I'm a consumer protection lawyer in Oregon, working with people in Klamath; Lake; Jackson; Josephine; Curry; and Deschutes County. I speak regularly on bankruptcy and consumer protection issues nationwide.


Author: Karen Oakes, Esq.

02 Mar Oregon Bankruptcy: You Can Keep Your Gun But Not Your Tax Refund!!

When someone files for bankruptcy protection, the US Bankruptcy Code protects some property by declaring it "exempt". Oregon voted to not participate in the exemptions provided for by the US Bankruptcy Code (yep, states are allowed to say "we don't want the feds telling us what to do in our state!"). Oregon exemption laws are sometimes confusing. For example, there are six different figures that can be used to figure out a homestead exemption (ranging from $20,000 to $37,000 and depending on marital status and /or whether the residence is mobile home, mobile home on land, or a stick-built house). There is one exemption, no matter how many people live in the house for the household goods in the house ($3000). There is an exemption for cars of $2100 per car, limited to the husband/wife, or the single debtor. (in other words, a single person cannot claim two cars as exempt...just one). Since Oregon is way out in the West, guns are considered important and there is an exemption for each debtor to have one long gun and one hand gun. The total value cannot exceed $1000.
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02 Mar Bankruptcy Basics–Chapter 13, What Does That Mean?

A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a bankruptcy case filed under Chapter 13 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. The Bankruptcy Code is part of Title 11 of the United States Code. Chapter 7 is titled "Liquidation". Some other sections of Title 11 apply to Chapter 13 Debtors even though the rules are in different chapters. For example: Chapter 1 defines who can be a debtor. Chapter 3 deals with how the cases (under any chapter) are handled by the courts, trustees, and others. Chapter 5 talks about creditors, debtors and the estate of the debtor. The whole law has to be read to understand what applies and what doesn't apply. An attorney can help guide you through the maze known as 11 USC and help you find the relief that is sometimes hidden in the Code. A chapter 13 bankruptcy is available only to a real life person, no corporations or limited liability companies allowed. (Those would file either Chapter 7 or Chapter 11 bankruptcies). A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is sometimes referred to as "reorganization". The US Bankruptcy Code still imposes a "stay" so that creditors must not try to collect debts.
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