TRUTHS & MYTHS ABOUT CHAPTER 7
There is much misinformation out there. Let me give you five facts to set the record straight.
1. You won’t lose all your property.
It’s a myth that you will lose all your property if you file. Even though Chapter 7 is called liquidation, exemption laws allow people who file to retain certain property. You will find that almost everything normal people filing own is in fact exempt. You get to keep an automobile worth up to $7500 that is paid for; and if it is not paid for, you can keep it subject to the loan if you are and remain current. Your attorney will tell you before you file what, if any, property is not-exempt, and you will probably opt not to file if are you going to lose that property. I can tell you this without your being out any money to pay me for such advice.
2. You can afford to file.
Many people think it is cost a lot to hire an attorney. However, attorneys generally offer low initial retainers and flexible payment plans. I currently charge only $1,400 total, and out of that amount I pay for a Court filing fee, a credit report, and the credit counseling you are required to complete. While I will not actually file the case until you have paid in full, I will begin working on your documents and you can refer your creditors to me if you come in with as little as $500 upfront and pay off the balance at the rate of $300 per month. If you get an income tax refund, you can use that to pay for it. Filing in and of itself may be an investment in your financial future.
3. Not filing may cost you.
Ignoring financial liabilities can result in creditor harassment, lawsuits, and possibly collections through garnishments and other means. When you file, the threatening phone calls stop. If filing can give you peace-of-mind and put an end to your problems, it might make sense to file and make all that aforementioned stuff simply stop.
4. You will get credit again.
Believe it or not, credit is available afterward. My former clients report receiving credit card offers right away. Of course, you should probably find the willpower to throw those away and learn from the experience. Until you rehabilitate your credit, and for possibly the next few years, you can expect to pay higher interest rates and the terms may not be favorable. Regardless, consider this a mechanism for a fresh start and an opportunity to rebuild your creditworthiness—and like I always say to all those people who are concerned about their credit score or being able to get loans in the future, those loans are what led you to file in the first place; no longer owing tens of thousands of dollars should outweigh concerns about future credit.
5. Less uncommon than you think.
Nowadays, approximately one million people file each year. Celebrities in Hollywood file. Normal people in Oklahoma file. You have neighbors, co-workers, friends and family members who have probably filed at some point in their life, whether you know about it or not. So in making a decision, know you’re not the only one.
Joel K. Mitchell, Attorney
MITCHELL LAW OFFICE, P. C.
1318 W Main St, Collinsville, OK 74021
& 1408 S Denver Ave, Tulsa, OK 74119
Joel K. Mitchell, Attorney-at-Law