Bankruptcy Serving Kentucky Families Since 1982

Hardin County Bankruptcy Attorneys

Helping Local Families Find Relief Through Bankruptcy

Accumulating debt is rarely intentional but almost always carries significant, damaging consequences. You can quickly find yourself taking on more than you can pay as a result of an unanticipated trip to the hospital, the sudden loss of a job, or a flurry of unexpected costs. When you are unable to make payments, you can even be hit with late fees and other penalties, making it even harder to catch up. Before long, you could be facing an overwhelming debt load you may think is impossible to overcome.

Your life does not have to be ruled by debt. Bankruptcy is a legal tool that empowers you to retake control of your finances and entitles you to significant benefits and protections. Filing can potentially shield you from collection actions, enable you to discharge unsecured debts, and even save your home. Our Radcliff bankruptcy attorneys at Musselwhite Meinhart & Staples can advise whether bankruptcy makes sense for your situation, determine which type you are eligible for, and represent you in each stage of your filing.

Explore how bankruptcy can help you manage your debt through a free consultation with our team. Call (270) 200-6326 or contact us online to get started.

Benefits of Bankruptcy

Filing for bankruptcy confers numerous benefits, some of which take effect immediately. Other forms of relief only become available once your filing has been successfully completed.

The automatic stay is a court order issued shortly after you file for any type of consumer bankruptcy. This stay prevents any lenders or debt collectors from pursuing any collection actions against you. In other words, you will no longer receive letters or calls demanding payment, and in most cases you will be unable to lose any of your property – including your home – to repossession or foreclosure. The freeze on collection actions will generally persist until your bankruptcy is complete, meaning that in some cases, you will have multiple years of protection.

Completing a bankruptcy will usually result in the court allowing you to discharge your unsecured debts. Unsecured debt encompasses any type of debt that lacks collateral, such as credit card debt, medical bills, unpaid utility bills, and personal loans. The ability to discharge unsecured debts can represent monumental relief for many.

In general, bankruptcy gives you time to come up for air. If you have been drowning in debt, it can be overwhelmingly stressful trying to keep track of who you owe and how behind in payments you are. Bankruptcy allows you to take stock of your obligations and determine how best to manage them going forward. The goal is to ultimately build a better, more sustainable financial future free of crushing debt.

Bankruptcy Services We Offer

There are multiple types of consumer-oriented bankruptcy, and the practice can be used to help combat several consequences of accumulated debt. Our team is familiar with all areas of the Bankruptcy Code as well as relevant federal and state laws. We can leverage our knowledge to maximize the benefits of bankruptcy while limiting its impact on your estate.

Our Radcliff bankruptcy attorneys offer services in the following areas:

  • Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. This form of consumer bankruptcy is intended for persons without sufficient means of paying any portion of their outstanding debts. Your nonexempt assets will be subject to the liquidation process, in which property is sold by a trustee assigned to your case in order to partially compensate creditors. This can sound frightening, but you are permitted to exempt many assets, including value in your home, car, and other practical and sentimental property, and protect them from liquidation. We can help determine if you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy under the state’s Means Test and work to limit what is subject to the liquidation process.
  • Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. The other type of consumer bankruptcy focuses on a restructuring of debt and is meant for those who can afford to pay back some of what they owe. A bankruptcy court will reorganize your debt into a single payment you will be expected to make monthly for a period of 3 to 5 years. The amount of your payment will be in most cases derived from your current level of disposable income – your ability to reasonably pay – and not the total size of your debt. We can help you assess your level of disposable income and fight to get you a repayment plan that is viable and fair.
  • Creditor Harassment Defense. If you have missed multiple payments on one or more loans, there is a good chance your lender or a collection agent representing them will attempt to contact you about settling up. These communications can quickly snowball into various forms of creditor harassment, especially if you are unable to immediately repay. You have federally protected rights protecting you from especially intrusive creditor strategies, but you can also put a complete stop to collection calls by filing for bankruptcy. The automatic stay prevents any creditor from attempting to contact you directly until your bankruptcy has been completed. Retaining legal representation can put a quick stop to creditor harassment, and we can determine if any debt collectors broke the law when contacting you.
  • Foreclosure Defense. Losing a home due to foreclosure can be devastating, but there are ways to stop the process and save your home. Your lending institution must wait a minimum of 120 days before filing a foreclosure lawsuit, giving you some time to explore relief options. Once a foreclosure is in motion, you will have to act quickly and should immediately contact qualified legal representation. We can leverage bankruptcy’s automatic stay to halt foreclosure proceedings if the property has not yet been sold at auction. Given the urgency of these matters, our team is available for same-day appointments and even same-day bankruptcy filings.
  • Wage Garnishment Defense. If a lender becomes frustrated by your inability to repay debts, they may attempt to file a lawsuit to obtain a money judgment, which authorizes them to siphon away a portion of your paycheck. Wage garnishment can make a bad situation worse but can be avoided through bankruptcy’s automatic stay. Note that some forms of debt do not need court orders to enact garnishment, meaning you may need to act fast to avoid losing part of your take-home pay. We can evaluate your vulnerability to wage garnishment and help you explore relief options, including filing for bankruptcy.

