Frequently Asked Questions

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Castil Williams will be glad to answer all your questions about debt relief and how bankruptcy may stop creditors and collection agencies from harassing you.

You can start here, with some of the questions we hear most often.
Then contact us to schedule a free initial consultation and ask your other questions.
We’re here to help!

How much will it cost to file bankruptcy?

This depends on the amount, type, and nature of the debts you have and what you intend to do about them. Also, the fee is affected by the Chapter, or type, of bankruptcy you file. There is no charge for our initial consultation and at that time we will determine the amount of your fee. As of December 2015, the court cost to file a Chapter 7 is $335.00, and the court cost to file a Chapter 13 is $310.00.

Currently you have to receive pre- and post-bankruptcy counseling and be given a certificate of completion before you can file or receive a discharge. You can do this over the telephone or Internet. There are many agencies that provide this service and the costs vary from $20.00 or less to $50.00 or  more.

Do I have to have all the money for your fee before I can file?

In most cases we can arrange a payment plan that will probably protect you from your creditors and allow you to pay your fee before the bankruptcy is filed.

Do I have to list all the people I owe money to in my bankruptcy?

You must list everyone you owe money to, but this does not mean you can never repay those debts.

How long does it take before I obtain relief from my creditors?

Under federal law, as soon as we file your bankruptcy petition, creditors have to stop contacting you. Generally, within 3.5 to four months after you file Chapter 7 bankruptcy you receive a Discharge Order; a Chapter 13 discharge will be entered after you have completed all payments and other requirements.

Will I have to go to court?

Sometime within 30 to 45 days after we file your Petition and Schedules a creditors’ meeting will be scheduled which you must attend. I will accompany you to that meeting.

Where will my creditors meeting be held?

This depends on the county in which you reside.

Debtors who reside in Anderson, Carroll, Franklin, Henry, Owen, Shelby and Trimble counties have creditors meetings at the Franklin County Courthouse in Frankfort.

Debtors who reside in Bath, Bourbon, Boyle, Clark, Estill, Fayette, Fleming, Garrard, Harrison, Jessamine, Lee, Lincoln, Madison, Menifee, Mercer, Montgomery, Nicholas, Powell, Scott, Wolfe and Woodford counties have their creditors meetings at the Community Trust Building in Lexington.

I only represent residents of these counties.

Will I lose my property?

Bankruptcy can allow you to be free of your debt and make a fresh start. Any questions about losing property need to be discussed before you file so there will be no risk IF you file. Almost all consumer debtors are able to retain their property.

I want to keep my house and car but the bank has a mortgage on one and a lien on the other. Will I be able to keep them?

If the payments are current and the collateral is insured, I have never known a lender to repossess collateral because of bankruptcy. They will probably ask you to reaffirm the debt. We will discuss what it means to reaffirm a debt at our initial consultation. If you are not current on these bills we will need to discuss the possibility of filing a Chapter 13 wherein, given certain circumstances, we can force the lender to allow you to keep the collateral even if your payments are not up to date.

What if I just give some of my property to family or friends before filing?

Do not do this unless you have discussed the matter with your attorney! Questions such as these should be discussed in depth at our initial consultation before you file.

Will anyone be coming to my home?

Probably not. In almost 30 years of experience I have never known of this happening. However, the Trustee would be entitled to do so if he or she so desired. This is another reason why it is so important that you meet with an attorney and discuss your circumstances prior to deciding to file. There is no question you have that I will not attempt to answer.

Will the fact I have filed for bankruptcy be in the newspaper?

Your consultations and meetings with me are protected by the attorney-client privilege and are completely confidential. However, the fact that  you filed bankruptcy is a matter of public record and, accordingly, can be published in the newspaper. There is nothing any attorney can do to prevent this.

I'm married. Will my spouse have to file bankruptcy with me?

No. In fact, if your spouse is not obligated on any of your debts it would probably not be wise for him or her to file with you. if you have no objection to their doing so, I urge your non-filing spouse to attend your consultations with me.

My boyfriend and I have joint debts. Can we file together?

No. Only spouses can file joint petitions. If you have no objection to his doing so, I urge you to bring your boyfriend with you to your initial consultation.

My spouse and I do not have any debts in common. Will the fact that I have filed bankruptcy appear on his or her credit report?

No.

My spouse and I are in the process of obtaining a divorce. Since we now have separate residences, neither of us are able to pay the bills we incurred as a couple. Can we file a joint bankruptcy petition?

Yes, provided you are married at the time you file. If divorcing spouses are emotionally capable of doing so, it is often in their best interest to file a joint Petition in bankruptcy. In essence, since both of you are filing, you can split the fees and costs.

I was ordered to pay certain debts as a result of my divorce. Can I discharge those debts in bankruptcy?

Maybe, but there are complications with doing this. We need to discuss this in detail at your initial consultation.

Will my employer be notified that I have filed bankruptcy?

No, unless you owe your employer money, in which case we would have to list your employer as a creditor.

A creditor has a judgment and my wages are being garnished. Will bankruptcy stop the garnishment?

Yes, if a creditor has a money judgment against you, bankruptcy will usually allow you relief. You may be able to get some or all of the money back.

I owe state and federal income tax debts. Will bankruptcy take care of those debts?

In certain circumstances, depending upon various factors that we will discuss in depth at your initial consultation, bankruptcy can either allow you to discharge taxes in a Chapter 13, or else, in certain circumstances, discharge, or eliminate, those taxes in a Chapter 7.

What about student loans?

Under certain very limited circumstances, they may be dischargeable. Again, this is something we need to discuss in detail at your initial consultation.

I owe a family member money and understand that I must list him as a creditor. Does this mean I can never pay him?

No. Bankruptcy does not prevent your paying any creditor that you want to.

I owe a lot of child support. Can bankruptcy help me with this problem?

Generally, bankruptcy cannot eliminate ongoing monthly child support obligations. However, in certain circumstances we can formulate a Chapter 13 Plan that would allow you to pay arrears on terms that you can afford. This is something that needs to be discussed in depth at the initial consultation.

I filed bankruptcy some years ago. Does this prevent me from filing now?

Currently you are required to wait eight years between Chapter 7 filings. You are eligible to receive a Chapter 13 discharge after four years from the filing of a Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy.

I have been sued. Does this mean I cannot file bankruptcy?

No.