Lexington, Kentucky Bankruptcy Lawyers
Bunch & Brock are Kentucky bankruptcy lawyers with years of experience who have successfully helped many individuals file for bankruptcy and get a fresh start.
When bills mount up and there is no money to pay them, it can feel like you’re living in a vise grip with nowhere to turn. Rather than continuing to struggle, it may be time to file for bankruptcy and look forward to a new day. A Kentucky bankruptcy attorney can walk beside you when you make this important decision and put a plan in place for a brighter future.
The attorneys at Bunch & Brock understand your situation, and they’re here to help you.
Our Kentucky bankruptcy attorneys know the ins and outs of the law and can put your mind at ease during an otherwise stressful time. Contact one of our bankruptcy lawyers at 859-759-4681 for a consultation.
Why Do You Need a Kentucky Bankruptcy Attorney?
Your financial future depends on doing things right and managing the law in your favor. There are a lot of moving parts when it comes to filing a bankruptcy case, and you want to make sure that nothing gets left out. A Kentucky bankruptcy lawyer at Bunch & Brock has years of experience and know-how in handling bankruptcy cases. Our attorneys can also step in and make those harassing phone calls and letters from annoying creditors stop immediately, giving you room to breathe.
When financial difficulties overwhelm you, everything feels stressful. Even going to the grocery store and counting your pennies or wondering whether you have money to buy gas for your car can seem insurmountable. That’s where a Kentucky bankruptcy attorney can help lift the load off your shoulders and create a strategy for a fresh financial start.
How Do I Know When It’s Time to Call a Lexington, KY Bankruptcy Lawyer?
The short answer is, “the sooner the better.” Most people struggle along in good faith for months or even years trying to keep up with credit card debt, car payments and other loans by making minimum payments and racking up late fees. While this strategy can work in the short term to get through a rough patch, it is almost always unsuccessful when there’s no light at the end of the tunnel and a long-term solution is needed. There’s no shame in saying, “I give up. There’s got to be a better way.”
There is a better way, and our Kentucky bankruptcy lawyers can guide you to it and through it. Contact Bunch & Brock to talk to one of our skilled attorneys about potential solutions. You can reach us at 859-759-4681 for an initial consultation.
What Are the Common Reasons Why People File for Bankruptcy?
You’re not alone if you’re overwhelmed by debt. In the 12-year span from October 1, 2005, to September 30, 2017, about 12.8 million consumer bankruptcy petitions were filed in the federal courts. Of those, 8.7 million (68%) were filed under Chapter 7, and 4.1 million (32%) were filed under Chapter 13, according to USCourts.gov. Bankruptcy can provide a fresh financial start for consumers who cannot pay their debts, because of either insolvency or insufficient income to meet creditor demands.
Most cases of bankruptcy aren’t caused by reckless spending but by financial hardship, and many are lower-income individuals who simply can’t afford to deal with unexpected major expenses such as job loss or medical bills, according to Debt.org.
Here are the top 10 reasons people file for bankruptcy, according to an article in the Huffington Post:
1. Medical Expenses
A recent Harvard University study showed that medical expenses account for approximately 62% of personal bankruptcies in the US. Interestingly, the study also showed that 72% of those who filed for bankruptcy due to medical expenses had some type of health insurance, thus debunking the myth that only the uninsured face financial catastrophes due to medical-related expenses.
2. Reduced Income
Companies are cutting down on their expenses; and for many employees, this results in major pay cuts and reductions in bonuses. The end result to employees can include bankruptcy.
3. Job Loss
Even if there’s a substantial severance pay, job loss can quickly deplete one’s savings and assets. Plus, job loss brings extra expenses such as COBRA insurance — and there’s no guarantee as to when a new job will be forthcoming.
4. Credit Debt
Credit debt isn’t just a result of irresponsible spending. It can also pile up due to catastrophes such as illness and disability, job loss, emergency expenses or unexpected income reduction.
Divorce is a costly business, even without counting lawyers’ fees. Divorce and separation can also mean a significant loss of income and assets for either or both partners. It may also mean taking on a portion of your partner’s debt if you co-signed or opened joint accounts with them.
6. Unexpected Expenses
Emergencies can hover just around the corner, whether they involve a car breaking down, a tree falling on the roof or catastrophic storm damage. Just one of these events can quickly drain savings that took years to accumulate.
