snail on turtleI’ve been helping people file bankruptcy for eighteen years now and the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas has always been the slowest time of year for my bankruptcy practice.

Several factors contribute to this annual slowdown, including:

  • most people would rather focus on enjoying the holiday season instead of thinking about their financial problems.
  • many people are already stressed out by what can be a emotionally taxing holiday season and therefore would rather put off dealing with the depressing subject of serious debt issues.
  • some people get swept up in the consumerism and materialism that has taken over the holiday season beginning with Black Friday and choose to ignore their financial situation for a while longer.
  • creditors and collection agencies want to avoid looking like Scrooge and tend to ease up on their collection efforts during the holiday season which reduces the pressure on debtors for a short time.

I’m not complaining though because this annual slowdown allows me the chance to relax and enjoy Thanksgiving and Christmas. But come January 1, things will begin to pick back up. You can count on it.


The income figures used to determine whether a person qualifies for Chapter 7 bankruptcy will be changing November 15, 2013.

Colorful numbersThe United States Trustee Program has published the new “Census Bureau Median Family Income By Family Size” numbers on its web site.

The new median income figures for Oklahoma households are:

  • $39,749 (1 person household)
  • $51,097 (2 person household)
  • $55,641 (3 person household)
  • $64,916 (4 person household)

*Add $8,100 for each individual in the household over 4.

If gross household income falls below the applicable numbers, an individual or married couple automatically qualifies to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

A person whose household income exceeds the applicable numbers may still qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy if he/she has enough allowable expense deductions to offset his/her above median income or if the projected amount of disposable income would pay less than 25% of the total unsecured debt.

A person who fails the Means Test and does not qualify to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy may choose to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy instead.


Oklahoma Courts App now available

October 2, 2013

The Oklahoma Courts app is now available and gives access to the Oklahoma Bar’s directory of attorneys, the Oklahoma judicial directory, PACER, the Oklahoma Rules of Civil Procedure, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Local Rules for all Oklahoma state and federal district courts, and to the websites for every state and federal court in […]

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Minor child’s bank account garnished for father’s credit card debt

August 12, 2013

Kaitlyn Kabel, an Arizona teenager, has been working 35 hours a week for the past two years to earn money for college. She’s faithfully deposited each and every paycheck into her bank account and has amassed about $8,000.00. Now the bad news. Since Kaitlyn was a minor when when she opened her bank account, the […]

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One Tulsa house’s trip through a long and winding foreclosure process

July 16, 2013

As a bankruptcy attorney, I help lots of people who find themselves no longer able to pay their house payments. My experience is that the Oklahoma judicial foreclosure process begins generally when a homeowner has fallen about six months behind. Here’s an interesting story, including video, produced by local television station KJRH about one particular Tulsa house’s […]

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Mortgage company not reporting house payments to credit bureaus because reaffirmation agreement was not filed in bankruptcy case

July 10, 2013

Recently I’ve had several of my past Chapter 7 bankruptcy clients contact me with questions regarding why their mortgage company was not reporting to the credit bureaus the house payments they had been making on a timely basis after their bankruptcy. My clients were understandably upset because they were working hard to rebuild their credit […]

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New Means Test Household Income Figures Effective May 1, 2013

April 30, 2013

On May 1, 2013, the income figures used to determine whether or not a person qualifies to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy will be increasing slightly which will make it a little easier to financially qualify to file Chapter 7. The United States Trustee Program has posted the new “Census Bureau Median Family Income By Family […]

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U.S. Trustee Suspends Audits of Bankruptcy Debtors

April 2, 2013

When Congress overhauled the Bankruptcy Code in 2005, it authorized U.S. trustees to randomly designate for audit one out of every 250 consumer bankruptcy cases per federal judicial district. The Bankruptcy Code also authorized audits of any cases in which debtors posted statistically unusual income or expenditures. The audits, which review a variety of financial […]

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Will I lose my property and possessions if I file bankruptcy in Oklahoma?

February 14, 2013

I talk with people every day who are scared to death that if they file bankruptcy, much of their property and possessions will be taken from them in the bankruptcy process. Fortunately, the truth is that the vast majority of people who file bankruptcy in Oklahoma don’t lose any of their possessions. When a person […]

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Student loan debt is becoming a bigger problem than credit card debt

January 9, 2013

Student loan debt in the United States, which totals $850 billion, now exceeds outstanding credit card debt in the U.S., which totals $828 billion. With tuition far outpacing inflation for the past 20 years, student borrowing has continued to grow — a whopping 25% last year. For many Americans, that monthly student loan payment is […]

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