There are two ways to file for bankruptcy in Kentucky: on your own or with the help of a lawyer. Lawyers can be very expensive, so in order to save hundreds of dollars in fees, many people choose to file bankruptcy on their own. In Kentucky, an individual can file for any type of bankruptcy for under $400.
There are many Internet companies that offer help for filing for bankruptcy on your own by providing the forms and instructions for a fee, but these items can be downloaded for free from the federal government.
Determine which type of bankruptcy you are planning to file. There are five types of bankruptcy that can be filed in the State of Kentucky: Chapter 7 Liquidation Bankruptcy, when all or some of the debt is erased; Chapter 11 Reorganization Bankruptcy, when the court reorganizes a corporation’s structure and arranges a debt repayment plan; Chapter 12 Family Farmer or Family Fisherman Bankruptcy, designed for individuals who make their living on farms or through the fishing industry; Chapter 13 Individual Debt Adjustment, when the court reorganizes an individual’s finances and arranges a debt repayment plan; Chapter 15 Ancillary Bankruptcy, for bankruptcies where other countries are involved, usually when the proceedings originate in the debtor’s homeland. More information regarding each type of bankruptcy can be found at the Bankruptcy Court of Kentucky website (see Resources below).
Download and print out the specific bankruptcy forms and form instructions from the federal government’s U.S. Bankruptcy Court's website (see Resources below).
Fill out the primary bankruptcy petition. You will need to provide your name, address and Social Security number. Next, you will be asked to choose the estimated number of your creditors, the estimated amount of money you owe and an estimated amount of assets. You will also be asked if you have filed bankruptcy any time in the previous 8 years and if you are involved in a bankruptcy that is pending in the courts. Sign and date the form.
Fill out the list of creditors form. Include a list of the 20 creditors to whom you owe the most money. Fill out the creditors' names, addresses and phone numbers. Fill out the type of debt (loan, credit card, etc.) and the amount of the debt. Sign and date the form.
Fill out any other forms that pertain to your situation, such as real estate property you own, income, unsecured debts, co-debtors or business obligations. Read the form instructions for your specific type of bankruptcy to find out exactly which additional forms you will need to fill out.
Find out how much the filing fee will be for your type of bankruptcy by going to Kentucky’s Bankruptcy Fee Schedule site (see Resources below).
Go to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court that covers the district that you live in. Kentucky is divided into two districts, Eastern and Western. To find the district office nearest you, visit the districts' websites (see Resources below).
File your bankruptcy forms at the Court Clerk’s office. Make sure to bring all of your forms and fees at the time of filing. The courts do not accept personal checks, but will take all major credit cards, cash, certified checks and money orders.
While it is legal to file for bankruptcy in Kentucky on your own, the courts highly recommend retaining an attorney for your own protection. There are two important things to consider if you file on your own: creditors will be allowed to contact you, and the courts will not be allowed to help you fill out the forms or advise you in regards to the bankruptcy.