Filing for Bankruptcy in Kansas

Even though bankruptcy is governed by federal law, you'll need some state specific information to file in Kansas.

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If you live in Kansas and want to file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you have to participate in credit counseling before you file, complete the bankruptcy petition and other required forms, and file those forms in a Kansas bankruptcy court. After filing, you must complete debtor counseling before receiving your discharge.

Because bankruptcy is mostly governed by federal bankruptcy laws, the general bankruptcy filing process in Kansas is similar to other states. However, there is some Kansas-specific information you will need to include on your bankruptcy forms. You’ll also have to know about the Kansas bankruptcy exemptions and find an approved credit and debt counselor in Kansas.

(For more articles on the filing process, see Filing for Bankruptcy.)

Here’s what you need to know if you are filing for bankruptcy in Kansas.

Pre-Bankruptcy Credit Counseling and Pre-Discharge Debtor Education in Kansas

In order to qualify for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you must show that you received credit counseling from an agency approved by the U.S. Trustee in Kansas within the six month period before you file for bankruptcy. You’ll also have to take a debtor education course before you get a bankruptcy discharge. (To learn more about this requirement, including the rare exceptions, see Credit Counseling & Debtor Education Requirements in Bankruptcy.)

You can find the list of approved Kansas credit counseling agencies here.

You can find the list of approved Kansas debtor education agencies here.

Kansas Bankruptcy Exemptions

Kansas has a set of bankruptcy exemptions which help determine what property you get to keep in Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and play a role in how much you repay unsecured creditors in Chapter 13 bankruptcy. (To learn more, see our Bankruptcy Exemptions area.)

Some states allow debtors to choose between the state exemption system and a set of federal bankruptcy exemptions –but Kansas is not one of them. In Kansas, you must use the state exemptions. (To learn about the federal exemptions, see The Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions.).

To learn about Kansas’s exemptions for your home and car, see The Homestead Exemption in Kansas and The Motor Vehicle Exemption in Kansas. To find other Kansas exemptions, see Kansas Bankruptcy Exemptions.

Completing the Bankruptcy Forms in Kansas

When you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you must complete a bankruptcy petition, a number of schedules containing detailed information about your finances, and several other forms, including a lengthy form known as the “means test” (for Chapter 7) and a similar form for Chapter 13.

(For a list of the forms you must complete, see The Bankruptcy Forms: Getting Started.)

Getting and Completing the Official Bankruptcy Forms

For more information about each of the official forms, including how to find them and fill them out, see Completing the Bankruptcy Forms.

Finding Means Test Information for Kansas

When you file for bankruptcy in Kansas, you must compare your income to the median income for a household of your size in Kansas. If your income is less than the median, you will be eligible to file for Chapter 7 and, if you choose to file for Chapter 13, you can use a three-year repayment plan (rather than five years). This is called the means test.

If your income is above Kansas’s median income, you still might qualify for Chapter 7, but you’ll have to provide detailed information about your expenses and payments on secured debts in order to find out. Most Chapter 13 filers also have to provide this information.

For information about each of these forms, including how to complete them, see:

Form 22A – Statement of Current Monthly Income and Means Test Calculation (for Chapter 7), and

Form 22C – Statement of Current Monthly Income and Calculation of Commitment Period and Disposable Income (for Chapter 13).

Here’s how to find the Kansas-specific figures for these means test forms:

Kansas median income figures. For a one-person household in Kansas, the median income is $41,611. For a family of three, the Kansas median income is $62,850. These figures change periodically. You can find the most current figures for each household size here.

Example. Bob’s annual income is $40,000. He lives alone. He will automatically pass the means test because his income is below $41,611.

Standard deductions. Forms 22A and 22C have a comprehensive list of expense categories, such as housing, transportation, food, and childcare. For some of those categories (like childcare), you provide the actual amount you spend. For others, you plug in a predetermined amount -- sometimes that figure is standard for the whole country, other times it varies by county or region.

You can find all of the Kansas’s county-specific figures you’ll need for Forms 22A and 22C on the U.S. Trustee’s website at www.justice.gov/ust. Click on “Bankruptcy Reform” and then “Means Testing Information.”

Example. In Kansas, the standard amount you list on your bankruptcy papers for housing varies by county. For example, if you live in Johnson County, your mortgage or rent deduction is $1,143 for a one-person household. But if you live in Sedgwick County, the deduction is $756. You can find housing expense standards for each Kansas county here.

Getting Local Bankruptcy Forms

Some judicial districts and bankruptcy courts require bankruptcy filers to complete additional “local forms.” To find out if your court requires additional forms, contact the bankruptcy filing clerk. Some courts post these forms online on the court’s website. (Below you’ll find a link to Kansas’s bankruptcy courts.)

Filing in the Kansas Bankruptcy Courts

Since there is only one judicial district in Kansas (see below for the link), you don’t need to worry about the rules for filing in the correct judicial district.

You can use the Court Locator tool on the U.S. Trustee’s website to find bankruptcy court locations and websites. The Kansas Bankruptcy Court website is www.ksb.uscourts.gov.

The main office is in Wichita, but there are also bankruptcy courts in Topeka and Kansas City.

by: , Contributing Author

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