I Recently Moved to Oklahoma – Can I File Bankruptcy Here?
If you recently moved to Oklahoma and have determined that you need to file bankruptcy, there are a some stepping stones you must overcome:
180 Days Before Filing
In most cases, the proper location to file a bankruptcy case is the locations where you lived for the greater part of the 180 days. If you moved to Oklahoma 91 days ago, Oklahoma is the proper location for your bankruptcy. If your time here is less than 91 days, you can either: (a) File in the location in which you did live for 91 days or; (b) Wait until you have lived in Oklahoma for 91 days.
Which Exemptions Do I Use?
Although Oklahoma may be the proper location to file your bankruptcy, you must next determine which exemptions apply to you. If you have lived in Oklahoma for 2 years, then you will use Oklahoma’s exemptions. If your time in Oklahoma is less than 2 years, then a different 180 day rule must be applied: Under that rule you must use the exemptions of the state where you were domiciled for the longer portion of the 180 days immediately period prior to the 2 years preceding your bankruptcy filing. Are you confused yet? In short, if you lived in Texas for 3 years and moved to Oklahoma 91 days ago, you would initially be required to use Texas exemptions.
What If I Am Prohibited from Using That State’s Exemptions?
I ended the previous paragraph with “initially” because some states, including Oklahoma, refuse to allow non-residents to use their exemptions. In the above example, if Texas refuses to allow non-residents to use their exemption, where does that leave you? Are you simply denied exemptions if you file bankruptcy? No. In that circumstance, you would use the Federal exemptions, even though Oklahoma prohibits its residents from doing so!
What if Purchased a Home After My Move?
Normally, if your land is within the size and acreage limitations under Oklahoma law, the value of your homestead exemption is unlimited. In other words, your home can be worth any amount of money and still be fully exempt. However, federal law potentially imposes a limitation if your purchased your homestead within 1,215 days of filing bankruptcy. In that instance, your homestead exemption will generally be limited to: $160,375.00 plus any amount you transferred from the sale of a prior homestead which you owned for over 1,215 days before bankruptcy. Finally, don’t forget that your mortgage goes on top. For example, if your home is worth $300,000.00 and your mortgage is $150,000.00, the $150,000.00 equity is fully protected by the reduced exemption of $160,375.00.
Recent (and under the bankruptcy code that is longer than you think) movers should consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney to ensure that their case is filed in the correct location and that their exemptions are maximized under the law. Call us today.
(We are a debt relief agency, we help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.)