Introduction To Oregon Bankruptcy
Bankruptcy isnt fun, but its an opportunity to learn, reflect, and regroup. This guide can help you get familiar with the basics, the bankruptcy process, and determine the best course of action for your situation. Our clients resolving to move forward often tell us how much less daunting the experience is than theyd imagined. Get in touch with us when youre ready and well help you explore your options in greater detail.
Can I Protect My House In Bankruptcy
Most homeowners contemplating bankruptcy are concerned with whether they will be able to keep their homes. Depending on the value of your home and how much you owe against it, you may be able to protect the equity, keep the house and discharge other debts. If this issue concerns you, it is crucial that you seek advice from a competent attorney to determine whether you can protect your home in bankruptcy.
Calculating Annual Median Income For Oregon Means Testing
Annual median income equals your CMI multiplied by 12. Therefore, if your CMI is $4,000, your annual median income is $48,000.;Median income is a significant factor in a bankruptcy case. If your median income is more than the Oregon median income for a household of the same size, you may not qualify for a bankruptcy discharge under Chapter 7. You need to complete the second part of the Means Test to be sure. Also, if you are filing a Chapter 13 case, the proposed plan must be calculated based on a five-year plan.
The figures for median income are adjusted every few months, so you must use the current figures when completing the Means Test. The current Oregon median income figures for cases filed on or after November 1, 2020, are:
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Discharge Under Chapter 13
The law surrounding a Chapter 13 discharge is incredibly complex and has undergone several major shifts, thus, it is incredibly important that you talk to a competent attorney who is well-versed in bankruptcy. A Chapter 13 discharge is somewhat broader than a Chapter 7 discharge, and more debts can be discharged. Please consult an attorney.
- You are entitled to a discharge under Chapter 13 once all of your payments are made so long as you:Certify that all of your spousal support and child support obligations have been paid to date;
- You have not received a prior discharge from a different Chapter 13 petition within the last 2 years ;
- You have completed an approved course in financial management.
The discharge releases you from all debts that were included in the plan, except for those debts that cannot be discharged. If your creditor was paid in full or part, he/she/it may no longer initiate or continue legal action against against you to collect on the discharged debt.
For certain debts, such as your mortgage or possible restitution orders, you are still liable for the debts. While you are back on track in terms of making payments, you must continue to make your normal payments on these items.
- Your inability to complete the plan is due to circumstances beyond your control and through no fault of your own;
- Your creditors have received as much as they would have received if you had filed a Chapter 7 petition; and
- Modification of the plan is impossible.
What Is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Chapter 7 bankruptcy eliminates;most types of debt and provides you with a fresh start. Although Congress recently amended the bankruptcy laws to make it tougher to qualify for this type of relief, most debtors contemplating bankruptcy are still able to get a fresh start by filing a chapter 7.
Upon filing a chapter 7, your creditors will receive notice of your case and immediately cease all collections activities. A bankruptcy trustee is assigned to your case to determine whether any of your assets are subject to liquidation. You will be required to attend one hearing with the Trustee to answer questions under oath. Two months after the hearing, the judge enters an order discharging all debts that are dischargeable and closes your case. The main types of debts that are not eliminated in a chapter 7 bankruptcy are student loans, government fines, domestic support obligations and some taxes.
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Bankruptcy Alternatives In Oregon
There are several ways to get out of debt without filing bankruptcy. You may want to consider debt settlement or debt consolidation. Each debt relief option has pros and cons.;Ascend has developed a data driven method of debt payoff that we call the Savvy Method. Our method utilizes the best elements of other debt-relief options to create a Savvy Debt Payoff Planner that is easy to use and effective in helping you to pay off your debts without bankruptcy.;
One important thing to keep in mind is that your creditors are not required to work with you outside of the bankruptcy system. Also, if you do not have the money to pay your debts or you are considering using your retirement or home equity to pay debts, bankruptcy might be a better option.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy In Oregon
- Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Oregon
Filing bankruptcy in Oregon is a serious decision. Having as much information as possible can help you decide if filing bankruptcy is right for you. In this guide to filing bankruptcy in Oregon, we cover several bankruptcy topics that are important to consider before filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 case. We can also help you locate a bankruptcy lawyer near you who can provide additional information about bankruptcy cases.;Keep reading to learn more about:
- Means Testing in Oregon How Does the Means Test Impact My Bankruptcy Case?
