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Oklahoma Bankruptcy Records

What are Oklahoma Bankruptcy Records?

Bankruptcy records in Oklahoma relate to all paperwork generated during a bankruptcy court case, such as records of financial transactions, properties, income sources, and creditors. Records are typically maintained by clerks at the custodian court. The state of Oklahoma is home to three courts responsible for managing bankruptcy records. These are the U.S Bankruptcy Court Eastern District of Oklahoma, U.S. Bankruptcy Court Western District of Oklahoma, and U.S. Bankruptcy Court Northern District of Oklahoma. Each court hears bankruptcy cases within its jurisdiction.

Why File for Bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy in Oklahoma offers individuals or entities the chance to settle most debts while allowing creditors to get repayments. Persons or entities filing for bankruptcy in Oklahoma get a fresh financial start via the liquidation of their assets or by paying creditors from future earnings. The Bankruptcy Code governs and dictates the process of filing for bankruptcy in Oklahoma. In addition, all bankruptcy cases in Oklahoma are under the purview of the federal judicial district. There are two federal judicial districts in the state, each overseeing all bankruptcy petitions within their jurisdictions.

The US Bankruptcy Code requires debtors to file for bankruptcy under different Chapters, depending on debt level, income level, and desired outcome. Thus, persons filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy must liquidate assets to settle debts owed to creditors. In contrast, filing a Chapter 11 or 13 bankruptcy petition enables individuals and non-individual debtors to restructure and pay off creditors within a court-approved timeframe.

What do Oklahoma Bankruptcy Records Contain?

The information contained in a bankruptcy record depends on several factors, including the individual or company involved, the chapter of the case filed, the type of claim filed (whether voluntary or involuntary). Generally, bankruptcy records in Oklahoma contain all or most of the following information:

  • Bank account statements
  • Sources of income available to the debtor
  • Tax records
  • Total value of assets
  • Date of case filing
  • List of stocks owned
  • Documentation of vehicles
  • Case number and docket number
  • List of creditors (secured and unsecured)
  • All creditors' claims
  • Name of trustee
  • Status of the case, i.e., whether it has been discharged or not.

Are Bankruptcy Records Public Information?

Unless restricted by court order, bankruptcy records are public information according to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). However, the court redacts certain information on public bankruptcy records to protect the petitioner's sensitive information. This includes the petitioner's social security number and financial account number. Likewise, the names of minor children are recorded as initials. Per 44 U.S. Code § 3303, all cases that are more than 15 years old have been destroyed and are no longer available for inspection.

How to Get Oklahoma Bankruptcy Records

In Oklahoma, bankruptcy records are obtainable online through the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER). All case and docket information are available via the internet. The inquirer only has to create a PACER account, select the district where the case was filed, and enter the case number or the social security number of the party involved. Then, every available information on the case will be displayed on the screen. Some cases filed electronically that can only be accessed by sending a mail to the clerk of the court. The locations of the bankruptcy court in Oklahoma are as follows:

United States Bankruptcy Court
Northern District of Oklahoma
224 South Boulder Avenue, Suite 105
Tulsa, OK 74103
Phone: (918) 699-4000

United States Bankruptcy Court
Eastern District of Oklahoma
101 North 5th Street, Room 403
Muskogee, OK 74401
P.O. Box 1888

United States Bankruptcy court
Western District of Oklahoma
215 Dean A. McGee Avenue, Suite 147
Oklahoma City, OK 73102

Viewing documents at the clerk's office is free, but there is a $0.10 per page fee for printing documents from the courthouse terminals. However, if copies are made by the clerk’s office, it costs $0.50 per page and $11 per document for certification. Extra costs are incurred if a person wants the copies mailed or sent through courier services.

Another method of obtaining bankruptcy information in Oklahoma is the McVCIS (Multi-Court Voice Case Information System). This is a free phone system, accessible by calling (866) 222-8029, that allows interested individuals to obtain information like a debtor's name, case number, filing Chapter, court-appointed trustee, case status, and more.

Record seekers may also obtain bankruptcy records from third-party websites. These non-governmental data platforms often come with tools that help simplify the search for single or multiple records. However, record availability on third-party sites tends to vary because they’re independent of government sources. Most third-party sites require some information to process a search. Record seekers may need to provide:

  • A bankruptcy case number (if known)
  • The name of the debtor on record

How do I Find Out if My Bankruptcy Case is Closed in Oklahoma?

Individuals interested in learning about the current state of an Oklahoma bankruptcy case should use online records systems such as PACER to review the status of the case. The clerk's office can provide details about the bankruptcy proceeding. An interested party should visit the office to make inquiries about a case.

Another option to find out if a case has been closed or not is to use the Multi-Court Voice Case Information System (McVCIS). Anyone can call the system at no cost to get information about the status of a case. Interested parties should follow this simple process.

