Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyers in Louisville, KY
What Is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
Filing for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy eliminates a person’s debts and provides them with a fresh start. Although filing can require a person to surrender certain unexempt assets, there are generous federal exemptions for Kentucky filers that allow them to keep their cars, homes, tools they use for work, and other valuable property.
If you are interested in what a Chapter 7 bankruptcy could do for you, contact Hodge & Smither to schedule a free consultation. Our attorneys have a wealth of experience helping families in Kentucky get the debt relief they need. We will be happy to discuss your options and provide you with legal guidance throughout the entire filing process.
Chapter 7 bankruptcies can benefit individuals with a household income below the Kentucky median. There are instances, however, where individuals with an income that is above the median can file for a Chapter 7 because their month-to-month expenses are exceptionally high.
To determine eligibility, the state uses a means test, or a survey of an individual’s financial situation. This test considers a potential filer’s income and expenses in determining whether a person is eligible to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If they are determined ineligible, they can still file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
It is important to note that many filers are concerned about losing their property, however, 11 U.S.C. § 522 provide generous exemptions that allow most filers to retain their assets.
Additionally, the code allows for other fresh start opportunities, such as:
- Freedom from creditor harassment
- Recovery of garnished wages or money paid to creditors, under certain circumstances
- Release from expensive payments on older, unreliable vehicles
How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Prior to officially filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you need to collect documentation that shows your financial situation, including:
- Income statements, such as paystubs
- Receipts for significant sales or purchases
- Bills showing your expenses
- Documents proving debts and other assets
- Tax returns
After collecting these necessary documents, your attorney can then file a formal petition with the Kentucky district bankruptcy court that describes your financial situation. Once submitted, the court will assign a trustee, who is responsible for liquidating any non-exempt assets.
You will need to complete two courses before and after the legal process. The state requires filers to take a credit counseling course no more than six months before filing, as well as a money management course after.
How Hodge & Smither Attorneys Can Help You
One of the best things you can do to ensure your filing process goes smoothly is retain the help of our trusted Louisville Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyers.
Benefits of working with our attorneys include:
- We can help you collect the right information to accurately illustrate your financial situation to the court
- We can develop a strategy to maximize your exemptions
- During the filing process we can draft your bankruptcy petition and advocate for you inside and outside of court
- Our attorneys can work with local dealers to get you into a new, reliable vehicle with manageable payments
- We can help you recover payments made to your creditors or garnished wages within 90 days of filing.
At Hodge & Smither, we know that a Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be a relief, but the legal process may not be easy to navigate on your own. Choose Hodge & Smither to help you with your bankruptcy. We are a firm that takes pride in advocating for our clients and providing them with crucial support in moments when they need it most.