How do you know if you are eligible to file for bankruptcy?

All who are saddled with debt are eligible for some kind of debt relief, but what kind depends on a number of circumstances, including their relative debt, income, and assets. A skilled Tulsa bankruptcy attorney can assist you in determining which type of bankruptcy you may be eligible for and counsel you as to whether this is the best way forward for you and your family in getting a new lease on your financial life.

Can you keep your home & vehicle if you file for bankruptcy?

The court allows a person filing bankruptcy in Oklahoma to keep certain assets. These possessions are known as exempt property. Oklahoma is one of the most forgiving states in the U.S. when it comes to exempting property from the claims of creditors. With a few restrictions, a debtor can keep his or her home, clothes, personal belongings, furniture, a vehicle, tools that they use for work or to work a farm, and can even keep a certain amount of livestock.

During a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you may be at risk of losing these assets unless you are current on your payments, whereas under Chapter 13 bankruptcy you may be allowed to hold onto this property even if you are significantly behind on them. Your bankruptcy attorney can tell you more about the difference between Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy and how the law may apply in your own case when it comes to retaining these important assets.

What happens in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case?

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is reserved for people who meet or are below the Oklahoma state income-level threshold. If you qualify, you will be assigned a bankruptcy trustee who will evaluate your assets, sell any valuable possessions, and use those proceeds to pay back your creditors. Don’t fret about losing everything, however; many assets are exempt and ineligible to become part of the bankruptcy estate. The good news is that these bankruptcy cases are usually completed within six months or less and you emerge with a clean slate.

What happens in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case?

If you choose to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will not be required to liquidate your possessions, but rather will agree to a repayment plan at a lower rate than your current monthly bills and will diligently pay these debts back at the more reasonable rate over three to five years. As long as you make your negotiated payments, you will be able to retain your assets.

Which is better: a will or a trust?

Whether a will or a trust might be better for you and your family depends largely on the specifics of your financial situation. Families with less complex asset portfolios can benefit from the affordability and simplicity a will provides, while families who require a more versatile estate plan may find the extra time, expense, and energy that a trust requires well worth it. However, this is entirely circumstantial. Your estate planning lawyer can help you evaluate your own financial situation in determining whether a will or a trust may be better for you.

How can an attorney help during the probate process?

One of the primary advantages of a trust is that they aren’t required to go through probate in order to become legally valid. Probate is the process by which a will becomes valid in the state of Oklahoma and is overseen by a personal representative who is often named in the will itself. A good probate attorney can often save a personal representative significant time and expense and help them protect the assets of a testator for the sake of future generations.

Do you need a real estate attorney if you’re buying a home?

While it’s perfectly legal to purchase property without legal representation, working with a Tulsa real estate lawyer during a residential transaction can help protect your significant investment both in the short term and for years to come. Let Matthew E. Riggin Bankruptcy Attorney at Law review any contracts you are a party to and help you ensure that you’re not at-risk of any errors that may come back to haunt you later. Also, by working with a real estate lawyer, you’ll be shielding yourself against the prospect of fraud or frivolous litigation.

Do I need to retain a real estate lawyer if I’m already employing a real estate broker?

In short, yes. Though you are not required by law to work with both a realtor and real estate attorney, you are much more vulnerable to costly complications if you forgo legal counsel. Though realtors are very knowledgeable about the markets, home values, and processes, they are not qualified to dispense legal advice pertaining to a transaction. In fact, it is considered unethical for them to do so because of the fact that they are paid on commission. They may be inclined to omit their awareness of issues in order to seal a deal.

What are your firm’s hours of operation?

Our office is open for client meetings Monday through Thursday from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm, and Fridays from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm.

With enough advance notice, we can also accommodate off-hour appointments. Just let us know what you need and chances are we can make it work.

What forms of payment does your firm accept?

Matthew E. Riggin Bankruptcy Attorney at Law accepts payment via cash, cashier’s check, check, or money order.

Matthew E. Riggin Bankruptcy Attorney at Law serves Tulsa, Broken Arrow, and other Oklahoma clients as a bankruptcy, estate planning, and real estate lawyer. If you have more questions not covered in our FAQ or are ready to get started with a reputable attorney, contact us today at (918) 251-0213 to schedule a free consultation.