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.
Will Filing Bankruptcy In Oregon Erase My Debts
Bankruptcy wipes out many bills, like , overdue utility payments, medical bills, personal loans, and more. You can even get rid of a mortgage or car payment if you’re willing to give up the house or car that secures the debt.
But you can’t discharge all debts. Nondischargeable debts, like domestic support arrearages and recent tax debt, won’t go away in bankruptcy, and student loans aren’t easy to wipe out . You’ll want to be sure that bankruptcy will discharge enough bills to make it worth your while.
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Sales Debt And Bankruptcy
You may have experienced a financial hardship and now are deciding whether to file bankruptcy in Oregon. We are sorry to hear that you are needing to read this article right now, but our goal is to explain how everything works, so you can decide whether bankruptcy is right for you. Heres what well cover:
Help My Income Exceeded The Chapter 7 Means Test Allowable In Oregon
If your median income is above the state median income, you may need to look at part 2 of the means test or at an alternative.
The Means Test is a two-part test, so it is not a simple pass-fail test. If you fail the first section, you can pass the second section and still qualify under Chapter 7.
You can learn more about passing the Chapter 7 means test when income exceeds the median.
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How Do I Start Bankruptcy In Oregon
If you are filing a no-asset Chapter 7 and you are in the red every month, a do-it-yourself bankruptcy might be the way to go. The forms are available here. However, be aware that even a no-asset Chapter 7 is quite complicated. It’s like filing a corporate tax return without consulting the instructions.
A Bankruptcy Petition Preparer bankruptcy might be an option as well. Nonlawyer BPPs fill out forms for you. But that’s all they can do. They cannot give you any advice and certainly cannot represent you in a bankruptcy hearing.
A partnership with a bankruptcy lawyer is always an investment. But one that can pay dividends. Lawyers review your case and lay out your bankruptcy and non-bankruptcy options. Furthermore, attorneys take care of all the complex paperwork. All you do is review and sign. Finally, as discussed above, only an Oregon bankruptcy lawyer can represent you in court and may help you with money-saving options.
C Oregon Debt Management
Debt settlement companies negotiate lower amounts. Debt management companies negotiate lower interest rates. This is the key distinction. Often these programs last 3 or 5 years. This option is often more expensive than debt settlement and some creditors such as personal loan lenders may not work with the debt management company. There may be debt management credit score implications as well.
Who may debt management in Oregon best for? Debt management may be best for those that have all high-interest credit card debt, and a reduction from 22-30% interest rate to a 10% interest rate would continue to make the debt affordable.
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With Our Firm You Will Receive:
1. A team approach to solving your problem. You are not hiring a single lawyer but are hiring a team of lawyers and staff who have a combined 50 years of experience doing bankruptcy work in Oregon. Lawyers in our firm have done approximately 10,000 bankruptcy cases so to paraphrase an insurance company we know a lot because weve seen a lot
2. Your consultation will be with an attorney who expects to spend about an hour getting your questions answered. Bankruptcy can be a stressful process and people have varied goals besides just debt elimination. You want it done RIGHT THE FIRST TIME with no surprises. It is worth spending more time speaking with a lawyer and develop a strategy to solve your financial problem.
3. Your attorney meets with you to sign the bankruptcy papers. It is absolutely vital that the roughly 40 page bankruptcy document is accurate and presents the information in a way to facilitate your goals. Once you and your paralegal have made an initial review of your paperwork, the attorney will spend as much time with you as needed reviewing the paperwork and make any necessary changes. Some firms charge lower fees because they rely on a staff member to review your petition with you.
File Your Petition In Bankruptcy Court
After youve got your petition and supporting paperwork in order, you must file it in the correct Oregon district court. You can visit our bankruptcy court page for Portland, Oregon to find your local court and other important information, like local rules and requirements that you might have to meet when you file.
When you file your petition, you must pay the filing fee by cash or money order, unless you apply for a fee waiver or payment in installments.
