Our Bankruptcy Checklist explains what documents you need to file bankruptcy. Judges and Trustees understand most bankruptcy clients tell the truth. However, they require documentation to verify your income, assets, debts, and expenses. This is actually simple. You can normally file a Chapter 7 if you have:
- a low income
- few assets and
- have not filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy within the prior 8 years and gotten a discharge.
We recommend that you download or print a copy of our Kentucky Bankruptcy Checklist. When you have gathered your documents to file with us, here are your options:
- You can scan your documents and email them to Office@Bankruptcy-Divorce.com.
- You can also fax documents to 502-625-0940.
- Bring a hard copy to our office, and we will scan the documents.
- Upload the documents in PDF format when you fill out your intake online.
Also, please note the following:
- Organize the documents by dates in groups.
- Please pick up your originals, we cannot store your documents.
- If you don’t pick up your documents, we destroy paper copies after scanning them into pdf format.
Kentucky Bankruptcy Required Document Checklist
1. Chapter 7 cases require prior six months of bank statements.
You must supply the statements for every bank account in your name over the last six months. Include any joint accounts for the prior six months such as bank accounts with a spouse or family. Remember, homes, cars, and bank accounts in your parent’s or children’s names belong to you as an asset. If you are on the deed, car title, or bank account, those items are assets. Louisville Chapter 13 cases do not require a copy of the bank statements. However, in Eastern Kentucky and Southern Indiana, the requirements are to bring the bank statement with you to Court for the month you file if that statement was not available on the date of filing.
2. Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 cases require proof of household income for prior 6 months.
Proof of your income includes the prior six months of pay stubs, your veteran’s benefit, disability, and social security benefit letters. Household income is a husband and wife’s combined income even if only one person is filing. A spouse may not be filing with you, but the Court uses household income to determine income for the means test and any Chapter 13 plan payment. Your payroll or bank statements may need updating if you wait to file your bankruptcy.
3. Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 require federal and state tax returns for prior 2 Years.
IRS Transcripts are not your tax returns. We need your income tax returns for the prior two years to file. Tax account transcripts are a requirement if you want to ensure you waited long enough to bankrupt income taxes. We calculate whether you have waited long enough to make your tax obligation dischargeable. See our page on how to bankrupt income taxes.
The Court requires you to file the prior four years of income taxes to file bankruptcy. But, you only supply the previous two years of tax returns to the Court. The trustee reviews your income tax return to look for income, expenses, assets, gifts, and transfers.
4. Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 require vehicle titles, deeds, and mortgages.
The Trustee reviews titles for boats, cars, trailers, and motorcycles that are in your name. If you are on the title for mom’s home or car, you must include it. The trustee is looking for proof that liens and mortgages were filed correctly. It is rare, but in 1 out of 1000 cases, the bank fails to file the lien on the car or mortgage on the home. In Jefferson County, we can get the recorded copy of the deed and mortgage for you. In rural counties outside Jefferson County, we need the registered copy of your mortgage showing the recorded book and page number. The copy from your closing will not have the deed book and page number on it.
For Jefferson County, we can search for liens, deeds, and mortgages on the County Clerk’s Website: landrecords.jcc.ky.gov. If you have been sued, it is essential to remove any judicial lien while the bankruptcy is going on. We may not know if you have a judicial lien or whether you have been sued you must tell us or it may cost you later.
5. Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 require identification, copy of driver license, and social security card or W2.
We need a copy of your driver’s license and social security card, and you must bring these proofs of your identity to your hearing. You may be able to substitute a W-2 for your social security card and military or other government photo ID for a driver’s license.
⎆ Complete the following tasks for the Kentucky Bankruptcy required document checklist.
- Complete our intake. It is best if you complete the mycaseinfo intake on our website. Our intake allows you to input your income, expenses, assets, and liabilities along with the responses to about 26 questions in the statement of financial affairs. Be sure to list the name, address, and amount of all debts including any alimony or child support. You will still discharge a debt even if it was not listed if your case is a no-asset case. But Chapter 13 cases and Chapter 7 assets cases do not discharge debts that are not listed.
- Free credit reports are available at annualcreditreport.com. Do not sign up for credit monitoring. Credit reports are helpful to provide addresses and account numbers. If you have large or extraordinary expenses, you may be asked to provide proof of the expense (medical expenses, daycare, charity, etc.). Private schooling is often an allowed expense for a disabled child, but it is not deductible for religious purposes.
- Complete your Credit Counseling Certificate. To prepare a petition, we only need your proof of income. But the petition cannot be filed without the Credit Counseling Certificate. Services I recommend include bkcert.com, where they answer the phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It is a little more expensive, but it is speedy. Contact them at 866-859-7323. Start Fresh also offers courses online or by phone at 800-435-9138. Our attorney code is NT4459 for Start Fresh. For the cheapest service, my administrative assistant Toni likes prebk.com, which only costs about 15 dollars.