  • Call "(866) 222-8029"
  • Select preferred language at the prompt. It is generally "1" for English
  • At the prompt, enter "65" for Oklahoma
  • Then, follow the prompt to select the district where the bankruptcy court is located
  • After that, follow the voice prompt to make the request.

Can a Bankruptcy be Expunged in Oklahoma?

In Oklahoma, bankruptcy case files are not retained for more than 15 years. Most of the case files from 1970 to 1995 have been expunged or destroyed according to 44 USC § 3303

The court keeps all bankruptcy records for fifteen years, but interested parties can file a motion to expunge or redact specific bankruptcy information.

The judge considers the motion and has the authority to approve or refuse it. He sends a copy of the motion to parties involved in the case and gives a 60-day ultimatum for objections. If there are no objections, the judge considers if the expungement is against the public interest.

How Do You Qualify For Bankruptcy in Oklahoma?

In Oklahoma, all individuals and entities, such as partnerships, corporations, fishers, farmers, and sole proprietorships, can qualify for bankruptcy. To file for bankruptcy in Oklahoma, debtors must be eligible for the minimum financial requirement of that particular type of bankruptcy. Here’s an instance: the 11 U.S.C. § 109(e) qualifies debtors to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy if their unsecured and secured debts are less than $394,725 and $1,184,200, respectively. In addition, the Chapter 7 section of the bankruptcy code only allows debtors with income levels less than the state’s median to apply. In contrast, only fishers and farmers qualify for Chapter 12 bankruptcy in Oklahoma. Furthermore, state laws require fishers and farmers to owe at least $1,924,550 and $4,153,150 in debts, respectively.

What Type of Bankruptcy Should You File in Oklahoma?

Debtors may decide to opt for a Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy, depending on their desired outcome. Persons with a disposable income below the state’s median income level can file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Debtors with higher disposable income and stable financial capability can file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Oklahoma. More so, debtors may file a Chapter 13 if they want to protect their assets from liquidation.

Where and How to File for Bankruptcy in Oklahoma?

Debtors may file for bankruptcy at the office of the clerk of the bankruptcy court. The clerk of the courts are located at:

Oklahoma Eastern Bankruptcy Court
Clerk of the Court
101 North 5th Street
Room 403
5th & Okmulgee Streets
Muskogee, OK 74401
Phone: (918) 549-7200

Oklahoma Northern Bankruptcy Court
Court Clerk
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
224 South Boulder Street
Suite. 105
Tulsa, OK 74103
Phone: (918) 699-4000

Oklahoma Western Bankruptcy Court
Bankruptcy Clerk
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
215 Dean A. McGee Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK 73102
Phone: (405) 609-5700

Persons filing for Chapter 7, 11, 12, or 13 bankruptcy must start with a credit counseling course at any of the state’s approved centers. Taking a credit counseling course enables debtors to select the right type of bankruptcy. In addition, bankruptcy courts require debtors to submit a credit counseling certificate alongside the required documents to the clerk of the bankruptcy courts.

In addition to this, debtors filing for a Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy must take the means test to determine their eligibility. The means test calculates the debtor’s sources of income and compares it against the state’s median income for the debtor’s household size. Thus, the mean test utilizes income, such as rental income, pensions and benefits, unemployment income, business income, and earnings from other household members.

In Oklahoma, debtors may file for bankruptcy with or without the help of a legal practitioner. Debtors filing without the aid of lawyers are referred to as Pro Se petitioners, and they must file the following documents at the bankruptcy court:

Individual and non-individual debtors can also include documents specific to the type of bankruptcy. The Oklahoma Eastern District Bankruptcy Court maintains an online database of all required papers.

Debtors must submit the above-listed documents alongside their voluntary petition or within two weeks after filing a petition.

What are the Downsides of Filing a Bankruptcy in Oklahoma?

Persons and entities filing for bankruptcy in Oklahoma may experience disadvantages, such as a negative remark on their credit score for several years after the filing date. This may make it more difficult for affected persons to obtain loans from credit facilities. Debtors also face stigma when searching for places to rent or lease. Other downsides of filing a bankruptcy in Oklahoma may include:

  • Debtors filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy may lose non-exempt properties via liquidation. In addition, debtors with much equity in their homes may lose it during a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
  • In some bankruptcies, co-signers to a debtor’s loans are liable to repay part of the debt. However, co-signers may apply for bankruptcy protection to avoid paying the debtor’s loans;
  • Filing for bankruptcy often causes psychological or mental distress, mainly when the debtor’s assets are liquidated to pay off creditors;
  • In Chapter 11 or 13 bankruptcy, debtors may repay all debts over a three to five year period. Therefore, they are unable to maximize their future earnings during the repayment period.