- Oregon Bankruptcy Exemptions
- Chapter 7 vs. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Oregon
- Oregon Credit Counseling and Debtor Education Courses
- Bankruptcy Courts and Trustees for Oregon
- Alternatives to Filing Bankruptcy in Oregon
How Filing For Bankruptcy Can Help:
- Completely or substantially eliminating credit card and other debts
- Allowing you to schedule out payments for non-dischargeable tax debt
- Letting you rework a vehicle that is worth less than what you owe
- Providing alternatives to losing your home due to foreclosure
- Stopping financially-detrimental wage or bank garnishment
Are There Fees Associated With Filing The Petition
There currently is a filing fee of $335 for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and $310 for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The fee amounts are adjusted every three years, so check with the Court or an attorney for the current amounts. This fee must typically be paid in full when you file, however you can request to pay the fee in installments. The court can only allow for four installments , but all installments must be paid within 180 days of filing the petition. If you fail to pay the amount due, your petition can be dismissed. If your income is less than 150% of the poverty level and you cannot afford the fee, then the court can waive the fee entirely.
What Is A Bankruptcy Discharge
When you get a bankruptcy discharge, then your creditors cannot make any move to collect their debt.
You can get a bankruptcy discharge on most types of debt. Examples of those debts are old rent payments, credit card bills, medical debts, child support, and most personal judgments. Examples of debts that are not dischargeable are student loans, most tax debts, debts owed to the government, child support, and alimony.
A bankruptcy discharge doesnt get rid of a secured lien on a property. As such, its impossible to get a discharge on a car loan or mortgage. However, if you want to stop loan payments, a way out is by forfeiting the property.
Its a complete waste of time and money to file for bankruptcy without getting a bankruptcy discharge. Without the discharge, you will be required to pay your debt payment even though you filed for a bankruptcy discharge.
However, there are some ways a debtor can benefit from merely filing for bankruptcy discharge. For example, you can file for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Oregon immediately after filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Oregon to stretch out undercharged debts.
Although it can be tricky to file for bankruptcy that soon, you should speak to your lawyer about what the law says on that.
Collect Your Oregon Bankruptcy Documents
Everyone who files a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Oregon should start by doing this as your bankruptcy documents will be helpful in every step of the way going forward. The first thing you should do is collect all the paycheck stubs that you and your spouse have received in the last 6 months. If you are getting paid by direct deposit, odds are they have been emailed to you and should be easy enough to locate in your inbox. If you get regular checks, and haven’t kept track of the stubs, ask your payroll department to provide you copies. You should also get a copy of your credit report from each one of the three reporting agencies. You are entitled to get a free copy once per year and can request them directly from the agencies, or go through a third party. The other documents that will come in helpful when filing bankruptcy in Oregon are recent statements for your car loan and mortgage , your two most recent federal income tax returns, and, if you were divorced in the last 10 years, a copy of your divorce decree.
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Bankruptcy Court Filing Fees
The bankruptcy court charges a fee when you file your paperwork. If you cant afford the fee, you can ask the court to waive it if:
- youre filing a Chapter 7 case
- youre an individual , and
- your family income is less than 150% of the federal poverty guidelines.
If you can pay over time, you can ask to pay the filing fee in installments over 120 days, instead. The clerks office of your local bankruptcy court can show you how to make either request.
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Dealing With Your Car
If you have a vehicle, you will have to deal with it as part of your bankruptcy. After all, everything you own is an asset in your case. If you don’t have any equity because you are still making payments on your car loan, then filing Chapter 7 in Oregon gives you the opportunity to walk away from the car and the loan. If you don’t want to surrender the vehicle, but you also don’t want to keep making payments on a loan with bad terms, you are able to redeem it for its current value, thereby paying only what the car is worth. The discharge will remove your liability on whatever is left owing on the loan after your either surrender or redeem the vehicle. Finally, if you like your car, and your loan make sense for your family, then you can keep everything basically the same by entering into a reaffirmation agreement. If you do have equity, or your car is paid off completely, then as long as it’s worth less than $3,000 it is protected by the Oregon bankruptcy laws as long as you claim the correct exemption on your Schedule C.
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Get A Seasoned Advocate In Your Corner
Struggling with substantial debt is difficult enoughfiling bankruptcy on top of everything else can seem incredibly daunting. Wisehart Law, PC. is here to help you navigate the process. Thanks to our years of experience in bankruptcy law, we have a thorough understanding of Oregon’s current bankruptcy laws.