- Take the second “Debtor Education course” immediately after the case filing, or you might not receive a discharge. Every year someone forgets to file the second course. Unfortunately, it costs about $635 to reopen the case and file the certificate after the case closes. You must pay a second filing fee plus about $300 in attorney fees to reopen the case and file these motions. Both BKcert and Fresh Start automatically file the certificates for you. Other services may not.
⎆ Additional steps you want to take as part of your Kentucky Bankruptcy Required Document Checklist.
- You may want to download the record-all calls app for your phone. I want you to seriously consider this because sometimes debt collectors call and violate the law by being untruthful, rude, or demanding payment after they know a Bankruptcy has been filed. They often deny making the call unless you have a copy of the call. Recorded calls are admissible evidence in Kentucky if you wish to sue them for contempt or an FDCPA violation. We have a checklist to document the history of the debt collection calls. Be sure to keep any paperwork sent to you by a lender after filing.
- To strip a 2nd mortgage or judgment lien, complete our form for stripping a lien. If you own a home and someone sues you, you most likely have a judgment lien that needs stripping. Stripping this lien later becomes expensive.
- Review our credit counseling page. This page contains information about getting your credit report, social security card replacement, and other information. Under the bankruptcy tab, you will find the questions asked in Court by the trustee. Also, under the Bankruptcy tab is information on how to get a 725 FICO score after bankruptcy.
Your bankruptcy will go much smoother, and you will get more benefits out of it if you read our free “How to File Bankruptcy Manual.” The average person that doesn’t plan their bankruptcy loses about $8,000–10,000 dollars? Often the cheap attorney doesn’t know the exemptions or how to strip a lien properly. But even if the attorney knows how to properly file, if the client doesn’t work with the attorney, you can fail to discharge debts or keep property.
You can lose money in the process of filing, and having a prepared client helps. We pride ourselves on planning your bankruptcy. Furthermore, we believe the average person who spends 3–4 hours reading our book saves time, stress, and money. The truth is, clients, don’t know what to avoid and what to do unless they educate themselves. Bankruptcies are much easier and more profitable if you understand and work with us to get the results you deserve.
⎆ The fees and costs you may expect.
- Filing Fee for a Chapter 7: $338.00.
- Filing Fee for a Chapter 13: $310.00 plus $28.00 for mailing the plan to creditors (same as Chapter 7)
- Chapter 13 Attorney Fees: You usually pay your attorney fees from your Chapter 13 payments unless you file at the last minute to stop a foreclosure. Filing at the last minute delays a foreclosure. Some people do this at the last minute to delay. Judges, therefore, want a couple of payments into the plan if you file at the last moment but do it in good faith to save the home. All attorneys receive the same Chapter 13 fee by the Court. So, there is no need to save money by using a “less expensive” attorney in Chapter 13. The truth is, the worst attorney receives the same fee as the best attorney. It is possible to pay the filing fee in installments. But paying the filing fee in “installments” makes additional work for the court clerk and draws attention to your case.
- Chapter 7 Attorney Fees (for June 2021): Please note our attorney fees as of May 2021 have not changed since 2010. Before, 2010, the prices were $1,000 and $1,200. However, we expect a price increase in 2021 for attorney and filing fees. There has not been and increase since 2010. Many attorneys charge additional fees for services after filing.
- Single uncontested Chapter 7 filing with one home: $1,200.00 to be increased to 1400.
- Joint uncontested Chapter 7 filing with one home: $1,400.00 to be increased to 1600.
- We expect an increase in late 2021 to eventually in 2022 so get in now.
⎆ Attorney fees and no money down filing.
For Chapter 7, the rules require clients pay their attorney fees upfront for pre-petition work before the case files. Any work the attorney does before filing the case is uncollectible, just like any other debt. Work done after the case is done is collectible by the attorney and is not affected by the bankruptcy stay or discharge. You bankrupt any unpaid attorney fees the minute you file so generally attorney fees have to be prepaid.
It may be hard to understand how strict this rule is. But it is just as tough as what creditors face by attempting to collect post-filing. Listen here to Judge Lloyd ordering an investigation and prosecution of one local attorney for collecting after the case filing. She admonishes the attorney for unethical behavior for a whole hour and hauls in his clients for an investigation.
⎆ Contact us today.
We do cases in Kentucky and Southern Indiana. We also travel to Lexington, Bowling Green, and Covington at no additional charge. If you have questions about the Kentucky Bankruptcy Required Document Checklist, call us at 502-625-0903.
If you are thinking about filing bankruptcy, don’t delay because timing is crucial. ou can file too early or too late. I am here to help you. Bring in your documents and, contact my office right away to start the conversation—Nick C. Thompson, Bankruptcy Lawyer: 502-625-0905. Again here is the Kentucky Bankruptcy Required Document Checklist