Updated: April 30, 2019
If you live in Kentucky and want to file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you'll need to complete several steps. For instance, you must:
You'll also need to turn over financial documents that substantiate the information in your paperwork and attend a 341 hearing to discuss your filing with the trustee appointed to your case.
For more details, see How to File Bankruptcy in Kentucky.
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 Kentucky 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 Kentucky credit counseling agencies here.
You can find the list of approved Kentucky debtor education agencies here.
Kentucky 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.
In Kentucky, you may use either the Kentucky state exemptions or the federal bankruptcy exemptions. You cannot mix and match from each list. If you choose to the Kentucky state exemptions, you can also use any applicable amounts in the federal nonbankruptcy exemptions.
To learn more about Kentucky’s exemptions, see:
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.
The forms include instructions that are relatively easy to follow. Keep in mind, however, that the forms don't explain what will happen in the bankruptcy case. You'll need to be sure that you understand the law before filing your matter.
For a list of the forms you'll need to complete, see The Bankruptcy Forms: Getting Started.
For more information about each of the official forms, including how to find them and fill them out, see Completing the Bankruptcy Forms.
When you file for bankruptcy in Kentucky, you must compare your income to the median income for a household of your size in Kentucky. 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 Kentucky’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.
You can find all of Kentucky’s county-specific figures needed for the means test on the U.S. Trustee’s website at www.justice.gov/ust.
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 Kentucky’s bankruptcy courts.
There are two judicial districts in Kentucky (see below for links). You can file in either:
You can use the Court Locator tool on the U.S. Trustee’s website to find bankruptcy court locations and websites. The two district bankruptcy courts in Kentucky are:
For more articles on the filing process, see Filing for Bankruptcy.