Our firm is dedicated to assisting those in need. We have proudlyhelped hundreds of clients navigate the legal process of filing bankruptcy, conducting lengthy meetings and coordinating with service agencies. Notably, we have successfully helped a disabled veteran keep his childhood home by working through Chapter 13 bankruptcy and fighting for property tax debt forgiveness while simultaneously helping him devise a plan to avoid the same issue in the future with upcoming taxes.
Wisehart Law, PC. understands that every situation is unique, and we will work directly with you to address the details of your case. No matter how complex your circumstances, we can help you find your best option.
Very professional, understanding, and easy to talk to.– Kim Padgett
I highly recommend his services.– Justin Reynolds
Darin helped me through the entire bankruptcy process from start to finish.– Anonymous
Im Being Garnished What Should I Do
If you are being garnished or fear that you will be garnished because of unpaid debts, you need to act quickly to protect your rights. We help Oregonians stop garnishments and recover garnished money through the bankruptcy process. Contact us today for your free consultation.
We are a debt relief agency.; We help people file for relief under the Bankruptcy Code.
The information and materials provided in this article have been prepared for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice and do not constitute an attorney-client relationship between you and this law firm. If you believe you have a legal case or claim, you should contact an attorney promptly; strict time limitations may apply to your case or claim.
Oregon Coast Bankruptcy Lawyer Coming Your Way!
Jessica Nomie Law is expanding its borders to the Oregon Coast. This expansion includes Columbia County, Clatsop County, and Tillamook County.
If you are looking for an Oregon bankruptcy attorney, you dont have to drive to Portland to meet with an experienced bankruptcy attorney anymore! I now have an office in Seaside, Oregon so that Oregon Coast residents can meet with a local bankruptcy attorney to discuss Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy options.
Below is a list of cities we hope to serve:
- St. Helens
- Cannon Beach
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Can I List Only Certain Debts That I Want Relief From
No. When you file for bankruptcy, you have to list all of your debts.
Youll file paperwork with Bankruptcy Court called schedules, which list all debts and assets.
That includes listing any debts that you want to keep and continue paying.
But you can still choose to pay certain debts. Listing debts doesnt mean youll stop paying all of them.
Enter Into A Debt Management Program
A debt management program is basically a less formalized Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, wherein a credit counseling agency helps you to develop a plan to pay back some or all of your creditors over a period of time. This type of program is preferable to filing bankruptcy because then you dont have a bankruptcy on your credit report. While not having a bankruptcy on your credit report is great, by entering into a debt management plan you dont get the protection of the bankruptcy court. For example, if you miss a payment in a Chapter 13 repayment plan, you are protected from further collections actions, however if you miss a payment during a debt management program, your creditors could start collections against you. Further, for Chapter 13 filers, you usually only end up repaying a portion of your debts and the rest get discharged. In a repayment plan you will usually pay your debts in full.
It is also important to note that choosing a credit counseling agency should not be entered into lightly. There are many scam programs out there. It is safest for you and your money to chose a credit counseling agency that has been approved by the United States Trustee or one that is associated with the National Foundation for Credit Counseling .
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Go To Court To File Your Forms
Since a some of the information on your bankruptcy forms is time-sensitive, try to head to the courthouse to file everything in the same week you printed it. Even though it may seem a little bit redundant, take advantage of the checklist for filing that the Oregon Bankruptcy Court has published on its website. Not only does it give you a second opportunity to make sure you are not missing any forms needed for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Oregon, it also provides you with a valuable overview of the process as a whole. The bankruptcy court has two locations where documents can be filed. You should check out this listing to determine which division your county falls into. Since everyone filing bankruptcy in Oregon has to enter a federal building to do so, make sure you bring a valid picture ID and be prepared to pass through a security checkpoint on the way in. Finally, if you are not familiar with the part of town the courthouse is located in, look up the best parking options before you head out as the court will not be able to validate your parking.
How To File For Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
If bankruptcy sounds like it may be the right solution for you, learn more about the process in How to File for Bankruptcy in Portland, Oregon.
Or you may want to jump right into a more in-depth resource like Noloâs book, Chapter 13: Keep Your Property and Repay Your Debts Over Time, which walks you through the process step-by-step, including how to fill out and file your bankruptcy forms.
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