Call (270) 200-6326 or contact us online to learn more about how bankruptcy may be able to help you manage your debt.

We Can Guide You Through Bankruptcy

If you are unfamiliar with bankruptcy, it can be easy to become intimidated and overwhelmed, especially if you are fearful of losing your property to liquidation. Our Radcliff bankruptcy attorneys at Musselwhite Meinhart & Staples have over 100 years of legal experience and have assisted countless Kentucky clients manage their debts through filing. Our goal is to help you escape overwhelming debt and find a fresh financial start. We can guide you through step of the process, including determining your eligibility, helping file the appropriate documents with bankruptcy court, preparing your estate for liquidation or debt reorganization, and representing you in communications with creditors. No matter how complex or dire your situation may seem, we believe our compassionate legal services can help you build a better future free of debt.

A Family Law Firm Helping Kentucky Families 

Our law firm provides a full range of legal services to help you and your family achieve your goals. We speak your language. We are here to help you understand your legal options, what to expect and what steps we can take to protect you.

  • Q:Does bankruptcy discharge all debts?

    A:Not always. There are some kinds of debts that may not be discharged through a bankruptcy, such as support obligations, some taxes, and most student loans, barring some extreme circumstances.

  • Q:How long does bankruptcy take?

    A:Chapter 7 filings are usually completed in approximately 3 months. Chapter 13 cases typically require a 36 to 60 month(s) repayment period. Regardless of which type of bankruptcy you choose, you are protected from your creditors the minute you file.

  • Q:What’s the difference between a secured and unsecured creditor?

    A:A secured creditor has a lien or a mortgage on your property. An unsecured creditor does not. Secured debts typically include mortgage loans, debts from finance companies, and car loans. Unsecured debts may include credit card debt, medical debt, signature loans, and more.

  • Q:When am I protected from my creditors?

    A:From the minute you file a petition with the court, you are protected from your creditors. They can no longer call, sue, garnish, or otherwise attempt to collect their debt without first seeking permission from the court.

  • Q:Will I have to go to court?

    A:Typically there is one court appearance you are required to attend, held approximately four weeks from the date we file. This hearing is, in essence, a deposition. Any creditor, as well as the trustee appointed by the court to oversee your case, has the right to question you regarding the information you provided in your petition that was filed with the court.

  • Q:Who is the “trustee?”

    A:The trustee is the individual appointed by the court to oversee your bankruptcy case and review your petition for completeness and accuracy. The trustee’s primary function is to liquidate nonexempt assets and distribute those assets to the creditors in your plan.

