Kentucky Bankruptcy Lawyer
When bills mount up and there is no money to pay them, it can feel like you’re living in a vise with nowhere to turn. Rather than continuing to struggle, it may be time to file for bankruptcy and look forward to a new day. Our Kentucky bankruptcy lawyer can walk beside you when you make this important decision. We can help you put a plan in place for a brighter future.
The attorneys at Bunch & Brock understand your situation, and they’re here to help you. We have years of experience in cases like this. Individuals who want a fresh start can rely on our team to help them. Our Kentucky bankruptcy lawyers know the ins and outs of the law. We will put your mind at ease during an otherwise stressful time.
Contact our Kentucky bankruptcy lawyer today at 859-254-5522 for a consultation.
Why Do You Need Our Kentucky Bankruptcy Attorney?
Your financial future depends on doing things right and managing the bankruptcy law in your favor. There are a lot of moving parts when it comes to filing a bankruptcy case. You want to make sure that nothing gets left out. Our team has years of experience and know-how in handling these types of cases in KY. We can 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 our bankruptcy lawyers in KY can help lift the load off your shoulders and create a strategy for a fresh financial start.
Why Is Bunch & Brock the Best Choice for My Bankruptcy?
Our Kentucky law firm has a reputation of always serving our clients’ needs. We take the time to get to know our clients, ensuring that we understand what they want to achieve with the filing for bankruptcy. By learning about your future goals and hopes, we will be able to determine the best way forward.
Our past clients know how hard our team worked for them. You can trust that we will do the same for you. We do not shy away from difficult cases. We’ve shown our willingness to give our clients the attention to detail they need. Some people may feel embarrassment about needing to file for bankruptcy. We work hard to put you at ease. You deserve respectful representation, and we’ve been delivering this since our founding in 1976.
How Do I Know When It’s Time to Call Bunch & Brock?
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 over the long haul. A solution with a long-term goal in mind is the better choice. There’s no shame in saying, “I give up. There has to be a better way.”
There is a better way, and our Kentucky bankruptcy lawyer can guide you through it. Contact our skilled attorneys in Kentucky to talk about potential solutions.
You can reach our Kentucky bankruptcy attorney at 859-254-5522 for an initial consultation.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire Our Kentucky Bankruptcy Lawyer?
Every law firm sets its own fee schedules. Some firms charge an hourly rate, and some charge a lump-sum fee for a particular service. Often, the cost of bankruptcy legal services is a flat rate. In some cases, you’ll pay a portion of the fee up front. You’ll pay the balance at the conclusion of the case.
In addition to our fees, you will also have to pay court filing fees. More complicated cases can require more attorney hours and will cost more. We can discuss your situation with you confidentially and give you a better idea of the fees involved when you call us.
How Long Does a Bankruptcy Stay on My Credit Record?
You should understand that taking this route represents a serious financial setback, even though it also yields a fresh start. With this on your credit record, it can be hard to secure consumer debt at a reasonable interest rate in the initial years after your filing. It can also make it challenging to obtain a mortgage or other type of loan. But these challenges are more manageable when you know you’re on your way to a brighter future.
- Chapter 7 – A Chapter 7 filing will stay on your credit record for 10 years after a judge discharges the bankruptcy.
- Chapter 13 – This filing will stay on your credit record for 7 years after you fulfill and complete the terms of a Chapter 13 reorganization plan.
- Chapter 12 – This type of filing deals with farm businesses and fishing businesses. If you make a consistent income from a family-owned business in these areas, a Chapter 12 filing may be your best option. It stays on the credit report for 7 years.
Is a Business Bankruptcy Filing Possible?
Business bankruptcy filings in Kentucky may be the best option for you, no matter what kind of business organization setup you’re using. Our team has experience with all kinds of filing options. We know how to help our clients find the right way forward for their needs.
Can Our Kentucky Bankruptcy Lawyers Protect Your Retirement Savings?
Generally, your current or future Social Security payments and your retirement accounts are beyond the reach of the creditors. These funds typically receive protection. However, in a few cases, there are caps on the amounts under protection.
Congress overhauled the bankruptcy laws in 2005. Under the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA), nearly all ERISA-qualified (Employee Retirement Income Security Act) retirement accounts and pension plans remain 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 that are not ERISA-qualified plans do not receive protection. 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 payments.
Will I Be Able to Keep My Car and Home After Filing in KY?
When filing for personal bankruptcy, you will have a chance to keep property like a home or a vehicle. These items must meet the rules for exemptions in Kentucky, which include:
- Current loan: If you have a loan on the car or home, and if you are up to date on the payments, you may continue making payments and keep the property.
- Residence: You typically can keep a home if it is your main residence. Vacation homes may not meet the rules for exemptions, though.
- Equity value: For items you own, as long as the equity value is lower than the exemption limit, you usually can keep the item.
What Debts Don’t Go Away After a KY Bankruptcy Filing?
Although bankruptcy will take care of many kinds of debts, there are a few exceptions, including:
- Child support
- Legal fines
- Some taxes owed
- Student loans
- Property loans for items you continue to own
- Loans you received through lying on the financial forms.
If you forgot to list certain debts on your petition for bankruptcy, you will still owe those debts, too. You have to follow all of the rules for filing for bankruptcy to receive relief from debts. Our team can help you follow all of the rules to ensure a successful filing.
Do I Have to Appear in Court as Part of Filing for Bankruptcy in KY?
Most bankruptcy petitioners in Kentucky never have to appear before a judge. You may need to attend a hearing where creditors can ask questions. But the only time you would need to appear in court with a judge is when you need to dispute a certain creditor’s claim. We will represent you and stand by your side during all hearings and court appearances.