7. Student Loans
If you haven’t paid that student loan off yet, you’re not alone. Statistics show that student loans account for at least 1% of all U.S. bankruptcies, which translates to roughly 15,000 bankruptcies a year.
8. Utility Payments
For many of today’s homeowners, the rising costs of heating, air conditioning, electric light and other necessities can quickly help pave the way to bankruptcy.
According to statistics, more than one 1% of Americans have to file for bankruptcy in order to avoid foreclosure on their homes.
10. Bad Budgeting/Overspending
Thanks to inflation, managing money is harder than ever; and a combination of bad budgeting and uncontrolled spending can provide a shortcut to skyrocketing debt and bankruptcy.
Contact a Kentucky Bankruptcy Lawyer Now
If you find yourself on the short end of the stick when it comes to these kinds of emergencies or catastrophic losses, don’t despair and don’t give up hope. There is a solution. Contact a Kentucky bankruptcy attorney at 859-759-4681 to discuss your situation.
We’re here when you need us.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Kentucky Bankruptcy Lawyer?
Every law firm sets its own fee schedules, which are sometimes an hourly rate and sometimes a lump-sum fee for a particular service. Often, the cost of a bankruptcy attorney’s legal services is a flat rate. In some cases, a portion of the fee is required up front when you hire a bankruptcy attorney, and the balance can be paid off before the bankruptcy is discharged. In addition to attorney’s fees, you will also have to pay court filing fees. More complicated bankruptcy cases, whether Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, can require more attorney hours and therefore cost more. A Bunch & Brock bankruptcy lawyer can discuss your situation with you confidentially and give you a better idea of the fees involved.
How Long Does a Bankruptcy Stay on My Credit Record?
Bankruptcy is a serious financial setback, even though it is also a fresh start. A bankruptcy on your credit record can make it hard to secure consumer debt at a reasonable interest rate in the initial years after your filing. It can also make it difficult to get a mortgage or other type of loan. But these challenges can be weathered on your way to a brighter future.
Chapter 7 – This bankruptcy will stay on your credit record for 10 years after the bankruptcy is discharged by a judge.
Chapter 13 – This bankruptcy will stay on your credit record for 7 years after the terms of a Chapter 13 reorganization plan have been fulfilled and completed.
Does Bankruptcy Affect My Retirement Savings?
Generally, your current or future Social Security payments and your retirement accounts are beyond the reach of the bankruptcy court and creditors. These funds will be protected, though in a few cases there are caps on the amounts.
Congress overhauled the bankruptcy laws in 2005. Currently, nearly all ERISA-qualified retirement accounts and pension plans are exempt from creditors. There are some exceptions. ERISA-qualified pension plans that are exempt include:
- Profit-sharing plans
- Defined-benefit plans
- money purchase plans.
However, regular savings accounts, investment accounts and stock option plans will not be protected if they are not ERISA-qualified plans, and many are not. Additionally, if at the time you file for bankruptcy, some of your previous Social Security payments have been commingled with other funds in a checking or savings account, it may be difficult to protect these.
Where Bankruptcy Proceedings in Kentucky Happen
There are two federal bankruptcy courts in Kentucky:
Court Locations: Ashland, London, Covington, Frankfort, Lexington, Pikeville
Court Locations: Bowling Green, Louisville, Owensboro, Paducah
A Kentucky bankruptcy lawyer at Bunch & Brock has spent a lot of time in these courthouses and is familiar with the judges, clerks and staff. It can be intimidating to walk into a courthouse by yourself and try to find the forms, documents and information you need to begin the bankruptcy process. Let one of our attorneys do this for you and spare you unneeded stress and uncertainty.
You can call a Kentucky bankruptcy lawyer at 859-759-4681 for an initial consultation about your case.
A Kentucky Bankruptcy Attorney Can Explain the Kentucky Median Income
If your currently monthly household income is less than the Kentucky median income for a household of your size, there is a presumption that you pass the means test and are eligible to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Kentucky, according to KentuckyBankruptcy.info.
