The attorneys at Hodge & Smither understand that times can get tough for Kentucky households. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the financial hardships it brought are stark evidence of that. When debt amasses, payment due dates come and go, and creditors begin threatening serious action, many people look to bankruptcy to find relief. Although bankruptcy is not a cure-all for various kinds of debt, it is an option that can provide a fresh start.
When clients choose us for their case, our Louisville bankruptcy attorneys offer the straightforward legal guidance they need. We will not get your hopes up for some unrealistic ending to your case. Instead, we will be honest and work hard to help you pick the best option for your situation and see you through it.
What Kind of Bankruptcy Is Right for You?
Our Louisville bankruptcy lawyers help individuals file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcies. The two general differences between the types of filings are what happens to a filer’s assets and their debts.
Below are more details about the different filing options:
- Chapter 7 bankruptcies are generally for individuals with incomes below the Kentucky state median. These types of filings eliminate an individual’s debt, and can lead to surrender of unexempt assets. Kentucky uses Federal Exemptions under 11 U.S.C. § 522, which provide generous exemptions allowing most filers to retain their assets. Hodge & Smither attorneys have helped Chapter 7 clients replace their old, repair-plagued and bloated-payment vehicles with newer, affordable and reliable vehicles by working with local car dealers that offer ‘fresh start’ opportunities to bankruptcy filers. And under certain circumstances, Hodge & Smither attorneys can recover money paid to or garnished by creditors within 90 days of a bankruptcy filing.
- Chapter 13 bankruptcies provide individuals and married couples with regular income the tools to keep assets with payments in arrears or in default, and to stop foreclosures and repossessions. Chapter 13 filers will restructure their debts into an affordable monthly payment based in part on their ability to repay the debt over three to five years. In many cases, Chapter 13 filers can pay back as little at 1% of their unsecured debt. It requires filers to repay all or part of their debt in a time frame of three to five years.
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The situations that lead people to file for bankruptcy are often tough. This is why many potential filers seek bankruptcy to also seek multiple kinds of relief from their debts.
Some of the ways that bankruptcy can help include:
- Discharging debts so that the filer is no longer legally obligated to pay them
- Allowing a filer to keep some assets such as a home or car
- Halting wage garnishments and intrusive and persistent debt collection
- Restoring water, electricity, gas, and other utility services
Here are some things individuals should consider before filing for bankruptcy:
- Bankruptcy cannot discharge debts from missed child support or alimony, most tax debt, or overdue student loan payments
- Cosigners on debts can still be responsible for paying them
- Bankruptcy can require filers to give up property
- Bankruptcy can impair your credit and increase the costs of borrowing in the future.
At Hodge & Smither, we offer free consultations and can provide payment plans so that our clients can get much needed counsel and advocacy in the situations where they need it most.
We are a debt relief agency and have practiced bankruptcy law for over 20 years. Our services include helping individuals and couples file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.