According to data released by the U.S. Courts system, bankruptcy filings in Oklahoma declined by as much as 10% last year in some parts of the state. For example, bankruptcy filings for the Western District of Oklahoma, which includes Oklahoma City and much of the western half of the state, decreased 10.1% from 7,315 in 2011 to 6,574 in 2012. In the Northern District of Oklahoma, which includes Tulsa and the northeastern part of the state, bankruptcy filings also declined from 3,796 in 2011 to 3,534 in 2012 – a decrease of 6.9%. Oklahoma’s Eastern District saw 1,862 bankruptcy filings in 2012, down from 2,008 filings in 2011. If you are struggling with overwhelming debt and you think bankruptcy might be the best option for you, consult our experienced attorneys at Oklahoma Legal Center today.
Personal and Business Bankruptcies Decreasing
Cristy Cash, director of counseling for the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Central Oklahoma, says she believes low unemployment rates have played a key role in the drop in Oklahoma’s bankruptcy filings. “People are looking for other ways to pay their debt other than bankruptcy,” Cash said. “I think the reasons for that are that the economy is improving and people have renewed hope and more income.” The trend isn’t only in Oklahoma though. Nationally, bankruptcy filings dropped 13% in 2012 from the previous year, from roughly 1.4 million filings in 2011 to 1.2 million in 2012. Personal bankruptcies in the United States declined 13% from about 1.3 million filings in 2011 to about 1.18 million filings in 2012, while business bankruptcy filings fell 16% from 47,806 in 2011 to 40,075 in 2012.
Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Although this data shows a decrease in bankruptcy filings over the past year, bankruptcy attorneys in Oklahoma City and throughout the state haven’t noticed a corresponding decline in business. Some bankruptcy lawyers, however, have seen an increase in clients interested in filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, compared to Chapter 7 liquidation filings. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Oklahoma, the debtor can keep his or her property and repay debts via a manageable repayment plan over a period of three to five years, instead of liquidating his or her assets to pay back creditors. This trend towards Chapter 13 bankruptcies could mean that many Oklahomans are realizing that filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy can stop a foreclosure or help relieve overwhelming debt for the next three to five years.
Contact Our Bankruptcy Attorneys for Legal Help
If you are considering filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Oklahoma, contact our knowledgeable attorneys at Oklahoma Legal Center as soon as possible to discuss your legal options. Our lawyers have extensive experience helping residents throughout the state of Oklahoma navigate the sometimes complicated process of filing for bankruptcy protection from the court, and will work diligently to ensure that you understand all of your available options. With our bankruptcy attorneys at Oklahoma Legal Center on your side, you can choose the best option for your individual financial situation and begin taking the necessary steps towards relieving some of your overwhelming debt.