Your average household income is determined by averaging your monthly income over the last six calendar months. If you are over the median income limit and your income has declined over the last six months, then waiting one or more months might bring your income under the median level for Kentucky. Once you determine your average monthly income, you multiply that by 12 to determine your annual income for the purposes of Kentucky’s median income test.
|1 Member Household – $40,633||6 Member Household – $84,039|
|2 Member Household – $47,788||7 Member Household – $92,139|
|3 Member Household – $53,639||8 Member Household – $100,239|
|4 Member Household – $67,839||9 Member Household – $108,339|
|5 Member Household – $75,939||10 Member Household – $116,439|
While all of these numbers can seem confusing, a lawyer at Bunch & Brock can explain this in easy-to-understand terms and take the guesswork out of bankruptcy jargon. Contact one of our Kentucky bankruptcy lawyers at 859-759-4681 for your initial consultation.
Kentucky Pre-Discharge Debtor Education Course
After you file bankruptcy in Kentucky, you are required to take a debtor education class. This class is necessary to receive a discharge of your debts. Once you complete the course, you will receive a debtor education certificate.
The purpose of the debtor education class is to teach you how to budget your income and responsibly manage your finances after you complete the bankruptcy process. These classes are often online and are not particularly difficult, but they are required by law to complete the bankruptcy process. A Kentucky bankruptcy attorney at Bunch & Brock can tell you more about where and when you can take this class.
Kentucky Bankruptcy Process: How to File Bankruptcy in Kentucky
2005 Bankruptcy Act Credit Counseling
The 2005 Bankruptcy Act requires all individual debtors who file bankruptcy in Kentucky on or after October 17, 2005, to undergo credit counseling within six months before filing for bankruptcy relief and to complete a financial management instructional course after filing bankruptcy.
To begin the bankruptcy process, you must itemize your current income sources; major financial transactions for the last two years; monthly living expenses; debts (secured and unsecured); and property (all assets and possessions, not just real estate). You should also collect your tax returns for the last two years, deeds to any real estate you own, titles for your car(s), and the documents for any loans you may have. Talk to a bankruptcy lawyer in Kentucky for help with this process.
Filing Bankruptcy in Kentucky
Once you have gathered this information, with the help of a Kentucky bankruptcy attorney you should then determine which property you believe is exempt from seizure based on the Kentucky exemptions. To actually file, your Kentucky bankruptcy attorney will need to file a two-page petition and several other forms at your Kentucky district bankruptcy court.These forms, collectively referred to as the schedules, ask you to describe your current financial status and recent financial transactions (typically within the last two years). A Kentucky bankruptcy attorney at Bunch & Brock will walk you through this process. Contact us at 859-759-4681 for your initial consultation.
A Lexington, KY Bankruptcy Attorney Takes the Guesswork Out of the Process
Let’s face it, if you’re not an attorney all of this can be pretty confusing and intimidating. Just like no one knows the pipes under your kitchen sink like a plumber does, no one knows bankruptcy laws like a Kentucky bankruptcy lawyer does. If you’ve received advice to file your own bankruptcy paperwork, think again. One mistake could cost you more than an attorney’s entire fee.
Rather than sitting up late at night at your kitchen table trying to decipher legal jargon and sift through a giant stack of documents, talk to an experienced and highly effective Kentucky bankruptcy attorney at Bunch & Brock. We can do the work in a fraction of the time it would take you.
There is so much you need to handle at this difficult time. There are the daily tasks of going to work, caring for your family, taking care of your home and other everyday responsibilities. Don’t let the financial stress you are facing derail you. Allow a skilled Kentucky bankruptcy attorney to lift this legal burden off your shoulders so you can focus on the important things in your life.
Personalized, Professional Legal Guidance from Bunch & Brock
Don’t pick a Kentucky bankruptcy attorney out of the phone book or by calling any name that pops up on a Google internet search. It’s important that you select a good Kentucky bankruptcy attorney who puts your needs first, answers your phone calls promptly and listens closely to your concerns and goals. At Bunch & Brock, we understand that our clients come first, and we do everything we can to make the bankruptcy process smooth, swift and efficient.
No one wants to have to file bankruptcy, but sometimes it’s the best option to put a bad situation behind you and get a fresh start. At Bunch & Brock, we’re all about new beginnings!
Call 859-759-4681 and talk to an experienced and highly effective Kentucky bankruptcy attorney. Your new future begins today.