Although filing bankruptcy comes with serious side effects, bankruptcy offers the following benefits:

  • Filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy grants immediate relief from all debts. Debtors filing for bankruptcy may discharge unsecured debts like medical bills and credit card debts. In addition, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case ends within three to four months;
  • Bankruptcy in Oklahoma helps individuals and businesses to spread debt payments without stopping operations or losing properties.
  • Bankruptcy courts in Oklahoma issue an automatic stay to stop all collection or repossession efforts of the debtor’s properties by creditors.

What is Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in Oklahoma?

Debtors use a Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Oklahoma to reorganize debt, remain in operation, and pay off creditors within a set period. In a Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the court may appoint a debtor as a trustee. Thus, debtors remain in control of their assets and may create a debt repayment plan that the bankruptcy court subsequently approves. The bankruptcy court will approve a repayment plan after the debtors have filed a list of monthly liabilities and expected future earnings from different income sources. However, the court might appoint a trustee if the debtor shows dishonesty or bias in creating a repayment plan. Individuals and entities may also opt to liquidate assets in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition.

Who Can File a Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in Oklahoma?

Persons and entities, excluding commodity brokers and stockbrokers, can file a Chapter 11 bankruptcy at the bankruptcy court serving their region. Under the Bankruptcy Code, debtors are eligible for Chapter 11 bankruptcy if their secured and unsecured debt does not exceed $1,000,000 and $300,000, respectively.

How to File a Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in Oklahoma

Persons and entities can file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after taking a credit counseling course. Once completed, the clerk of the bankruptcy court requires the following documents before commencing a Chapter 11 bankruptcy case:

Debtors can obtain other required documents via the bankruptcy court’s online platform. Furthermore, the bankruptcy court enables debtors to either file in person by visiting the clerk of the bankruptcy court serving their jurisdiction.

What are the Benefits of Filing a Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in Oklahoma?

Under a Chapter 11 bankruptcy, debtors maintain control of their assets and continue operations without liquidating. In addition, debtors are eligible for low interest on high-interest loans after filing for bankruptcy. Chapter 11 bankruptcy allows debtors to spread payments over a fixed period.

How Long Does a Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Stay on Record?

A Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition filed in Oklahoma will stay on public records for ten years after the filing date.

What is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Oklahoma?

Under the Bankruptcy Code, debtors filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy can discharge a majority of unsecured debts. The court appoints a bankruptcy trustee who is responsible for selling the debtor’s assets to repay creditors. In addition to this, the trustee may pay the remaining value of an asset to creditors after charging a commission fee. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy does not discharge unsecured debts like alimony, child support, student loans, and personal loans obtained by fraudulent means. In Oklahoma, debtors filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy can protect assets, such as cars, homes, insurance or pension benefits, and personal properties like furniture and family heirlooms.

Who Can File a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Oklahoma?

Per bankruptcy laws, only persons who pass the means test can file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Oklahoma. The means test scrutinizes the debtor’s monthly income and income level, multiples it by 12, and compares it against the state’s annual median income level of the debtor’s household size. The annual income level for Oklahoma is listed below:

  • $39,749.00 for a one-member household;
  • $51,097.00 for a two-member family;
  • $55,641.00 for a three-member household;
  • $64,916.00 for a 4-member household;
  • $73,016.00 for a 5-member household;
  • $81,116.00 for a 6-member household;
  • $89,216.00 for a 7-member household;
  • $97,316.00 for an 8-member household;
  • $105,416.00 for a 9-member household;
  • $113,516.00 for a 10-member household.

How to File a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Oklahoma

Oklahoma bankruptcy courts require debtors to complete a credit counseling course at least six months before filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition. Debtors must present the certificate alongside the required documents to the clerk of the bankruptcy court. The bankruptcy court in Oklahoma maintains an online list of all the necessary documents. In addition, bankruptcy courts also require debtors to take means tests before filing for bankruptcy. Persons filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy must pay a $338 filing fee for a voluntary or involuntary petition.

What are the Benefits of Filing a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Oklahoma?

Individuals or entities filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Oklahoma may enjoy the following benefits:

  • A Chapter 7 bankruptcy has a high success rate, unlike other types of bankruptcy;
  • It takes three to four months for the bankruptcy court to discharge all debts in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy;
  • In addition, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharges unsecured debts like credit card loans and medical bills;
  • The state bankruptcy exemption laws also exempt certain assets from liquidation.
  • All wages and income earned after the bankruptcy case belong to the debtor. In other words, debtors do not have to repay unsecured debts after the bankruptcy petition.

How Long Does a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Last on Record?

In Oklahoma, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition lasts on credit reports and other public records for ten years.

What is Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Oklahoma?

