Are you looking for an experienced bankruptcy lawyer in Louisville, KY? The Law Office of Allan E. Dunaway, PLC is here to help. We have over 20 years of experience in helping our Louisville clients resolve and restructure their debt obligations. Don’t let the fear of bankruptcy hold you back. Call us today for your Free Bankruptcy Consultation and let’s begin working toward a future of debt relief.
Louisville Bankruptcy Overview
The decision to file for bankruptcy can be overwhelming and stressful. You are not alone. Every year, thousands of people file for bankruptcy across the state of Kentucky. In fact, the bankruptcy laws were put in place to help individuals like you who are facing financial difficulties. Filing for bankruptcy affords the opportunity to eliminate bills or restructure debt into a payment plan that you can afford.
Reasons To File For Bankruptcy in Louisville
There are many reasons to declare personal bankruptcy including:
- Medical Expenses
- Reduced Income or Job Loss
- Real Estate Foreclosure
- Credit Card Debt
- Wage Garnishment
- Unexpected Expenses
If you are struggling with any of these financial hardships, don’t go another day without speaking to a professional bankruptcy attorney. The Law Office of Allan E. Dunaway will provide you with friendly and courteous counsel to make the bankruptcy process as easy on you and your family as possible.
Types of Personal Bankruptcy in Kentucky
The United States Bankruptcy Code provides different options for resolving your personal debt obligations. There are various types or “Chapters” of bankruptcy available to you depending on your needs. Each type of bankruptcy has its own requirements for filing, as well as unique powers not available through other types of bankruptcy.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Kentucky
Chapter 7 bankruptcy, also known as liquidation bankruptcy, is the most common form of consumer (non-business) debtor bankruptcy. There are many benefits to filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. Chapter 7 will halt collections activity including lawsuits, garnishments and threatening phone calls. It will also help you to eliminate most, if not all, of your debt and give you a great chance of keeping your assets. Additionally, a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy may be resolved in a matter of months. While there are many benefits to filing a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Kentucky, there are certain considerations that may lead you to choosing another form of bankruptcy. This is why you should call us today for your Free Bankruptcy Consultation.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Kentucky
Another type of personal bankruptcy is Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, sometimes referred to as the “Wage Earners Bankruptcy.” The primary purpose of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is to create a repayment plan for your debts. It allows you to retain all of your assets while repaying all or a portion of what you owe to your creditors over a 3 to 5 year period. In many cases, you will only be repaying your unsecured creditors a small percentage of the total debt. In a Chapter 13 case, you file a Plan that provides the payment terms for your creditors. Similar to Chapter 7, there are many considerations you will need to understand before you file. Give us a call and we will help you navigate these decisions.
Medical Bankruptcy in Kentucky
Medical Bankruptcy is not a type or “Chapter” of bankruptcy according the US Bankruptcy Code, however it is one of the major types of debt that causes people to seek bankruptcy protections. According to recent studies, over 50% of Americans have had medical debt sent to collections at one point or another. With rising medical costs and increasing out-of-pocket medical expenses, this number will likely continue for the foreseeable future. You need to know that there are options for resolving your medical debt. If you are overburdened by existing medical debt, give us a call for your Free Bankruptcy Consultation.
Chapter 7 vs Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Explained
Are you struggling to meet your financial obligations? Then you may have started looking at what options you have to relieve yourself of your debt. If you live in the United States, you have a few options to consider. Bankruptcy laws were designed for this exact reason. They allow the consumer to either wipe out their existing obligations or repackage them into a payment plan that is repaid over a specified time frame. In both scenarios, the consumer is able to emerge from the bankruptcy filing with their “head above water”. Let’s take a deeper look at the similarities and differences between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy.
If you’re looking for a way to eliminate debt, then bankruptcy may be an option for you. However, filing for bankruptcy is a serious decision that can have long-term consequences. It’s important to understand the differences between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies so that you can make an informed decision about which one is right for your financial situation. Let’s take a look at the differences between these two forms of bankruptcy and how they could affect you if you decide to file.
What is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a type of bankruptcy available to individuals and businesses. It is sometimes referred to as “straight” or “liquidation” bankruptcy. Under Chapter 7, a trustee is appointed by the court to collect and sell your nonexempt assets and distribute the proceeds to your creditors. You are allowed to exempt (keep) certain property, but most people who file for Chapter 7 have few, if any, nonexempt assets.
In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you must list all of your assets and debts, including secured debts (for example, your mortgage or car loan) and unsecured debts (such as credit card bills, medical expenses, and personal loans). You’ll also need to disclose any lawsuits that have been filed against you and any property that has been repossessed.
The trustee will sell your nonexempt assets and use the proceeds to pay your creditors. If you have any nonexempt property, the trustee may ask you to turn it over to him or her. However, you may be able to keep certain types of property if you can afford the payments. For example, you may be able to keep your house or car if you continue to make the payments on time.
