According to the 2005 Bankruptcy Act, there are federal standards that must be adhered to by District Courts throughout the States. In Kansas, there are 3 District Courts in which a petitioner may file or have a bankruptcy hearing. The four main types of bankruptcies are Chapter 7, Chapter 11, Chapter 12, and Chapter 13.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy offers debt relief to those who owe more than they can pay. It is typically an option for debtors with a high unsecured debt ratio and a lower income. The non-exempt assets are liquidized to repay as much debt as possible and other debts such as credit card bills and medical financial obligations are forgiven. Non-dischargeable debt, like child support or back taxes, remains the responsibility of the petitioner.
For those who are interested in keeping their home or vehicle, Chapter 13 may be a better option. This type of bankruptcy reorganizes the debt and allows for repayment over time, typically in a period of 3 to 5 years. Those who file for Chapter 13 are able to stop foreclosure on their homes and minimize unsecured debt.
Businesses are eligible to file for Chapter 11; this is similar to Chapter 13 because it involves a repayment period and protects the assets of the business. It is an attractive option to businesses that are struggling but choose to remain in operation. A similar but specific Chapter 12 is designated to help family farmers or fishermen to keep working and pay off large debts in a set period of time.
Credit counseling is required for any petitioner of bankruptcy within 6 months of filing. This allows the debtor to see all options and decide if bankruptcy is the best route for them. Once bankruptcy is selected, there are many more steps of the process.
Lastly, it is the responsibility of the petitioner to complete a financial management course to finalize their bankruptcy. If it is under Chapter 13, payments must be made according to the agreed-upon terms.
There are 3 locations for filing for bankruptcy and bankruptcy hearings in Kansas. The first is at the Robert J. Dole Courthouse on 500 State Ave. Room 161, Kansas City, KS 66101. The Topeka location is housed in the Frank Carlson Federal Building 444 SE Quincy, Room 240, Topeka, KS 66683. Lastly, the Wichita U.S. Courthouse on 401 N. Market, Room 167, Wichita, KS 67202.