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At Oklahoma Foreclosure Law, we specialize in foreclosure defense.
But what exactly is a foreclosure?
When you borrow money to purchase a home, most of the time you are required to sign more than 20 different documents. Two of these documents are a Promissory Note and a Mortgage.
The Note and Mortgage contain details such as the amount of money borrowed, how and to whom the loan is to be repaid, as well as all of your and the lender’s rights and obligations when and if certain events occur, such as non-payment of monthly principal and interest, taxes, insurance or Homeowner’s Association dues. These documents typically control the foreclosure, and sometimes Banks/Lenders do not follow the requirements.
The Mortgage is usually filed in the county land records and is a lien on your property which remains until the Note is paid in full, or the foreclosure is concluded. In Oklahoma, a foreclosure is a lawsuit which is filed by a lender or its servicer in the county where the Mortgage is recorded in the land records.
Foreclosure is a legal process in which a lender attempts to recover
the balance of a loan from a borrower who has stopped making
payments to the lender by forcing the sale of the asset used as the
collateral for the loan.
Black’s Law Dictionary defines foreclosure as follows:
A legal proceeding to terminate a mortgagor’s interest in property,
instituted by the lender (the mortgagee) either to gain title or to force
a sale in order to satisfy the unpaid debt secured by the property.
Black’s Law Dictionary 295 (Bryan A. Garner ed., 3rd Pocket ed. 2006).
At Oklahoma Foreclosure Law, we seek to first evaluate each client’s particular financial situation before deciding on the best course of action to resolve a foreclosure.
Sometimes all you need is time, sometimes you need to modify the mortgage loan, and sometimes you need to modify the loan and/or file for bankruptcy protection. We have a thorough understanding of the federal laws many banks/lenders must follow when a mortgage loan goes into default.
There are many bankruptcy attorneys in Oklahoma who offer foreclosure defense. While this is a viable option in some instances, in most cases it should be the last line of defense. Bankruptcy can have long lasting consequences to your credit and ability to borrow money to purchase a home or other necessities. Further, in many cases bankruptcy only provides temporary relief which can leave you back in the same or worse position down the road.
When you file for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, and if you qualify for and receive a discharge, you would only receive a discharge from your personal liability on the Note, meaning the Bank/Lender cannot sue you personally for any remaining debt owing on the Note, but they can still sell your home to recoup what is still owed. See the Bankruptcy section to learn more about the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy process.
If you do not qualify for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, you are left with the option of filing a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. However, when you file for a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, you must qualify for a Chapter 13 by showing that you have regular income that you can make payments under a bankruptcy plan which is approved by the bankruptcy court. These plans are strict and last around 5 years, making life very routine for that period of time.
When you file for a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, instead of getting discharged from personal liability, you pay back those payments which caused the Note to be in default, and then resume making your regularly scheduled monthly payments after the plan ends. See the Bankruptcy section to learn more about the Chapter 13 Bankruptcy process.
Contact us today to learn more about the many ways we can help with your foreclosure defense.
At Oklahoma Foreclosure Law, we can help you determine if bankruptcy is right for you.
How does bankruptcy work in Oklahoma?
Oklahomans facing insurmountable debt can seek protection from creditors under the Federal Bankruptcy laws, designed to give debtors a fresh start by wiping away most debts. The two most commons types of bankruptcies are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.
When you file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, it comes with an automatic stay (the “Stay”) which immediately causes all collection efforts by creditors to stop. If a creditor continues to try and collect a debt you owe after the Stay, they are subject to serious penalties.
If your income is above the federally-regulated median income for Oklahoma, then, in order to file for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy relief, you must first pass the Means Test, which is a formula telling the Bankruptcy court how much income you have left after payment of all of the allowed expenses. If you pass the means test, you can file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, and wipe away most of your unsecured debt.
The Chapter 7 Bankruptcy wipes away your unsecured debt, like credit cards and small loans, by collecting all of your property that is allowed to be taken and selling that property and using the sales proceeds to pay off your creditors. In many cases, much of the debtor’s property is exempt and the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is a fast way to get out from under large, unsecured debt.
When you file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, you will not be able to wipe out debts from alimony, child support, student loans and most taxes. If you are not in default on your secured debt, like your car or mortgage payments, and you want to keep that property, you can, in most cases, by agreeing to continue to pay those payments. This is done by signing what is called a reaffirmation agreement. If you are behind on these secured debt payments, these creditors are not required to offer a reaffirmation agreement, and can get relief from the Stay to proceed with obtaining possession of and selling the secured property.
If you do not pass the Means Test and are unable to file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, your only other option is to file a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. In order to qualify for a Chapter 13, you must have regular income.
When you file a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, the same automatic stay (the “Stay”) goes into effect, as when you file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, preventing creditors from calling or taking any other action to collect from you. To receive a discharge in a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, rather than giving up all of your property, you keep it and instead agree to payback your creditors all or part of the debt you owe.
In a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, your creditors get paid back all or some of the debt you owe, and the amount that you pay them is determined by the Bankruptcy Court approving your Plan. In order to get your Plan approved by the Bankruptcy Court, you must first present detailed records of all of your income, expenses and liabilities which show how much income you have left over to pay. If the amount left over covers what the creditors are entitled to receive, your Plan will be approved and you begin making payments for 3 to 5 years.
If you complete all of the payments in a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, you will have no debt, aside from alimony, child support, student loans and most taxes, but you will have brought those debts current and still have your property.
There are disadvantages and consequences to filing for protection in the Bankruptcy Courts. Do not hesitate to reach out to us to see if bankruptcy is the right option for
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405-696-6328 405-855-1015 (fax)
941 W I-35 FRONTAGE RD, STE 116, PMB 555
EDMOND, OKLAHOMA 73034