Do I Qualify For Bankruptcy

Do I Qualify for Bankruptcy in Oregon?

Oregon Fresh Start Can Help You Navigate Bankruptcy

If you are struggling to pay your bills and creditors are threatening to take your possessions, you may be considering filing for bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is a legal process that can help you get a fresh start and relieve you of overwhelming debt.

At Oregon Fresh Start, we can help you determine if you qualify for bankruptcy. We can also help you navigate the bankruptcy process and help you understand how it can help you. If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, we can help you determine the best course of action for your specific situation.

To learn more about bankruptcy and if you qualify, contact Oregon Fresh Start today. We offer free initial consultations and are available Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. online or at (541) 262-0040.

What Is Bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is a legal process that can help you get a fresh start and relieve you of overwhelming debt. There are several types of bankruptcy, and each is designed to help you deal with a specific type of debt.

Filing for bankruptcy can help you:

  • Stop foreclosure on your home
  • Prevent repossession of your car
  • Stop wage garnishment
  • Protect your personal possessions
  • Stop collection calls
  • Eliminate credit card debt
  • Eliminate medical bills
  • Eliminate unsecured debt
  • Eliminate credit card debt
  • Eliminate medical bills
  • Eliminate unsecured debt
  • Eliminate credit card debt

The two most common types of bankruptcy are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. While filing for either type of bankruptcy will eliminate your debt, the two processes are slightly different. Each type of bankruptcy is designed to help individuals with different levels of income and different amounts of debt.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is primarily used by individuals, while Chapter 13 is primarily used by individuals who have a regular income and a large amount of debt. When you file for Chapter 7, you will be required to liquidate certain assets, such as your car, to pay back some of the debt. Filing for Chapter 13 will require you to create a payment plan that will pay back your debt over three to five years.

How to File for Bankruptcy in Oregon

There are several steps that you must take when filing for bankruptcy. The first step is to file a credit counseling form. This is a requirement of the bankruptcy process, and it is designed to help you determine whether you should file for bankruptcy.

The second step is to file your bankruptcy paperwork. This will include your bankruptcy petition, schedules of assets and debts, and a statement of your current financial situation. You will also need to provide a list of your creditors and any monthly income you receive.

The third step is to attend a 341 meeting of creditors. This is a meeting in which you will be questioned by a trustee regarding your finances. You will be required to bring certain documents to the meeting.

Once the 341 meeting is over, the trustee will prepare a report that will be reviewed by the creditors. If the creditors object to your filing for bankruptcy, you will be required to attend a second meeting of creditors. If the creditors do not object, you will be able to move forward with your bankruptcy.

Why Choose Oregon Fresh Start?

Our team at Oregon Fresh Start has years of experience helping individuals file for bankruptcy. We can help you determine if you qualify for bankruptcy, as well as help you navigate the bankruptcy process.

If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, we can help. Schedule your free consultation with us today. Contact us online or at (541) 262-0040.

Have Questions?

