Filing For Bankruptcy
Chapter 7, Chapter 13
In these trying economic times a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be the only viable option to help you get a fresh start.
It is critical for you to obtain advice from those who are experienced and knowledgeable in bankruptcy matters. Our years of experience allow us to properly represent debtors who need the protection of the bankruptcy code to liquidate or re-organize their debt in order to get a fresh start.
Our firm has assisted hundreds of clients in successfully navigating the complicated bankruptcy laws. If you need experienced, professional representation relating to bankruptcy, we would like the opportunity to be of service to you.
Clients appreciate our personal attention to their case and enjoy the efficient manner in which our firm handles its representation of them. We would love to put our expertise to work for you
What is the difference in the Bankruptcy Chapters?
Often called the liquidation chapter, chapter 7 is used by individuals, partnerships, or corporations who have no hope for repairing their financial situation. In chapter 7 asset cases, the debtor’s estate is liquidated under the rules of the bankruptcy code. Liquidation is the process through which the debtor’s non-exempt property is sold for cash by a trustee and the proceeds are distributed to creditors.
Does liquidate mean I lose all my property?
Far from it. The trustee is required to liquidate non-exempt assets. The bankruptcy code follows the liquidation statutes in each state. In Oklahoma these are found at Title 31 of the Oklahoma Statutes. In general a person may keep their home up to a certain value (subject to the mortgage), all household and kitchen furniture, tools of the trade, books, portraits and pictures, wearing apparel, a motor vehicle with equity $7,500 or less, etc. In general it has been my experience that persons who file Chapter 7 bankruptcy lose little if any of their personal property.
Often called the reorganization chapter, chapter 11 allows corporations, partnerships, and some individuals to reorganize, without having to liquidate all assets. In filing a chapter 11, the debtor presents a plan to creditors which, if accepted by the creditors and approved by the court, will allow the debtor to reorganize personal, financial or business affairs and again become a financially productive individual or business.
Reorganization for family farmers and fisherman.
An individual with a regular income who is overcome by debts, but believes such debt can be repaid within a reasonable period of time, may file under chapter 13 of the bankruptcy code. Chapter 13 permits the debtor to file a plan in which the debtor agrees to pay a certain percentage of future income to the bankruptcy court trustee for payment to creditors. If the court approves the plan, the debtor will be under the court’s protection while repaying such debts.
Chapter 13 is best suited for those who are behind on their mortgage and want to retain their home. Under Chapter 13 you are permitted to keep your house and under the protection of the bankruptcy court pay the arrearage to make your mortgage current.
Chapter 13 may be the only alternative for certain debtors as under the Bankruptcy Reform Act passed several years ago a debtor must “qualify” for a Chapter 7. If a debtor’s income exceeds the allowable amount for his household he may not file a Chapter 7. Income determination varies from area to area and other factors. If a debtor’s income is too high he can still file Chapter 13 to obtain relief for his/her financial situation.