Bankruptcy Guide

When collection phone calls and bills start piling up in addition to your living expenses, it's common to lack the confidence that you'll be able to pay them. It's a stressful situation for anyone, but life shouldn't be about constant financial concerns. Julia B. Barry, Attorney at Law, can help you see the light at the end of the tunnel and get you the fresh start you deserve.

What Are Some Common Causes of Bankruptcy?

Financial difficulties can arise from a number of circumstances. Some of those circumstances are:


  • Divorce
  • Medical Issues
  • Loss of Employment
  • Loss of Transportation


Often the creditor, the person or company to whom the debtor owes money, will sue the debtor for an unpaid bill and a wage garnishment will follow. This can make catching up on debts and even paying for everyday living expenses difficult, if not impossible.


Many of these circumstances are beyond a person’s control. It is important to remember that, although the circumstance that caused the financial concerns may be beyond your control, it does not mean that your financial situation is beyond your control. Bankruptcy is a proactive approach to taking the situation into your hands, fixing it, and moving forward in a positive, productive manner.

Chapter 7 vs. Chapter 13: What’s the Difference?

Throughout history, people have often faced debt that surpasses their income and living expenses. The United States Congress realizes this and has created several options for people to help recover from the financial hardship that overwhelming debt causes. Two of these options are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

The primary difference between these two options is that Chapter 7 bankruptcies completely discharge debt, while Chapter 13 bankruptcies restructure the debt into affordable monthly payments. Chapter 13 payments are made to a United States Trustee, who distributes them to the creditors until the debt is repaid.

Generally, if the debtor’s income is high enough to pay for living expenses and there's enough money left over each month to pay to a Trustee, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is filed. However, if there isn't a sufficient amount remaining after living expenses are paid, a debtor will file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and the debts will be discharged.

What Are Some of the Pros & Cons?

Advantages of Chapter 7

  • Generally Only Takes 4 to 6 Months
  • Generally Only Requires 1 Trip to Court

Disadvantages of Chapter 7

  • Non-Exempt Property Subject to Sale, (Rarely Happens)
  • May Adversely Affects Your Ability to Obtain Credit in the Future

Advantages of Chapter 13

  • Keep Most Or All Of Your Property
  • Pay Back Taxes & Reduce Interest Accruing on Debt
  • Stop Pending Foreclosure on Home

Disadvantages of Chapter 13

  • More Complex & May Require Multiple Court Appearances
  • Must Make Monthly Payments On-Time
    or Case is Subject to Dismissal

The Bankruptcy Process

The bankruptcy procedure is not difficult. However, the law requires that you follow a very specific process for each type of bankruptcy. It is imperative that all rules, regulations and debts are addressed appropriately. Most importantly, we want to make sure that your specific questions and concerns are answered with the patience and expertise that you deserve.

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    Determine if Bankruptcy is Right for You

    This is where the free consultation with your Bankruptcy expert, Ms. Barry, will prove to be invaluable. Click here to schedule your free initial consultation now.

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    Fill Out Your Bankruptcy Questionnaire

    The questionnaire is available to download here, or you may give pick one up during your first appointment.

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    Complete Your Credit Counseling Course

    Federal law requires that you take a credit counseling course before you file for bankruptcy. In order to expedite your bankruptcy, we recommend that you complete the course after you turn in your questionnaire from Step 2 so we can begin preparing your case for filing while you work on the course. The credit counseling course can be completed online or by phone, and the company that administers the test will email your certificate of completion directly to our office. View the List of Approved Credit Counseling Cource Providers Here.

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    Complete Your Personal Financial Management Course

    Federal law also requires that you take a personal financial management course within 60 days of your bankruptcy hearing, which takes place 20 to 40 days after your case is filed. As with the credit counseling course, it may be completed online or by phone, and the company you choose to administer the test will email your certificate of completion directly to our office. View the List of Approved Personal Financial Management Course Providers Here.

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    Review & Sign Your Bankruptcy Forms

    When we finish preparing your bankruptcy forms, just stop by our office to review and sign them. We’ll take care of the rest.

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    Receive Your Hearing Date

    After you sign the forms in Step 5, we’ll file your case electronically with the Western District of Kentucky US Bankruptcy Court, and your hearing date will be set.

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    Send Required Documents to the Trustee

    You will be provided with a list of documents that need to be submitted to the Trustee assigned to your case. The documents typically include pay stubs, bank records, etc. If you don’t have access to a scanner and/or email, we’ll send everything for you.

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    Attend the Bankruptcy Hearing

    Attend your hearing with Ms. Barry on the date set in Step 6. There, you’ll be asked to answer a few basic questions. The hearing is very quick.

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    Receive Your Discharge of Debt Order

    If you’re filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: You’ll receive a Discharge of Debtor Order, and you’ll no longer owe the debts listed on the bankruptcy.
    If you’re filing for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: Your debts will be reorganized by the Trustee so that he can make payments on them on your behalf each month. Once the debts are paid, you’ll receive your discharge.

Frequently Asked Questions

We believe that everyone deserves a second chance and that bankruptcy should never be unaffordable. That’s why our fees are reasonable, why we accept payment plans, and why we’re always willing to work with you.
No, you will never be charged for your initial consultation.
No. You have nothing to lose by making an appointment to discuss your options with us. 

We’re always willing to work with you. We accept several forms of payment including payment plans.
When you file for bankruptcy, an automatic stay goes into effect. This means that your wage garnishment(s) will stop the same day you file for bankruptcy. However, there are some exceptions such as domestic support obligations (i.e. child support and/or alimony).

You may be able to recover funds that were removed from your paycheck by your employer on or after the date that you file for bankruptcy.

Yes. We will discuss all of your options in your free initial consultation.
Yes. We will explain the details in your free initial consultation.
There are state and federal exemptions that will allow you to retain certain property. We will fully advise you on the property that will be able to keep.
Unfortunately, no. Some debt, including owed taxes, domestic support obligations, and most (but not all) student loans are not dischargeable by bankruptcy. However, most consumer debt and medical bills are dischargeable. Contact us and we’ll answer any questions you may have regarding other forms of debt.
Contrary to popular belief, creditors will often see a debtor as a good credit risk after they’ve filed for bankruptcy. This is because they know that the debtor has just discharged most if not all of his or her outstanding debt.
Federal law allows you to file an additional bankruptcy 8 years after filing a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, 2 years after filing a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, or 2 years after converting a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy to a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy.
The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts on behalf of the Federal Judiciary provides an excellent informational website. You may access it at http://www.uscourts.gov/services-forms/bankruptcy.

We understand how overwhelming bankruptcy can be and look forward to guiding you and your family through this difficult time. To schedule a meeting or ask a question, please contact us at 502.583.2024, at julia@juliabarrylaw.com, or

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Louisville KY 40202

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