In Oklahoma, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a legal proceeding that enables persons or businesses with a steady cash flow to create a debt repayment plan. In other words, debtors agree to repay all debts owed to creditors over a court-approved timeframe. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is an attractive option for debtors who want to avoid liquidating their assets and properties. For instance, debtors filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy get to prevent house foreclosure and make up for all missed mortgage payments. Debtors also pay back all tax debts and avoid an accumulation of interest on tax debts. For the court to approve the repayment plan, debtors must list all income sources and expected future earnings.

Who Can File a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Oklahoma?

Non-individual debtors like corporations and LLCs are exempt from filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Oklahoma. Only persons with a stable financial income are eligible to file for this bankruptcy Chapter. Thus, debtors must take the means test to determine their eligibility - only persons with a high disposable income can file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Note that bankruptcy courts require debtors to disclose their income streams when filing for bankruptcy or within two weeks of filing a petition.

In addition to this, individuals filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy must not owe more than $1,257,850 secured debts and $419,275 unsecured debts.

How to File a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Oklahoma?

Debtors must file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy at the bankruptcy court where the residence or business is situated. The court requires debtors to complete a credit counseling program at an accredited center before filing for bankruptcy. In addition, debtors must take the means test and send the test result alongside other necessary documents to the bankruptcy court clerk.

Besides the general documents, debtors must also file the following specific documents:

To file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Oklahoma, debtors must pay a $313 filing fee to the bankruptcy clerk in person.

What are the Benefits of Filing a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Oklahoma?

In Utah, the benefits of filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy include the following points:

  • Persons eligible for Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition can keep all properties, including non-exempt properties;
  • Under the Bankruptcy Code, debtors can file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy repeatedly and at any time.
  • A Chapter 13 bankruptcy exempts co-signers from repaying part of a debtor’s loan;
  • Debtors can repay debts within three to five years after filing for bankruptcy;
  • Creditors are unable to repossess the debtor’s properties or assets during a Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition.

How Long Does a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Last on Record?

In Oklahoma, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition lasts on credit reports and other public records seven years after the filing date.

What is the Difference Between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Oklahoma?

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy differs from a Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition in terms of eligibility, outcome, and repayment plans. For example, debtors filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy may lose all non-exempt properties to liquidation. In contrast, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy enables debtors to repay most debts over a certain period.

There is no minimum debt requirement before filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Oklahoma. However, debtors filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy must owe secured or unsecured debts above $1,257,850 or $419,275, respectively.

Filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy enables debtors to discharge unsecured debts within three to four months. In addition, debtors also get to retain all their earnings after filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. However, debtors in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy may repay all unsecured debts within three to five years. Hence, debtors may not have sufficient disposable income during the repayment period;

In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the court appoints a bankruptcy trustee to oversee the sale of the debtor’s assets and distribute the sales proceeds to creditors. Alternatively, debtors filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy remain in control of their assets and are responsible for creating a repayment plan.

What is Bankruptcy Protection in Oklahoma?

Bankruptcy courts in Oklahoma issue bankruptcy protection to stop all judgments, appeals, and repossession efforts by creditors during bankruptcy cases. The court order protects debtors from losing properties or assets while filing for bankruptcy. It also prevents utility companies from disconnecting the water, gas, or electricity supply for a specific period. In addition, bankruptcy protection prevents landlords from taking eviction actions against debtors filing for bankruptcy.

What are Oklahoma Bankruptcy Exemptions

Bankruptcy courts in Oklahoma can exempt specific properties or assets during bankruptcy petitions. Under Oklahoma bankruptcy laws, persons must live for at least 730 days before using the state’s bankruptcy exemption. Persons and entities filing for bankruptcy can use the following bankruptcy exemptions in Oklahoma:

Homestead bankruptcy exemptions: properties not more than half an acre in a municipality and 160 acres in other regions are exempt under the homestead bankruptcy exemption. To be eligible for the homestead exemption, persons must have resided in the home for at least 1,215 days before filing for bankruptcy;

Debtors can exempt up to $7,500 equity in any type of motor vehicle;

Under §31-1(A)(1) through (23), persons can exempt personal properties like books, livestock for household use, personal injury benefits, furniture, jewelry, and wedding or anniversary rings worth up to $3,000;

Public benefits, such as crime victim compensations, unemployment compensations, and earned income tax credits, are exempted during bankruptcy. Other Oklahoma bankruptcy exemptions include alimony and child support payments and life insurance benefits.

What are the Other Types of Bankruptcy in Oklahoma?

In Oklahoma, persons and entities can also file for Chapter 12 bankruptcy in Oklahoma. As opposed to other types of bankruptcy, only fishers and farmers are eligible to file a Chapter 12 bankruptcy.