We Have Answers!
    Secured creditors (those creditors who have collateral for their loans, such as a car or boat) will want you to reaffirm the loan. When you reaffirm the loan, you re-obligate yourself to all of the loan terms just as if you were getting a new loan from the creditor. Although this may sound harmless, it has serious consequences. If you reaffirm and then later default on the loan, you are personally liable to pay the balance and you will have no protection on that debt from the bankruptcy. One of the major changes made to bankruptcy law in 2005 is that a creditor can repossess the collateral if you do not reaffirm. This change does not apply to real estate debt. Your reaffirmation agreement is subject to court approval in some circumstances. If your income is less than your monthly expenses, you may be required to participate in a telephone hearing with the court where you will be required to explain to a bankruptcy judge why the reaffirmation is in your best interest and how you intend to make the payment. More often than not, when you file bankruptcy, you owe more on the collateral securing the loan than it is worth. If your loan is more than 2 1/2 years old, under a process called REDEMPTION, bankruptcy law allows you to reduce the amount owing on the debt to the value of the collateral if you can pay it all at once. Many debtors can find a source of family financing or, perhaps, borrow from a 401K account, etc. and come up with the full value. There is also a company on the internet that specializes in redemption funding for cars. Talk with OREGON FRESH START about this for more information. WOULDN'T IT BE BETTER TO SETTLE MY DEBTS THROUGH A DEBT CONSOLIDATION PLAN? Although there may be a few reputable credit counseling services out there, most will not and cannot give you what they promise. Usually, they promise they can settle your debts for 50 cents on the dollar and that when you get done, you will have great credit. The facts are that (1) most people do not complete the "plans" because they usually do not work, and if you do complete the plan, (2) your credit is trashed. Creditors report to credit bureaus exactly what happened. If you get hooked on a 50% plan, your credit report will show that you did not pay all of the debt and that the unpaid balance was charged off. Most creditors do not waive interest or late fees. In addition, most credit counseling programs will charge you a fee (a portion of each payment) and they often do not send your money to the creditors for several months. This gives them an interest-free loan working with your money. Most debtors would be better off filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy which can force the creditors to accept your terms of repayment. In addition, and this is a big one, the amount that was charged off by the creditor will likely be reported to the IRS with a 1099 tax form and you will be required to pay income taxes on the charged-off amount which will be a very unpleasant surprise for you when you file your tax returns for that year. CAN STUDENT LOANS BE DISCHARGED? Yes, but it is not easy. It will also, probably, be expensive. Once upon a time, federally guaranteed student loans were dischargeable if the loan was more than 7 years old. In 1998, the federal government changed all that. Now, federally guaranteed student loans cannot be discharged unless you can prove that being required to repay the loan will cause an undue hardship - not just a hardship, but an "undue" hardship. To have an opportunity to prove your case, you will be required to sue the federal government in bankruptcy court through an adversary proceeding. You will be required to prove all of the following: repayment of the loan would prevent you from maintaining a minimal standard of living your financial circumstances are not likely to change in the foreseeable future you made a good faith effort to repay the loan before you became unable to pay Frequently, the federal government will try to show that you could get a reduced payment plan by going through a consolidation program that will stretch out your payments for 20 years or more based upon an "ability to pay." In short, it is possible to discharge a student loan, but the government has made it very difficult. Also, remember that the government has a raft of lawyers to defend the federal government in the lawsuit who are paid for by your taxes. On the other hand, you will be required to pay for your attorney.
    It is not uncommon for you to owe money to a relative. As discussed in other answers to questions, you must list every debt. This includes debts you owe to your family members. The bankruptcy court looks closely at loan transactions between family members. As we all know, if we owe money to several creditors and one of them is a family member, we will probably be inclined to pay the family member first. In a bankruptcy context, this often means that family members have been paid while the other creditors have not been paid. One of the main ideas behind filing bankruptcy is that all creditors share your misfortune equally. One of the questions asked in the bankruptcy petition is whether you have repaid any loans from relatives within the past year. If you have, you are required to disclose the amount. If the amount is large enough, the bankruptcy trustee has the power to get the money back from the relative and spread it out equally among all the creditors. While there is no set rule as to what amount is "large enough," if the amount were $2,000 or more, that would definitely be "large enough." There are other factors that go into the trustee's decision, including whether you have any other assets which exceed the exemption amounts and how likely it is the trustee can obtain a return of the money from the relative. A relative who has already spent the money and whose only source of income is Social Security is not likely to be a target for the trustee. If you have a loan from a relative and are considering filing bankruptcy, stop paying on the loan until you consult with OREGON FRESH START.
    If you transfer any of your property to a relative, even by selling it, within 1 year of filing for bankruptcy, the bankruptcy trustee can reverse that transfer if it was transferred for less than the fair market value of the property. For example, if you gave Uncle Joe your car 30 days prior to filing bankruptcy because you did not want it to show as an asset in your bankruptcy, the trustee has the power to sue Uncle Joe and get the car back. Unfortunately, some people engage in such an activity before consulting with an attorney. It is also not advisable if you have already made the transfer to attempt to transfer it back without first obtaining expert legal advice.

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