At Matthew E. Riggin Bankruptcy Attorney at Law, we focus on several different areas of the law on behalf of our Oklahoma clients. In addition to bankruptcy, we offer legal services in matters of estate planning, criminal defense, and real estate.
Under the US Bankruptcy Code, individuals or families who find themselves regularly unable to pay their debts can seek debt relief by filing for bankruptcy. As soon as you file for bankruptcy, several things will happen. Collection agencies and creditors will no longer be allowed to call you or contact you, except through the bankruptcy court. If you’re under any wage garnishments or tax liens, filing for bankruptcy will temporarily halt them. This is also true of any foreclosure or repossession proceedings that may be underway.
Bankruptcy only allows you to wipe out “dischargeable debt,” including credit card bills, medical bills, past-due utility payments, and other unsecured loans. Student loans, alimony payments, fines associated with criminal convictions, taxes, and child support are considered to be “non-dischargeable” in all kinds of bankruptcy. Whether your dischargeable debt is wiped out sooner or later depends on what kind of bankruptcy you’re filing. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, this debt is erased after about four to six months, while in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy your dischargeable debt isn’t erased until you’ve completed the terms of a practical debt repayment plan over a three-to-five year period. A Tulsa bankruptcy attorney can assist you with understanding the law in more detail as it pertains to your own situation, but knowing a little more general information about the difference between Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be helpful.
Creditors may also choose to settle rather than risk losing what they’re owed as a result of a bankruptcy filing. If settlement, loan modification, or other approach to dealing with your debt may be preferable, your bankruptcy attorney can help you explore these options. Either way, you’ll likely be on the track to a better financial reality than the one you’re in now.
At Matthew E. Riggin, we assist families with creating wills, trusts, powers of attorney, advance health care directives, and other legal documents to safeguard their rights and interests, including establishing gun trusts on behalf of local gun owners. We also counsel personal representatives who may need advice about how they can discharge their probate duties effectively and affordably. We also assist our clients with estate administration matters such as probate.
If you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor crime such as DUI, drug possession, or domestic violence, it’s in your interest to seek legal representation immediately. Working with a criminal defense attorney after an arrest can significantly increase the chances of your case being dismissed or of beating your charges. At the least, a qualified lawyer can often find ways to get your charges – and any associated penalties – significantly reduced. There may be legal or scientific technicalities involved in your case that could prove your innocence, but no police officer or prosecutor is going to point them out to you. Your lawyer, on the other hand, can go over your case with a proverbial fine-toothed comb and find ways to keep you from paying the penalties associated with a guilty verdict, which may include prison time, expensive fines and fees, mandatory counseling, and – in the case of a DUI – license suspension. Our firm also represents clients who have been cited for moving violations and expensive traffic tickets.
When you’re purchasing a home, you can’t expect your realtor to give you any legal advice if a problem comes up during a closing. Your realtor isn’t qualified to counsel their clients in legal matters, and furthermore, they have a stake in seeing that their client’s transaction goes through. A real estate lawyer, on the other hand, has no such conflict of interest and can put a second pair of eyes on your closing agreement to make sure everything is in order. Having a legal representation during a closing is an affordable, effective way to protect your investment and see that you don’t become exposed to fraud, misrepresentation, or other legal pitfalls. Contact us today to find out more about the benefits of having legal representation during a closing.