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Bankruptcy Questions

DISCLAIMER: The following information should not be relied upon as legal authority nor should it be used as a substitute for reference to the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Finally, this information should supplement, not substitute, for the advice of competent legal counsel. Please be advised that the Clerk's Office staff is prohibited from giving legal advice. For additional information, please refer to the United States Bankruptcy Code (title 11, United States Code), the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure (Bankruptcy Rules), and the Local Rules for the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Kentucky.
What is bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is a legal procedure for dealing with debt problems of individuals and businesses; specifically, a case filed under one of the chapters of Title 11 of the United States Code (the Bankruptcy Code).
What is the automatic stay?

Generally, the filing of the bankruptcy case automatically stays certain collection and other actions against the debtor and the debtor's property. There are some exceptions provided for in 11 U.S.C. Section 361. If you ... Read more
Who can start a bankruptcy?

Any person, partnership, corporation or business trust may file a bankruptcy. If the debtor ( person or entity who owes the money) files a petition to start the bankruptcy, it is a voluntary bankruptcy. If the creditors (people or entities to whom the money is owed) file ... Read more
What is a joint petition?

A joint petition is the filing of a single petition by an individual and the individual's spouse. Only people who are married as of the date they file may file a joint petition. Unmarried persons, corporations and partnerships must each file separate cases. If you are ... Read more
What are the different "chapters" in bankruptcy?

Chapter 7 is the liquidation chapter of the Bankruptcy Code. Chapter 7 cases are commonly referred to as "straight bankruptcy" or "liquidation" cases, and may be filed by an individual, corporation or a partnership. Under Chapter 7, a Trustee is ... Read more
Which chapter is right for me?

You have a choice in deciding which chapter of the Bankruptcy Code will best suit your needs. The decision whether to file a bankruptcy, and under which chapter to file depends on the particular circumstances of the debtor. Also, considering your personal facts, ... Read more
Where can I get more information concerning bankruptcy and bankruptcy procedures?

The easiest way to get low or no-cost bankruptcy advice is to make an appointment with a private attorney. Many will provide a free initial consultation during which you can have your questions regarding bankruptcy ... Read more
Do I need an attorney to file bankruptcy?

While it is possible to file a bankruptcy case "Pro Se", that is, without representation by an attorney, it is extremely difficult to do so successfully. Hiring a competent attorney is highly recommended. The Court is not able to give legal advice or help ... Read more
What is a Pro Se Debtor?

A Pro Se debtor is a person who files bankruptcy without an attorney. A Pro Se debtor is responsible for all proceedings of his/her case. Failure to comply with the Bankruptcy Code and Rules or with court orders may result ... Read more
Can the Clerk's Office give legal advice?

A bankruptcy case is a legal proceeding affecting the rights of debtors, creditors and other parties in interest. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Section 955, the Clerk's Office staff is prohibited from giving information which may be characterized as legal advice.
What does the Clerk's Office do?

The Clerk's Office provides a variety of services to the bankruptcy judges, attorneys and the public. The Clerk's Office staff provides clerical and administrative support to the court by maintaining case-related ... Read more
What documents do I need to start a bankruptcy?

Click here to see the listing of filing requirements
Where can I obtain petition forms?

Petition forms can be found at most local office supply stores or through the court's website and at www.uscourts.gov.
Can the Clerk's Office help me fill out my forms?

No, members of the Clerk's Office are prohibited from assisting with the completion of any forms.
How do I know if a debt is secured, unsecured, priority or administrative so I can fill out my schedules correctly?

A. Secured Debt
A secured debt is a debt that is backed by property. A creditor whose debt is "secured" has a right to take property to satisfy a "secured debt". For example, most ... Read more
What are exemptions?

11 U.S.C. Section 522(b) allows an individual debtor to exempt real, personal, or intangible property from the property of the estate. Exempt assets are protected from distribution to your creditors by state law. Bankruptcy exemptions for the state of Kentucky and the dollar amounts of those exemptions are listed in Chapter ... Read more
Where do I file my bankruptcy case?

The bankruptcy court is a Federal Court. The Federal Court system divides the United States into judicial districts. Every state has at least one Federal Judicial District. Some states have more. In Kentucky, for example, there are two Federal Judicial Districts. ... Read more
How do I "file" a document with the court?

