Let’s discuss the property you can shield from creditors in the state of Oklahoma.

Table of Contents
  1. Who files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Oklahoma?
  2. Oklahoma Bankruptcy Exemptions: What property can I keep?

Oklahoma’s median household income is below the national average, but that’s not necessarily bad news for Sooner State residents when it comes to debt relief options, such as bankruptcy.

Lower costs in key areas balance out lower incomes. The median Oklahoma home sale price, as reported by RealtyTrac, is also a little lower than the national median. The more affordable cost of living has new residents moving to Oklahoma. In the past few years, Kiplinger has rated Oklahoma City the number one place in the country to start a business, and listed the city among the 10 most affordable cities in the United States.

However, the state unemployment rate remains high, which means some Oklahoma residents will be facing difficult economic times.

Oklahoma Bankruptcy Exemptions

The top 5 exemptions under Oklahoma state law.
Type of exemptionOklahoma law
HomesteadUnlimited up to 160 acres outside of a city or town, or 1 acre inside city limits
Personal propertyFurniture, a personal computer, tools of the trade up to $10,000, apparel up to $4,000, books and pictures, $3,000 in wedding rings, livestock (with some limits)
Vehicle$7,500; doubled for married couples filing jointly
Wages75% earned in the 90 days before filing

See also: How Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Works

Who files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Oklahoma?

People file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy for many different reasons. Some simply make mistakes, such as running up too much credit card debt or making a bad investment. Others have their financial stability disrupted by an unexpected event, such as an illness, serious injury, or job loss.

With very limited exceptions, it doesn’t matter how debt spiraled out of control. What matters is taking steps to regain control and build a more stable financial future. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is most likely to help people who:

  • Have a high level of debt in relation to their income;
  • Are mostly concerned with eliminating unsecured debt;
  • Do not have significant assets.

Eligibility for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is determined through a complex formula involving income, allowable living expenses, and debt. However, if the debtor’s household income is below the state median for a comparable family size, he or she will typically qualify.

The median income figures used for this calculation are updated regularly. As of December 2017, the applicable Oklahoma median incomes are:

  • One-earner household: $45,206
  • Two-person: $57,207
  • Three-person: $63,622
  • Four-person: $70,144

For larger households, add $8,400 per additional household member.

Some debtors whose income is above the median may still qualify, depending on other factors. If you’re not sure whether or not Chapter 7 bankruptcy is an option for you, a local bankruptcy lawyer can be your best source of information.

Oklahoma Bankruptcy Exemptions: What property can I keep?

While some states allow bankruptcy petitioners to choose between Oklahoma state exemptions and federal bankruptcy exemptions, Oklahoma does not. Only the state exemptions are available. However, certain federal non-bankruptcy exemptions may apply, to the extent that they provide greater protection than the corresponding state exemption.

Here are some of the most popular exemptions for Chapter 7 bankruptcy filers in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma Homestead Exemption

Oklahoma is one of a handful of states offering an unlimited homestead exemption — at least, in monetary terms. There are some restrictions on the homestead property. For example, the property cannot exceed 160 acres in an unincorporated area, or one acre if located in a “city or town.” And, the exemption may be significantly reduced if more than 25% of the property is used for business purposes.

Oklahoma Motor Vehicle Exemption

Oklahoma law exempts up to $7,500 in equity in a motor vehicle. This amount is doubled, to $15,000, for a married couple filing jointly.

Oklahoma Personal Property Exemption

Personal property exemptions in Oklahoma include:

  • All household furniture and appliances, including a personal computer;
  • Burial plots;
  • Certain farm implements and tools of the trade, up to an aggregate $10,000;
  • Books, portraits, and pictures;
  • Wearing apparel up to an aggregate $4,000 in value;
  • Up to $3,000 aggregate value in wedding and anniversary rings;
  • Professionally prescribed health aids;
  • Guns, not to exceed $2,000 in aggregate value;
  • Livestock up to:
    • Two horses, two bridles, and two saddles
    • Five milk cows and their calves up to six months of age
    • 10 hogs
    • 20 head of sheep

Oklahoma Wage Exemption

Oklahoma exemptions protect 75% of wages earned in the 90 days preceding the bankruptcy filing.

Oklahoma Retirement Account Exemptions

Oklahoma law broadly exempts “any interest in a retirement plan or arrangement qualified for tax exemption or deferment purposes under present or future Acts of Congress.”

If you’re struggling to get out of debt and feel like you just can’t get ahead, Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be the answer. Scheduling a free consultation with a local bankruptcy attorney could be the first step toward a brighter future for you and your family.

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