Filing Bankruptcy In Oregon

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Debtors in Oregon have two options for filing bankruptcy, to take care of unresolved debt.  For those who want to file straight bankruptcy, Chapter 7 can provide for a fresh start.  Individuals needing a financial hand up, but wanting to pay the bills and retain the property can file Chapter 13 to receive a repayment restructuring plan.


Oregon Bankruptcy Topics

  1. Personal Bankruptcy Options
  2. Keep Your Home: Bankruptcy and Foreclosure
  3. Oregon Exemptions to Bankruptcy Liquidation
  4. Options for Filing Bankruptcy
  5. Local Bankruptcy Courts and Trustees


Options for Personal Bankruptcy in Oregon

The U.S. Bankruptcy Code, under Title 11, provides debtors with the option to file either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.  

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

In order to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the debtor is required to take the means test, to determine whether debt relief is needed.  If so, the court trustee can seize applicable property for resale.  Then, the proceeds are divided among the creditors.  All other debts that can be expunged are forgiven, and the debtor essentially gets a second change to improve finances and move forward in life.  In Oregon, the median income for singles is $45,176, for two it is $56,317, and for a family of three, the average amount is $61,046.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is for those debtors hoping to keep their homes, family cars, and other assets.  The court determines what monetary amount will satisfy each creditor.  Usually late charges and interest is lowered or forgiven, to make the payments more affordable.  Then, the court will mandate a plan to pay off creditors within the next 3-5 years.  As long as the debtor meets the regular court payments and keeps all other bills current, assets are retained.  However, no debtor filing Chapter 13 can have more than $1,010,650 in secured debt and $336,900 in unsecured debt.

Filing Bankruptcy during Foreclosure

Waiting to file bankruptcy, until foreclosure is initiated, is a mistake.  While it may delay the inevitable and put a stay on creditor letters and harassment, the lien holder can ask the court to lift the stay.  Foreclosure commences and the property is resold to satisfy the debt.  The best course of action is to consult a bankruptcy lawyer before foreclosure notification is received.

Oregon Bankruptcy Exemptions

Oregon has a list of assets that the debtor may claim as exemptions from bankruptcy court proceedings.  The chart below is a partial list:

Type of Asset(s)

Details on Applicable Exemption(s)

Homestead

Real property, home, mobile home, or houseboat worth $25,000-$33,000 for couples, $23,000 and $30,000-if the land is not owned, no more than 1 block in town, ore 160 acres in the country

Insurance

$500 monthly annuity, fraternal and society benefits, group life policy payable to beneficiary, health or disability, life insurance

Misc.

Liquor licenses, alimony, child support, and partnership assets

Pensions

Public officers, ERISA, and school district employees

Personal Property

$7500 for sold and exempt property, books and other items worth no more than $600-couples double, burial plot, jewellery and personal items up to $1800-couples may double, domestic animals and chickens up to $1000, 60 days worth of food and fuel, $3000 of household items,  motor vehicle worth no more than $1700, and more

Public Benefits

Disaster relief, unemployment and workmen’s comp, medical and old age assistance, blind aid, disability, injured inmates benefits, crime victim’s compensation

Wages

At least75% of unpaid wages-may be more if the judge determines the debtor does not have enough money

 

Oregon Bankruptcy Court Filing Options

Need Bankruptcy Advice?

Use a Bankruptcy Lawyer

Hiring a bankruptcy lawyer is vital for debtors going to bankruptcy court.  The lawyer understands all of the legal nuances, ensures that the individual receives all applicable asset exemptions, answers all legal questions, and provides moral support during a very trying time. Legal representation also prevents costly mistakes leading to dismissal or fraud charges.

Use a Filing Service

Hiring a filing service is risky.  The workers do not always adhere to the law. No legal advice is given, and no legal representation is provided.  Any mistakes are the responsibility of the debtor.

File “Pro Se”

The court allows debtors to file pro se, if they choose self-representation.  But, it is strongly discouraged.  A better choice is borrowing the money and hiring legal counsel.  Unless the person has extensive knowledge of bankruptcy law, the lawyer can actually save money and potential legal difficulties.

Courts and Oregon Bankruptcy Trustee Information

Oregon District Court Main Office

740 Mark O. Hatfield
United States Courthouse
1000 Southwest Third Avenue
Portland, OR 97204-2802

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