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How Chapter 13 Payment Plans Work
Under Chapter 13, you propose a plan to repay your creditors all or part of what you owe, usually using your future income. If the court approves your plan, you will make payments on your debts for either three or five years. The time and amount of your repayment plan will depend on:
- your income
- the kinds of debt you have
- the value of the property you own, and
- your expenses.
If your current monthly income is less than your stateâs median income for your family size, your plan will usually be for three years. If your income is greater than the state median income, you must usually propose a five-year plan.
What Is A Bankruptcy Means Test
The objective of the Bankruptcy Means Test is to determine who is eligible to apply for debt forgiveness through a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. It considers your:
- income and expenses
- household size and composition
- debt-to-income ratio
If you do not qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will be able to file for Chapter 13, as above-described.
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Getting Professional Legal Advice
$0 to $2,500
As mentioned in the previous section, at some point in the bankruptcy process, you may decide to hire someone to help you. If you qualify for free legal aid and help is available near you, this could cost you nothing. Or, if you just want help with the mechanical task of completing the forms and donât need legal advice, you can hire a bankruptcy petition preparer .
But if you have questions about how to interpret a particular form, or want an opinion about how bankruptcy law, state exemption laws, or federal tax laws apply to your particular situation, you may want to hire a bankruptcy lawyer, at least for an initial consultation.
How The Automatic Stay Stops Debt Collectors
After you file your bankruptcy petition with the court, an order called the “automatic stay” immediately stops most collection actions and civil lawsuits against you. The bankruptcy clerk notifies your creditors and, while the stay is in effect, they generally can’t call you, garnish your wages, repossess your property, or sue you.
That said, the automatic stay won’t stop certain legal actions against you, including:
- collection of child support or alimony
- repayment of loans from most retirement funds
- any criminal proceedings against you
- certain tax proceedings, or
- other actions or collections described in the U.S. bankruptcy code ).
In addition, the protection of the automatic stay may be shortened or denied altogether if you’ve filed for bankruptcy multiple times.
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Advantages Of Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Most people thinking about bankruptcy will choose Chapter 7 if they qualify for it, because Chapter 7 is usually over in just a few months and it totally wipes out most debts. But Chapter 13 may be right for people who are overwhelmed by secured debt because it offers ways to:
- restructure mortgage payments to save a home from foreclosure
- reduce the amount of some secured loans to match the value of the property , and
- reduce certain tax debts that canât otherwise be discharged in bankruptcy.
I Stopped Paying My Bills Can My Creditor Garnish My Wages Immediately
Short answer: No. A creditor must first sue you in court and get a judgment against you before they can issue a garnishment to your bank or your employer.
Its a common misconception among consumers that I speak to, that as soon as they stop paying a debt, that their paycheck or bank account can automatically be garnished by a creditor. While a creditor might scare you into believing that you must make a payment or else your next check will be garnished the truth is that they cannot do this without first getting a judgment against you in Court.
What does this mean? The creditor must first file a lawsuit in court against you, serve you with that lawsuit and then go through the court system to get a judgment against you. Once they have done all of that, then they need to find out where you bank or where you work. Assuming they have gotten a judgment in court and found out where you bank or work, then they can send a garnishment to your bank or employer. This process at the absolute quickest speed would take 2-3 months.
The bottom line is that, without a judgment, your creditors cannot issue a garnishment. Its as simple as that.
You might ask, what about when your debt is transferred to a collection agency? The answer is still no not until they go through the courts to sue you and get a judgment against you.
We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for relief under the Bankruptcy Code.
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Secret #: There Is Credit After Bankruptcy In Both Oregon And Washington
We hope you will not go into bankruptcy with the intent of getting back into debt. The negative impact of bankruptcy on credit is extremely exaggerated. It wont be long before youre getting credit card offers again. You should, however, refuse all offers of credit cards until youve put together a realistic savings plan. Once youve put a savings plan into place and start to build up your cash cushion you will be able to start thinking about new credit. If you want to buy a home or car after bankruptcy you will probably be pleased. We have seen many bankruptcy clients go on to purchase a home within two years of filing an Oregon or Washington bankruptcy but only if theyve taken the steps necessary to establish their own financial stability.
