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Terms Used By Oregon Personal Bankruptcy Lawyers

  • Assets: Property owned or being purchased by the debtor. This can be real property (land) or personal property (everything else). The Bankruptcy Court is interested in any property the debtor has an interest in. The Bankruptcy Court does not care whose name is on the title. The question for the Bankruptcy Court and Oregon personal bankruptcy lawyers is "Who really owns this item of property?"
  • Automatic Stay: An order entered automatically by the court the very instant the bankruptcy petition is filed with the Bankruptcy Court. It stops all foreclosures, repossessions, garnishments and creditor contact with the debtor. There are severe penalties for a creditor knowingly violating the automatic stay. If you suspect a violation, you should contact OREGON FRESH START's Oregon personal bankruptcy lawyers immediately.
  • Bankruptcy Code: The federal law which governs all bankruptcy proceedings. Our Oregon personal bankruptcy lawyers are very familiar with it.
  • Chapter 7: The most common type of bankruptcy filed, usually by individuals. It is called a liquidation bankruptcy because the court can take all of your non-exempt assets, sell them and use the money to pay on your debts. However, by using one of our Oregon personal bankruptcy lawyers, most debtors find that they have very few, if any, non-exempt assets.
  • Chapter 11: A reorganization bankruptcy proceeding usually reserved for large businesses. It is very expensive. You probably won't need any Oregon personal bankruptcy lawyers for this.
  • Chapter 13: A debt consolidation type of bankruptcy proceeding for individuals where the debtor makes payments to the court for 3-5 years. This type of bankruptcy is useful for debtors who are behind on house or car payments but want to keep the asset and just need some time to catch up on payments. Oregon Fresh Start's Oregon personal bankruptcy lawyers can help you with Chapter 13.
  • Collateral: The asset that secures a loan such as a car, boat, house or furniture.
  • Creditor: The person or business who is owed money.
  • Debtor: The person or business who owes money.
  • Default: Non-performance of a term of a contract such as missing a payment or failing to carry insurance on your car when it is collateral for a loan.
  • Discharge: The Bankruptcy Court order which says you no longer are required to pay a debt. Some debts cannot be discharged such as court fines, recent taxes, child support and others. Some debts that cannot be discharged in a Chapter 7 can be discharged in a Chapter 13. Your Oregon personal bankruptcy lawyers should help you know which debts are discharging.
  • Equity: The difference between the value of an asset and the balance of any loan where the asset is collateral. Ask your Oregon personal bankruptcy lawyer to help you calculate equity.
  • Exempt: Assets are exempt if the Bankruptcy Court cannot take them away from the debtor. This allows the debtor to keep exempt property for his or her fresh start. At Oregon Fresh Start, Oregon personal bankruptcy lawyers will help you keep as much property as possible.
  • Exemption: The laws which describe which property is exempt. There are federal exemptions and state exemptions. Debtors in Oregon are required to use state exemptions.
  • Fair Market Value: The amount a willing buyer will pay to a willing seller for an asset. This is the valuation used in bankruptcy. It can be complicated so contact one of our Oregon personal bankruptcy lawyers today for help.
  • Foreclosure: The legal process a creditor uses to obtain possession of real property from a debtor. After you file for bankruptcy with qualified Oregon personal bankruptcy lawyers, foreclosures should cease.
  • Garnishment: The process a creditor uses to obtain money from a debtor's bank account or wages after the creditor has a judgment against the debtor. After you file for bankruptcy with qualified Oregon personal bankruptcy lawyers, garnishments should cease.
  • No Asset Case: A Chapter 7 case in which the trustee determines that the debtor has no significant assets which can be taken and sold to pay the claims of creditors. The debtor gets to keep all of their assets.
  • Petition: The document signed by the debtor and filed with the Bankruptcy Court which begins the bankruptcy process.
  • Preference: A transfer to a creditor by the debtor of property (usually money) to pay a debt that existed prior to filing bankruptcy. Transfers made within a short time prior to filing can be recovered by the bankruptcy trustee, sold and the proceeds then shared with all of the creditors.
  • Reaffirm: The process where the debtor and creditor enter into an agreement reinstating all the terms of a loan after a bankruptcy has been filed. When this is done, all of the protection of the bankruptcy filing as to that loan is lost. OREGON FRESH START seldom recommends that a debtor reaffirm a debt. Oregon law allows debtors to keep property which is collateral for a loan without the need to reaffirm as long as the payments continue to be made.
  • Relief From Stay: The process used by creditors to override the automatic stay described above. Once the creditor obtains a Relief From Stay Order from the court, the creditor is allowed to do whatever the order provides. The order usually provides that the creditor can begin foreclosure or repossession of an asset such as a car or house. Oregon personal bankruptcy lawyers can help you with this situation.
  • Trustee: The person appointed by the Bankruptcy Court to oversee the bankruptcies in a certain geographic area. The trustee's obligation is to represent the interests of the creditors. Oregon personal bankruptcy lawyers can act as Trustees on your behalf.

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