Kentucky Bankruptcy Process: How Our Kentucky Bankruptcy Lawyer Can Help You File
As a start, you will need to follow the 2005 Bankruptcy Act. This requires all individual debtors who file bankruptcy in Kentucky on or after October 17, 2005, to undergo credit counseling within six months of filing. The filers also must complete a financial management instructional course after finishing the filing process.
To begin the filing 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 cars, and the documents for any loans you may have. Talk to us for help with this process.
Filing Bankruptcy in Kentucky
Once you have this information, our bankruptcy lawyer can help you determine which property may be exempt from seizure, based on the exemptions in KY.
To perform the actual filing, our team will help you file a two-page petition and several other forms in bankruptcy court in Kentucky. These forms, collectively referred to as the schedules, ask you to describe your current financial status and recent financial transactions. These typically cover those transactions within the last two years. Our team will walk you through this situation.
Our Kentucky Bankruptcy Attorney Takes the Guesswork Out of the Process
Let’s face it, for the average person, all of this can be pretty confusing and intimidating. If you received advice to file your own paperwork, think again. One mistake could cost you more than our 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 Bunch & Brock. We can do the work in a fraction of the time it would take you. You have enough to handle at this difficult time. There are the daily tasks of going to work, caring for your family, and taking care of your home. Don’t let the financial stress you are facing derail you. Allow our team to lift this legal burden off your shoulders, so you can focus on the important things in your life.
Our Bankruptcy Lawyers in KY Can Explain the Kentucky Median Income Rule
If your current monthly household income is less than the Kentucky median income for a household of your size, you may pass the means test. You then are eligible to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Kentucky.
To determine your average household income, calculate your monthly income over the last six calendar months. If you are over the median income limit, but your income has steadily declined over the last six months, you may want to wait. It’s possible your median income may fall under the median level for Kentucky over the next few months.
While all of these calculations can seem confusing, the team at Bunch & Brock can explain them in easy-to-understand terms. We will take the guesswork out of jargon related to filing for bankruptcy.
Get the help you need from highly experienced attorneys. Contact our Kentucky bankruptcy lawyers at 859-254-5522 for your initial consultation.
Kentucky Pre-Discharge Debtor Education Course
After you file, you must 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 going forward. These KY classes often are available online. They are not particularly difficult to complete. We can tell you more about where and when you can take this class.
Where Bankruptcy Proceedings in Kentucky Happen
There are two federal bankruptcy courts in Kentucky:
- Kentucky Eastern Bankruptcy Court: Serving Ashland, London, Covington, Frankfort, Lexington, and Pikeville
- Kentucky Western Bankruptcy Court: Serving Bowling Green, Louisville, Owensboro, and Paducah
Our Kentucky bankruptcy lawyer has spent a lot of time in these courthouses. We are 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. Let our team do this for you and spare you unneeded stress and uncertainty.
Contact a Kentucky Bankruptcy Lawyer Now
If you find yourself on the short end of the stick when it comes to catastrophic financial losses and overwhelming debts, don’t despair. Don’t give up hope. There is a solution. Contact us at 859-254-5522 to discuss your situation.
We’re here when you need us.
What Are the Common Reasons Why People File for Bankruptcy?
You’re not alone if you feel overwhelmed by debt. In the 12-year span from October 1, 2005, to September 30, 2017, about 12.8 million consumer bankruptcy petition filings occurred in the federal courts. Of those, 8.7 million (68%) fit under Chapter 7, and 4.1 million (32%) fit under Chapter 13, according to USCourts.gov.
Most bankruptcy cases don’t result from reckless spending. Instead, they occur because of financial hardship. Many are lower-income individuals who simply can’t afford to deal with unexpected major expenses such as job loss or medical bills. 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 U.S. Interestingly, the study also showed that 72% of those filing 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 constantly look for ways to cut their expenses, including those in the state of KY. For some unlucky 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 award, 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, especially if the state economy in Kentucky is struggling.
4. Credit Debt
Credit debt isn’t just a result of irresponsible spending for Kentuckians. It can also pile up due to catastrophes such as illness and disability, job loss, emergency expenses, or unexpected income reduction.
Divorce and separation can 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. Divorce is a common reason for financial trouble in Kentucky, as the state has one of the 10 highest rates of divorce in the United States.
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 wind damage, which is possible during the stormy season in Kentucky. 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. According to Statista, Kentucky has about 15,000 bankruptcies per year, so student loans account for about 150 of those filings.
8. Utility Payments
For many of today’s KY homeowners, the rising costs of heating, air conditioning, electric light, and other necessities can heighten other financial problems and pave the way to bankruptcy.
According to statistics, more than 1% of Americans have to file for bankruptcy in order to avoid foreclosure on their homes.
10. Bad Budgeting and Overspending
Thanks to inflation, managing money is harder than ever. A combination of bad budgeting and uncontrolled spending can provide a shortcut to skyrocketing debt and bankruptcy. Filing for bankruptcy occurs more frequently in Kentucky than in other states, according to ABI.
Personalized, Professional Legal Guidance from Bunch & Brock
Don’t randomly pick your bankruptcy lawyers in KY 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 qualified attorney who puts your needs first, answers your phone calls promptly, and listens closely to your concerns and goals. At Bunch & Brock, we believe that our clients come first. We do everything we can to make the process smooth, swift, and efficient.
No one wants to have to file for bankruptcy. However, 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 859-254-5522 and talk to an experienced and highly effective Kentucky bankruptcy attorney. Your new future begins today.