If you don’t have any nonexempt assets, your creditors will not receive anything from the bankruptcy estate. However, they may still try to collect the debt from you by garnishing your wages or seizing your bank account.
Once you’ve filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the court will issue a discharge order. This order permanently eliminates your responsibility for most types of debt. However, some types of debt cannot be discharged in bankruptcy, such as child support, alimony, student loans, and most taxes.
When Should You File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a big decision and should not be made lightly. Factors to consider before taking the plunge include:
Your Financial Situation
First and foremost, you should only file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy if you’re truly in a financial bind and cannot afford to pay your debts. If you have some disposable income each month, it may be better to try another option, such as a debt consolidation loan or credit counseling.
As mentioned above, one of the biggest drawbacks of Chapter 7 bankruptcy is that you may have to give up some of your assets. If you’re attached to your possessions and don’t want to part with them, bankruptcy may not be your best option.
Your Credit Score
Bankruptcy will stay on your credit report for seven to 10 years, and it will likely cause your credit score to drop significantly. If you’re not planning on applying for any new credit during that time, it may not be a big deal. However, if you’re looking to buy a house or car in the near future, you may want to consider another option.
Filing for bankruptcy can also affect your employment. If your job requires you to maintain a security clearance, you may lose your clearance if you file for bankruptcy. This could lead to losing your job.
Before making the decision to file for bankruptcy, it’s important to sit down and weigh the pros and cons. If you’re unsure whether it’s the right decision for you, speak with an experienced bankruptcy attorney. He or she can help you understand the process and decide if it’s the best option for your particular situation.
How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
If you’ve decided that Chapter 7 bankruptcy is right for you, there are a few steps you’ll need to take to get the process started.
First, you’ll need to take a credit counseling course from an approved provider. This must be done within 180 days before filing for bankruptcy.
Next, you’ll need to gather all of your financial documents, including your tax returns, pay stubs, bank statements, and bills. You’ll use these documents to complete your bankruptcy petition and schedules.
Once your petition and schedules are completed, you’ll need to file them with the bankruptcy court in your district. You’ll also need to pay a filing fee, which is currently $338 for Chapter 7 cases.
After you’ve filed your bankruptcy petition, the court will issue a notice of the filing to all of your creditors. This will put an automatic stay in place, which means your creditors cannot take any collection actions against you.
You’ll also need to attend a creditors meeting, typically about 30-40 days after you file for bankruptcy. At this meeting, your creditors will have the opportunity to ask you questions about your bankruptcy case.
If your case is relatively simple and there are no issues with your creditors, your case may be over at this point. However, your case may need to go to court if there are any problems or disputes.
What Is Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is also known as a wage earner’s plan. It enables individuals with a steady income to develop a strategy to repay all or part of their debts. Under Chapter 13 bankruptcy, debtors must propose a detailed three to five-year repayment plan to creditors. Creditors must agree to the plan, and the court must approve it.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy requires debtors to use their disposable income to repay their creditors. Disposable income is the amount left over after mandatory expenses, such as taxes and child support, have been paid. The debtor makes payments to a trustee, who distributes the funds to creditors.
How Does Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Work?
If you decide to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you’ll need to complete several steps.
Prepare Your Bankruptcy Petition, Schedules I-v, and Statement of Financial Affairs
You’ll need to provide a detailed accounting of your income, debts, assets, and expenses. You’ll also need to list any creditors you want to include in your repayment plan.
File Your Bankruptcy Petition
Once you’ve completed all the required paperwork, you’ll need to file your petition with the bankruptcy court in your jurisdiction.
Attend the 341 Meetings
Also known as the creditors’ meeting, the 341 meeting is where you’ll meet with your bankruptcy trustee and your creditors to discuss your case. You’ll start attending these meetings about 30 to 45 days after you file your petition to give your creditors an opportunity to object to your repayment plan.
Submit Your Repayment Plan
Once you’ve attended the 341 meetings, you’ll need to submit a detailed repayment plan to the court for approval. This plan includes how much you’ll pay your creditors each month and how long you’ll make payments. It should also have a list of your creditors, the amount you owe them, and how much each will be paid under the plan.
Make Your Plan Payments
Once your repayment plan is approved, you’ll need to make your monthly plan payments to the trustee. Failure to make timely payments can result in your case being dismissed.
Complete Your Bankruptcy
If you make all your required plan payments, you’ll be discharged from your remaining qualifying debts at the end of your bankruptcy case. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy discharge is more expansive than a Chapter 7 discharge because it absolves certain debts that can’t be annulled in Chapter 7 bankruptcy. In some cases, you may be able to have your repayment period reduced if you make payments early or pay more than required.
Free Bankruptcy Consultation in Louisville
The Law Office of Allan E. Dunaway PLC is proud to offer Free Bankruptcy Consultations to people in Louisville and the surrounding area. We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code. Call us today and begin working toward a future of debt relief.