Filing for bankruptcy in Oklahoma will be one of the most important financial decisions you make in your life, and, while bankruptcy can allow you a fresh financial start, it can also affect your credit report for a period of time. Because of this, it is extremely important to understand that success in bankruptcy means ensuring that the advantages of filing for bankruptcy protection outweigh the disadvantages. Here at Oklahoma Legal Center, our attorneys are dedicated to helping individuals throughout Oklahoma enjoy bankruptcy success and get a fresh financial start by discharging their debt and making smart financial decisions going forward. The following are five important steps to bankruptcy success in Oklahoma.
- Always be honest with your bankruptcy lawyer. Hiring a qualified attorney when filing for bankruptcy is a good idea, but the only way your attorney can adequately help you through the complicated bankruptcy process is if he has a complete understanding of your financial situation. There is a certain negative stigma attached to bankruptcy, and many people find it difficult or embarrassing to reveal their financial problems to an outsider. Regardless, being completely honest with your lawyer is the only way he can make the right choices and avoid unnecessary complications that may affect the success of your bankruptcy.
- Fulfill your duties as a client. While the goal of a good bankruptcy attorney is to remove some of the burden from your shoulders, there are certain steps that you must take when filing for bankruptcy that your lawyer cannot assume responsibility of. For example, bankruptcy laws require that you complete the credit counseling courses, provide certain documents to the court and show up for the meeting of creditors. Taking care of these responsibilities on your own will allow your attorney to focus his attention on your bankruptcy case.
- Be accurate with your financial details. Along with filing bankruptcy comes lots of paperwork, asking you for information about your income, creditors, assets and expenses. You may also be required to collect additional documents detailing your financial situation, including bank statements, pay stubs, tax returns, etc. The key to bankruptcy success at this stage is to be as accurate and thorough as possible when providing this information. Failure to provide required documents or overstating or understating your financial situation can adversely affect the outcome of your bankruptcy.
- Be prepared to make certain sacrifices. One of the most difficult aspects of bankruptcy is that, when filing, you may risk losing some assets in the process. In most cases, filers lose very little and receive in return a complete discharge of their unsecured debt. However, there are certain circumstances that may require you to liquidate certain assets, or turn them over to the court, in order to satisfy your creditors. If this happens to you, remember the reason you filed for bankruptcy in the first place – to reduce your financial burden and start with a blank slate. Focusing on long-term goals like this will make such short-term sacrifices easier to handle.
- Prepare yourself for success after bankruptcy. Filing for bankruptcy in Oklahoma can give you a fresh start, but this will all go to waste if you fall back into the same financial habits as before. Under Oklahoma law, once you file for bankruptcy, you are not eligible to file again for several years, which means whatever financial choices you make after bankruptcy, you will have to live with for a long time. Start out on the right foot by making a list of the errors you made in the past, so you can avoid repeating them post-bankruptcy. The best way to focus on creating new financial habits is to avoid unnecessary debt and pay your bills on time, which will slowly help you rebuild your credit.