Protecting Debtor’s Rights
Is bankruptcy the best choice?
There is no doubt that the economy is struggling in the United States. Families are suffering from severe debt, excessive credit and other loans that seem to be insurmountable. When you are at the state of considering bankruptcy, it can seem like a desperate time, but with the help of a skilled Oklahoma bankruptcy attorney, you may be able to keep some or all of your property. If you are wondering whether it is the time for you to file bankruptcy, contacting a lawyer at our firm will help you find answers. By looking at finances, records, property and other factors, our firm may be able to determine the best option for you.
Don’t ignore your damaged financial situation, certain signs and indicators may alert you to the fact that bankruptcy is the best choice. When problems with finances are identified, they shouldn’t be ignored in hopes that they will disappear, the debt still remains. Receiving collection calls at work or home, falling behind on payments, having your car repossessed, or losing utilities for your home are indicators to consider bankruptcy. Seeking skilled legal help early on may help you to have a better outcome if you decide to file bankruptcy. You owe it to yourself and your family to find out what options are available to you. More importantly, you need to know the rights you have as a debtor so that creditors don’t take advantage of you.
Once the bankruptcy has been filed and gone through the court, an automatic stay will be put into place, halting all creditor action towards you. That means that they can’t leave any messages, call you at work or home, send you letters, or have any other form of communication with you regarding payments. It also protects certain assets you may need to continue living normally. When you are behind on utility payments and the company threatens to shut off water, electric, gas or other services, the automatic stay will be able to prevent that from happening during the proceedings.
Foreclosure, eviction, and wage garnishments are other dangers that the automatic stay may be able to temporarily prevent for you. While it cannot eliminate the deadline for these factors, it does provide time to readjust your finances and get back on your feet, especially with wage garnishments. You will be able to take home your full salary with the possibility of discharging the debt in bankruptcy.
While it provides the potential for delaying debt payments, it cannot prevent certain tax proceedings, support actions, loans from a pension, multiple bankruptcy filings or criminal proceedings. Creditors will try to remove or “lift” the automatic stay once it’s in place if they can claim it doesn’t serve an intended purpose. If your automatic stay is wrongfully requested to be lifted by creditors, The Law Office of Bryon J. Will, P.L.L.C. may be able to help you fight against it.
Oklahoma State Exemptions
Other specific exemptions are provided for you through the Oklahoma State laws for real estate, automobiles and property. For your real estate, the Homestead Exemption provides your principal residence with protection. The new bankruptcy law has a provision that caps it at $125,000 if you are a newer resident living in Oklahoma for less than 40 months. For specific information on caps and your residency time, contact our firm. Another exemption provided is for one motor vehicle valued up to $7,500. It will be protected for your use so that you may continue to have transportation and a means to make a living.
Property that is protected includes some of the following:
- Household and kitchen furniture
- Books used for trade profession
- Equipment used for farming profession
- Firearms not exceeding $2,000 collectively
- Medically prescribed health aids
- Up to a certain number/type of farm animals
- $4,000 worth of clothing
The protections provided through the bankruptcy exemptions in Oklahoma are subject to a case by case situation and depend on the type of bankruptcy you have filed for. If you have any further questions, need information or want to start filing for bankruptcy today, our Oklahoma City and Perry lawyers are available to talk. We are here to help clients get the relief they need in any way we can.
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The Law Office of Bryon J. Will is a debt relief agency. This firm helps people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code. The bankruptcy services or benefits of bankruptcy provided by the firm are with respect to bankruptcy relief under Title 11 of The United States Code. [Title 11, U.S.C.A. Section 528(a)(3) and (4).]