  • Q:What property am I allowed to keep when I file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

    A:This varies from state to state. In Kentucky, you can either adopt the state exemptions or the federal exemptions. In either case, you are typically able to keep considerable equity in your home, car, household goods, retirement accounts, tools of the trade, etc. These exemptions do change from time to time and we can advise you as to the specific exemption amounts.

  • Q:Can I include my student loans or tax debt in my bankruptcy?

    A:Generally student loans and income tax obligations are non-dischargeable in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding. There are hardship exceptions for student loans and timing considerations for tax debt. These debts may be repaid in a Chapter 13 plan. Contact us immediately and we can appropriately advise you.

  • Q:The court ordered me to pay certain debts in my divorce, can I include those in my bankruptcy?

    A:Debts you were assigned or agreed to take in a divorce or legal separation may not be discharged in a bankruptcy to the extent that doing so would harm the other party. Like with many other areas of the law, there are exceptions.

  • Q:How long will the bankruptcy stay on my credit?

    A:Bankruptcy filings stay on your credit report for 10 years. However, that does not mean you cannot incur credit prior to that time. Most mortgage companies will make you wait approximately 3 years before buying a home. Most finance companies and credit card companies will usually extend you credit immediately after you receive your discharge.

  • Q:What if I inherit property after I filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

    A:If you become entitled to estate proceeds, gifts, insurance payments or other windfalls within six months of your file date, that money may have to be turned over to the trustee for distribution to your creditors.

  • Q:Can a creditor demand payment after I file?

    A:No, and if a creditor attempts to collect a debt included in your petition without the permission of the bankruptcy court, then that creditor is in violation of the automatic stay. If this occurs you should contact us immediately.

  • Q:Do I need to list all creditors in my bankruptcy?

    A:Yes. If you have questions about a specific debt, your attorney can advise you.

  • Q:Can I file bankruptcy again if I have filed previously?

    A:Yes, though there are certain restrictions that may apply. We can quickly help you determine if you are eligible to file.

  • Q:What does it mean when a debt is discharged?

    A:If a debt is discharged you have no obligation to pay it and the creditor cannot attempt to collect on a discharged debt. If a creditor is attempting collection of a discharged debt, contact Musselwhite Meinhart & Staples as soon as possible.

  • Q:Would a co-signor be protected if the debt is discharged?

    A:No. If another person co-signed or guaranteed the loan then his/her obligation is not dischargeable in a Chapter 7. There are, however, certain ways to protect a co-signor in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Contact us immediately and we can appropriately advise you.

  • Q:What is a reaffirmation agreement?

    A:A reaffirmation agreement is an agreement to pay a debt even though the debt would otherwise be discharged in your bankruptcy. People usually reaffirm on debts in order to keep the secured property such as a house or car. If you default on the payments on a reaffirmed debt then the creditor can repossess or foreclose on the property and seek a personal judgment.

  • Q:Can I make payments on a discharged debt without a reaffirmation agreement?

    A:Yes. You can voluntarily pay a discharged debt but you are under no legal requirement to do so.

  • Q:Does a bankruptcy automatically remove liens against my property?

    A:No, but there are steps that can be taken in order to remove the liens.

  • Q:Can my employer fire me for filing bankruptcy?

    A:The Bankruptcy Code prohibits an employer from firing you solely because you filed bankruptcy and/or because you did not pay a debt discharged in bankruptcy.

Our Philosophy

What To Expect When You Work With Us
  • Free Consultation

    Our firm offers over the phone and video consultations for your safety and convenience. All consultations are free.

  • Family

    Our attorneys treat you like family. We care about helping you find the best resolution to your case.

  • Accessible

    We are accessible to our clients and are available 24/7.

  • Personalized Service

    Our attorneys offer honest advice and tailored solutions to your unique goals.

  • Approachable

    We are friendly and approachable lawyers who listen and understand your needs.

  • Experience

    Our attorneys have decades of experience with successfully handling a variety of legal matters. 

Memberships & Associations

  • Louisville Bar Association
  • Kentucky Bar Association
  • American Bar Association

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