1Effective December 1, 2004, all attorneys must file electronically. For non-electronic filers, bankruptcy petitions, pleadings and other papers may be submitted for filing by mail or in person at the Clerk's Office public counters. When unusual and rare ... Read more
How much are the Court fees to file a bankruptcy?

For information regarding fees, please refer to the Fee Schedule.

The Clerk's Office does not accept personal checks from debtors; payments should be made by ... Read more
What if I can't pay the filing fees?

Can pay installments unless you have a previous case that was dismissed for failure to pay filing fee. To do so, you must complete an application to pay filing fees in installments and submit it with your petition. To obtain a copy of an Application to Pay the ... Read more
What happens after I file bankruptcy?

The court issues a notice of bankruptcy to all creditors advising them of the filing of the bankruptcy, the case number, information regarding actions creditors may take, the name of the trustee assigned to the case (if filed under Chapter 7, 12, or 13), the ... Read more
Who has access to my case file?

As bankruptcy cases are considered public records, any individual or business can review your case file.
What is a bankruptcy trustee? Who is the United State Trustee? What is the difference?

In all Chapter 7,12,13 and in some Chapter 11 cases, a trustee is assigned. The trustee's job is to administer the bankruptcy estate, by making sure creditors get as much money as possible, and to conduct the ... Read more
How do I find out who the trustee is in a case?

The trustee's name and address is printed on the notice of the Section 341(a) Meeting of Creditors. McVCIS allows a caller to access basic case information from any touch-tone telephone at any time by dialing 866-222-8029. Enter 59 for the state ... Read more
What is the creditors' meeting? What can I expect to happen at the meeting?

A "meeting of creditors" is the single hearing all debtors must attend in any Bankruptcy proceeding. It is held outside the presence of the judge and usually occurs between twenty one (21) and sixty (60) days from the date ... Read more
How long does it take for creditors to be notified that a bankruptcy has been filed?

As long as the creditor was listed in the original mailing matrix that accompanied the filing of the petition, notification will typically be received within seven days.
What is a discharge?

The discharge order is issued by the court and permanently prohibits creditors from taking action to collect dischargeable debts against the debtor personally; this does not prevent secured creditors from seizing collateral if payments are not kept up, or other creditors from ... Read more
What debts are dischargeable?

11 U.S.C. Section 523 lists exceptions to discharge. In general, all other debts are dischargeable.

Some debts listed in 11 U.S.C. Section. 523, such as those based on ... Read more
What is the difference between a denial of discharge and a debt being non-dischargeable?

Denial of a discharge applies to the debtor's entire proceeding, while determination of non-dischargeability applies to a particular debt only. A request for denial of discharge is usually granted because the ... Read more
How do I get a copy of my discharge?

You will receive a copy of your discharge in the mail after it is entered. However, if some time has passed and you have not received your discharge or you need another copy please call the Clerk's Office at 502-627-5700 Read more
What does it mean if a case is dismissed?

A dismissal order ends the case. Upon dismissal the "automatic stay" ends and creditors may start to collect debts, unless a discharge is entered before the dismissal and is not revoked. An order of dismissal itself will not free the debtor from any debt. ... Read more
What is a motion?

A motion is a written formal statement in which the party who is requesting an action, the movant, sets forth his grounds for the action requested. The party against whom the action is requested is the respondent. An order granting the relief requested must be attached to each motion filed. Read more
What is a reaffirmation agreement?

A reaffirmation agreement is an agreement by which a bankruptcy debtor becomes legally obligated to pay all or a portion of an otherwise dischargeable debt. Such an agreement must generally be filed within sixty (60) days after the first date set for the meeting of creditors. Read more
What is a redemption?

Redemption allows an individual debtor (not a partnership or a corporation) to keep tangible, personal property intended primarily for personal, family, or household use by paying the holder of a lien on the property the amount of the allowed secured claim on the property, ... Read more
What are claims and claims objections? How are claims filed?

A. Claims
In the broadest sense, a claim is any right to payment held by a person or company against you and your bankruptcy estate. A claim does not have to be a past due amount but can include an anticipated sum of money which ... Read more
What can I do if a creditor keeps trying to collect money after I have filed bankruptcy?

