The inability to pay bills often leads people to consider bankruptcy. Your financial worries can be relieved, and you can get a fresh start by filing for bankruptcy in Oregon. However, before moving forward, you should understand the process and what to expect. This blog post will provide an overview of how to file for bankruptcy in Oregon and everything you need to know to make the best decision for you. Keep reading to learn more!
What Is Bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy allows individuals and businesses who are unable to pay their debts to be relieved of their burden. The automatic stay prevents creditors from collecting from you during bankruptcy, at least temporarily.
When You May Need to File for Bankruptcy
Filing for bankruptcy is not for everyone, so understanding this before filing is important.
Here are some situations when you may need to file for bankruptcy:
- You’re struggling to catch up with your mortgage payments.
- Your creditors aren’t willing to work out a payment plan with you.
- You’re paying your essential living expenses with your credit cards.
- Debt collectors are contacting you, or your house is being foreclosed on.
Is Bankruptcy The Only Solution?
Before filing for bankruptcy, it’s important to consider your options. Alternatives to bankruptcy include debt settlement or credit counseling, and you can consult an advisor to determine the best course of action for you.
Consolidating your debt can reduce your payments and save you money on interest. Ultimately, this results in you repaying your debt quicker.
Finally, you can attempt to negotiate directly with your creditor. If you can reach an agreement, you will be able to avoid bankruptcy.
The Types of Bankruptcy for Individuals
There are two main types of bankruptcies for individuals available in Oregon: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is typically considered first because it takes only a few months and does not require payments to creditors. In addition, this is a great option for those with only minimal living and working requirements, so they do not lose unnecessary luxury items. However, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy cannot be used to catch up on mortgage or car payments, so you can lose them if you are delinquent at the time of filing.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy, on the other hand, provides a timeframe of three to five years to repay debt. Unlike Chapter 7, where you can lose valuable items, Chapter 13 allows you to keep all your property and avoid foreclosure and repossession. In the event that your debt cannot be discharged by bankruptcy, you can also negotiate a payment plan with your creditor.
How to File for Bankruptcy in Oregon
The fear of not being able to hire a lawyer prevents many people from filing for bankruptcy. While bankruptcy attorneys are expensive and the most costly part of filing for bankruptcy in Oregon, you do have the option to file for bankruptcy without an attorney.
Below are the steps to do so.
- Gather Your Oregon Bankruptcy Documents: Make sure you have copies of your tax returns from the past two years, a bank statement showing the bankruptcy filing date, and your last 60-day pay stubs.
- Take a Credit Counseling Course: Learn more about the credit counseling course here.
- Fill Out the Bankruptcy Forms: The forms are available free of charge at USCOURTS.gov.
- Pay Your Filing Fee: Chapter 7 bankruptcy requires a court filing fee of $338. If your income does not exceed 150% of the poverty guidelines in Oregon, you can request a fee waiver.
- Print Your Bankruptcy Forms: Make sure to print all forms on regular, white 8.5″ x 11″ paper using black ink.
- File the Forms With the Oregon Bankruptcy Court: Most states don’t allow online bankruptcy filings unless you hire a lawyer, but Oregon lets you upload your documents online. Your documents can also be mailed or brought to the courthouse. The court normally has offices in Eugene and Portland, but the Eugene location is closed for COVID-19 safety reasons. You can drop off your documents in the Portland office for review by the court staff.
- Mail Documents to Your Trustee: You will be assigned a trustee after filing for bankruptcy.
- Take Another Course: Sign up for a debtor education course within 60 days of the 341 meeting.
- Attend Your 341 Meeting: Your creditors can attend this meeting to ask questions.
What Happens After You File for Bankruptcy in Oregon?
When you file for bankruptcy, most of your unsecured debts are discharged, so you won’t have to repay them. Nevertheless, bankruptcy cannot discharge certain debts, such as student loans, child support, and alimony. Depending on your bankruptcy choice, you may also have to surrender some assets.
Will Bankruptcy Affect My Credit Score?
After filing for bankruptcy, your credit report will reflect the bankruptcy for seven to ten years. As a result, loans and credit lines may be difficult to obtain. However, despite common belief, bankruptcy does not mean the end of your financial future.
The following actions can help you rebuild your credit:
- Apply for a small loan.
- Make on-time payments.
- Get a secured credit card.
- Maintain a good payment history.
- Regularly check your credit report for errors.
- Become an authorized user on a credit card.
Sell Your House for Cash & Avoid Bankruptcy in Oregon
If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy, the quickest way to avoid it is by selling your house. At Favor Home Solutions, we buy houses as-is for cash, so you don’t have to worry about making repairs or dealing with the emotional stress or hassle that comes with bankruptcy.
We’ll work together to develop a solution that meets your unique needs within your preferred timeframe! Get the cash you need in as little as 14 days and regain your peace of mind. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you!