Free Bankruptcy And Personal Injury Consultations
Nearly 40 years ago, our bankruptcy firm was one of the first law practices to offer free consultations to potential bankruptcy clients. It is our mission to educate, inform and empower people about their legal options for dealing with debt. We believe information goes a long way toward helping with the stress of filing bankruptcy.
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How To File A Chapter 7 Bankruptcy In Oregon
Collect Your Oregon Bankruptcy DocumentsEveryone 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 havent 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.
Should I Hire A Lawyer
The shortest answer to this question is, YES, you should hire a lawyer for your bankruptcy filing. Bankruptcy is complex and can be difficult to navigate, so it is in your best interests to hire a bankruptcy attorney who can help guide you through the process. Bankruptcy also has long-term financial and legal consequences a lawyer can help you ensure you fully understand.
However, you can file bankruptcy without an attorney, or pro se. If you opt for this route, it is recommended that you do in-person credit counseling from a reputable agency who can guide you through the process.
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How Do I Know If Filing Bankruptcy Is Right For Me
There isnt an easy way to determine this. The easiest way to figure this out is to go and talk to a reputable credit counseling agency or to a bankruptcy attorney to see what your options are. If you are unable to pay your debts, bankruptcy may be your best option, but you should consider all options before filing for bankruptcy protection. There are long term legal and credit implications, so you should make sure you fully understand those before you decide to file bankruptcy. The easiest way to do this is to discuss your situation with a bankruptcy lawyer.
So How Do I Qualify For Chapter 7 Bankruptcy In Oregon
Chapter 7 bankruptcies are intended for people who cannot afford to pay any portion of their debts. However, you must first pass an income evaluation to qualify for a bankruptcy discharge in Chapter 7.
If you pass the Oregon bankruptcy means test , you can erase most unsecured debts through Chapter 7. Unsecured debts discharged in Chapter 7 include medical bills, personal loans, some old income tax debt, old utility bills, credit card debts, and most personal judgments. Unsecured creditors hold debts that are not secured by collateral.
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Secret #: There Is No Minimum Amount Of Debt Required For Bankruptcy
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is designed for people who are unable to repay their existing debts it is not designed for people who owe certain amounts. The ability to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is based upon your debt and income. There are many people who file for bankruptcy owing very little money, & others who do not need to file for bankruptcy in spite of the fact that they owe a large amount of money.
What Types Of Debts Are Wiped Out By A Bankruptcy
The general rule is that debts are discharged by a bankruptcy. However, there are many, many exceptions to that rule. For example, most student loans are non-dischargeable in bankruptcy, as well as child and spousal support arrears, recent income tax debts, and debts incurred by fraud. Your bankruptcy attorney will be able to advise you about which of your debts cannot be discharged.
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How To File For Bankruptcy
If you have decided to file for bankruptcy, your first step should be to consult an attorney. While it is possible to file without one, seeking the advice of a qualified attorney is highly recommended because bankruptcy has long-term financial and legal results, notes the Administrative Office of the US Courts on its website. .
Before applying, you will be asked to attend a counseling session with a credit counseling organization approved by the US Department of Justice Trustees Program. The counselor should evaluate your personal financial situation, describe the alternatives to bankruptcy, and help you design a budget plan. Counseling is free if you cannot pay otherwise, it should cost around $ 50, according to the Federal Trade Commission.
If you still want to proceed, your attorney can advise you on which type of bankruptcy is most appropriate for your situation.
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D Oregon Debt Payoff Planning
You may be able to get out of debt through debt payoff planning, which is often a combination of trying to reduce expenses and putting extra cash into specific debts to avoid interest. You may not be able to do this because of the size of the financial hardship, but if you are interested, we build the Savvy debt payoff planner to help prioritize your debts. The app saves about $2,000 in interest on average by using the savvy debt payoff method instead of the snowball debt payoff method.
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