Read on to learn the conditions […]
When filing bankruptcy, certain mistakes may jeopardize your ability to eliminate all or most of your debt. In some cases, these mistakes may even deprive you of the chance to receive any discharge at all. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can help protect your interests throughout the bankruptcy process and help you avoid these seven common Chapter […]
Like most Americans, Oklahomans often equate the pursuit of higher education to the pursuit of a better life for themselves and their families. But recently, the cost of higher education, which rose 15% between the years 2008 and 2010, has become a huge problem for many, and the words “higher education” have become synonymous with […]
Most people when filing bankruptcy have some debt secured by assets that they would like to keep. For instance, they might have a house with a mortgage or a car with a car payment. In these circumstances (assuming there is a bankruptcy exemption to cover the assets, which there normally is) the chapter 7 filer […]
A common question I get from clients at the Debt Line Law Office, is, “What should I do about that Petition I was just served with from a creditor.” Below is the general outline of the advice I give. The Summons will tell you the time that you have to file an Answer or […]
I had a client come in today wondering what the chances are for her to convert her Chapter 13 to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. She started into her 5 year Chapter 13 plan about a year ago and she is going to retire soon and won’t have the same income as she did before. Section […]
There are many difficult things about bankruptcy. Categorizing your debts should not be one of them. Here are some quick rules of thumb in knowing just what category your debts fit into. The three categories for debt are Secured debt, Unsecured debt and Priority debt. Secured debt consists of any debt to which there is collateral […]