If a creditor continues to attempt to collect a debt after the bankruptcy is filed, the creditor may be in violation of the automatic stay. You should immediately notify the creditor in writing that you have filed bankruptcy and provide them with either the case number and ... Read more
How do I change or correct information in the petition, schedules and statements I already filed with the clerk's office?

The information contained in your petition, schedules, and statement of affairs is submitted under penalty of perjury. Therefore, you must be certain that it is ... Read more
What should I do if I cannot make my Chapter 13 payment?

If the debtor cannot make a Chapter 13 payment on time according to the terms of the confirmed plan, the debtor should contact his or her attorney or the trustee by phone and by letter ... Read more
My ex-spouse has filed bankruptcy. He/she has listed me as a co-signer on a scheduled debt. What can I do? Does my divorce decree protect me?

If you are a co-obligor with your ex-spouse on a debt, the creditor can require the entire payment of that debt from your share of the community ... Read more
How many years will a bankruptcy show on my credit report? How long will it take before I can get credit?

The bankruptcy petition, schedules and plan are public documents and are available to the general public for viewing. Credit reporting ... Read more
How do I get the bankruptcy removed from my credit report?

The bankruptcy court has no jurisdiction over credit reporting agencies. The Fair Credit Reporting Act, 6 U.S.C. Section 605, is the law that controls credit reporting agencies. The law states that credit reporting agencies may ... Read more
What is a Disclosure Statement in a Chapter 11?

The Disclosure Statement is a document which provides a profile of the corporation, financial information and an overview of the proposed Plan of Reorganization. This information is useful to creditors in deciding whether to accept or ... Read more
What is a Plan of Reorganization in a Chapter 11?

The Plan of Reorganization is a document that sets out how a debtor-in-possession will repay creditors. The plan divides creditors into classes. It specifies the treatment of claims for each class of creditor and provides a means for the plan's implementation. The ... Read more
I am a creditor in a Chapter 11 case and the Plan of Reorganization has been approved. Can the Clerk's Office explain to me why I have not yet received any payments and when will payments commence?

All questions regarding payments under a confirmed plan should be directed to the attorney ... Read more
I am a creditor in an asset case. How long before I can expect a dividend payment?

The court cannot answer this question. It is dependent upon the length of time it takes the trustee to liquidate the assets in a case. There are times when liquidation involves lengthy and complex litigation.
I have received a notice and summary of the Trustee's Final Report and Account in a Chapter 7 case. How long will it be before I receive payment on my claim?

Once the Notice and Summary of the Trustee's Final Report and Account has been sent to all ... Read more
I am a creditor in a case that has converted to another chapter. Is it necessary for me to file another Proof of Claim?

No. Once you have filed a Proof of Claim with the court, it is recorded on a claims register and is considered part of the case regardless of conversion to another chapter.
How do I get copies of documents or certified copies?

Copies of documents and certified copies are available at the Clerk's Office in the Louisville division. There is a cost for photocopying a paper document or printing a document from the court's ... Read more
What do I do if someone in bankruptcy owes me money?

If you are a creditor in an asset case you should receive a claim form and a notice setting a deadline to file the claim. Proof of Claim forms are also available from this web site. File the original claim and copies of any supporting documents at the Clerk's ... Read more
Who do I notify about a possible fraudulent filing?

The Office of the United States Trustee reviews complaints about possible fraudulent filings and, if appropriate, notifies the U.S. Attorney for further investigation. For more information on this topic click here or contact:

Office of the U.S. ... Read more
I received a notice that my case is being audited. What does that mean?

Beginning with cases filed on or after 10/20/2006, Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 cases will be randomly selected for audit. These audits will be focused on ... Read more
How do I get my driver's license back?

You must contact the county or city district court in which the judgment was obtained for further information.
Can I speak with the Judge in my bankruptcy case?

No. Federal law prohibits any contact with the Judge outside of the courtroom in order to preserve the impartiality of the Court and to prevent the appearance of any impropriety of preferential treatment of any party.
Where can I get a copy of the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, Local Bankruptcy Rules, etc?

Copies of the Federal Rules can be obtained from your local law library or the internet. The Local ... Read more
Where can I get information on credit counseling?

Please visit the U.S. Trustee's web site. Click here. https://www.justice.gov/ust
Where can I get information on Statement of Current Monthly Income and Means Testing?

Please visit the U.S. Trustee's web site. Click here. https://www.justice.gov/ust