Bankruptcy in Oregon is a legal process through which some of the debts of an individual or a business are absolved (excused). You should not view bankruptcy as an opportunity to eliminate your debts just because you don't feel like paying them - it can be a long and difficult procedure. Bankruptcy is designed to be a last resort to prevent complete financial ruin, while allowing creditors to collect at least some of their debts in an orderly fashion. Filing for bankruptcy can have major negative effects on one's credit score, which will make it more difficult to get loans in the future.
Accordingly, if you are considering bankruptcy as an option, you need to thoroughly examine the costs and benefits. A good Oregon bankruptcy lawyer can advise you as to the pros and cons of bankruptcy, and give his or her expert opinion about whether or not bankruptcy is a good option, based on the facts of your distinct case.
Types of Bankruptcy in Oregon
Bankruptcy is governed by federal law, so the procedures in filing for bankruptcy in Oregon will be the same as everywhere else in the United States. There are 2 basic forms of bankruptcy that consumers typically use: Chapter 7, and Chapter 13, owing their names to where they are found in the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Additionally, there is a form of bankruptcy normally used by businesses called Chapter 11. Chapter 11 is available to individuals, but it is rarely the best option for them.
In Oregon, Chapter 7 bankruptcy is referred to as "liquidation." The court will conduct an accounting of all of the debtor's assets, and determine which ones should be sold to help pay off the debts. Many classes of property, such as homes and cars, are exempt from this requirement, and therefore don't have to be sold. Once all of the eligible property is sold off, and the proceeds given to the creditors, the rest of the debt is excused. When Chapter 13 bankrutpcy is filed, the debt is reorganized instead of excused. Essentially, the court, the debtor, and the creditors will work out a repayment plan that the debtor can manage, and will result in most of the debt being paid off, hopefully in a reasonable period of time.
Chapter 11 bankruptcy is typically used by businesses, rather than individuals. Much like Chapter 13, it involves reorganization of debts. It compels the debtor to come up with a reorganization plan, but this plan has to be approved by a majority vote of participating creditors. Once it is approved, the company is obligated to carry it out.
How Can a Oregon Bankruptcy Lawyer Help?
Filing for bankruptcy can be a life-changing decision. Depending on the circumstances, it can change your life for the better, or worse. An Oregon bankruptcy lawyer can help you figure out if bankruptcy is a viable option for your specific situation.
Interesting Facts About Oregon
The state of Oregon is located in the Pacific Northwest of the U.S. Oregon has a very rich geographic make-up, with many natural resources and pristine scenery. Thus, the state has some of the nation's strongest pro-environment laws and anti-urban growth policies. These are enforced in efforts to preserve the state's natural environment as the state economy expands.
Oregon is the only state in the U.S. where postal voting is the only method allowed for citizens to vote. The state pioneered voting by mail in 1998 and influenced many other U.S. areas that use postal voting. Also, in 1994 Oregon became the first state to establish state-wide health care through the Oregon Health Plan. In addition to its environmental laws, these developments have made Oregon a pioneer in terms of legal innovations.
There are many types of courts in Oregon, including the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, and a variety of minor courts. Most Oregon lawsuits begin at the Circuit Court level. One of the most famous cases in U.S. law, Philip Morris USA v. Williams, originated in the state of Oregon. The Philip Morris case set precedents for claims involving large punitive damage awards, as the plaintiff was issued an award for $79.5 million.
Lawyers in Oregon focus on legal issues that can be quite specific to the region. Oregon laws contain regulations not found elsewhere in the U.S., but an experienced Oregon lawyer can provide expert advice on the state's laws. Attorneys in Oregon provide counsel and representation for clients with legal issues.