Before filing for bankruptcy, you will need to provide your bankruptcy attorney with certain documents and information about what you own and about your debts. You’ll also need to have gather information about your regular income and expenses.
At Brackney Law Office, PLLC, we help Kentucky individuals, families, and businesses file for bankruptcy under the Bankruptcy Code. If you want to learn about your bankruptcy or non-bankruptcy options, contact our Lexington KY bankruptcy attorney or give us a call at (859) 559-4648.
If you own real property (like your home), you’ll need to obtain a copy of the deed, the mortgage, and copies of any liens against you or your property. It’s important for a bankruptcy attorney to review these documents at the first meeting with a client to ensure that your assets are being properly protected.
Getting Documents for Bankruptcy from the County Clerk
But how do you get copies of these documents? That’s a common question asked by our clients!
In Kentucky, the County Clerk maintains the real property records for all land in that county. So if you own property in more than one county, you’ll need to visit more than one county clerk! In most counties, the county clerk’s office is located in the county courthouse.
Fortunately, land records have been largely digitized. But each county uses a different computer system to access those records, which can be a little confusing.
Many county clerks will look up these necessary documents, but sometimes you may need to do the search yourself. If that’s the case, don’t panic.
First, don’t be afraid to politely ask for help. Second, many county clerks have a written “cheat sheet” for how to do a land records search. Third, the cost of copies varies by county, but nearly all county clerks accept only cash so bring some with you when you go!
The Fayette County Clerk
If your property is in Lexington, Kentucky, the county clerk has created a “cheat sheet” that is available at the counter of the land records office.
You should search for both the name of the property owner(s) as well as the property address for each property you own in the county.
Sit down at one of the computers in the land records office and select Option #1 (Land Records 1986 to Date). You can then search by name (Option #2 or 3) or by address (Option #7). Type in the name of the property owner or the address, as appropriate, and press enter.
A list of matches should appear and you’ll want to look for any deeds, mortgages, liens, or lien releases. On a sheet of paper, write down what you find along with the book and page number for each. For example, a lien could be found in the Encumbrance Book 12, Page 50. Often, you can press F10 to see an image of the document on the screen (you have to have a special account to print).
Once you’ve searched by both name and address, take your list back to the counter to have the documents printed. Remember, the Fayette County Clerk charges $0.50 per page and mortgage documents can be several pages long!
It’s important to understand that these tips are simply a brief and helpful “how to” and are in no way intended to teach you how to do a title search of a property.
Jefferson County Clerk
In Louisville, the process is similar to that in Fayette County except for one notable exception: the land records are (largely) accessible online. Rather than printing documents downtown, you can save PDF files from your own home.
An online search of the Jefferson County, Kentucky land records can be done here.
If you are thinking about filing bankruptcy or have questions about whether a bankruptcy is right for you or your family, it is recommended that you seek the counsel of a bankruptcy attorney so that you’ll better understand your bankruptcy and non-bankruptcy options as well as the pros, the cons, and the costs of each. To get started or if you have questions, call Brackney Law Office, PLLC at (859) 559-4648 or complete this online form here.