Bankruptcy in Milwaukee, WI

Are you contemplating bankruptcy or hiring a bankruptcy attorney in Milwaukee, Wisconsin? Are you tired of creditors calling for payments you can’t make? Maybe looking for a way to get out of debt and have you exhausted all other options? Then bankruptcy might be the solution you seek. It is a legal option that can erase a portion or all of your debts.

Types of Bankruptcy in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Bankruptcy is a legal process that helps individuals and businesses get a fresh financial start. It eliminates a portion of or all of their debts or financial liabilities. In Milwaukee, WI to be approved, individuals must prove they have a hardship that prevents them from staying current on their financial obligations. Keep in mind that not all debts qualify. Some liabilities, such as child support arrears, delinquent taxes, alimony, and student loans generally do not qualify for discharge. Consumers who find themselves falling behind in debt can file either Chapter 7, 11 or 13. To determine which option is right for you, you’ll need to assess your goals, assets, and income. You should also consider working with an experienced bankruptcy attorney.

Residents of Milwaukee are required to file for bankruptcy in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Many people find Chapter 7 to be the right solution for their circumstances because it provides them with the opportunity to start over financially. However, before filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you should thoroughly assess your income and ability to repay what you owe. You should also speak with a bankruptcy attorney in Milwaukee  who can help you to decide if a liquidation plan is right for you.

Typically, individuals approved for Chapter 7 lack stable income or have experienced a change in circumstances that has resulted in an inability to manage their debts. Though Chapter 7 erases debts, the tradeoff is you may have to give up certain possessions, such as your home, car or some other assets. However, once you file your petition, an automatic stay goes into effect that requires all collection activity against you like foreclosures and garnishments, to stop temporarily. However, the automatic stay does not prevent all collection attempts. For example, if you owe child support or restitution for a criminal case, you are still liable for those payments.

The Wisconsin State Law Library provides an online checklist for those wishing to file for protections under Chapter 7. The beginning of filing in Milwaukee starts with a voluntary petition signed by the debtor. This comes along with a creditor matrix, and a certificate of completion of a credit counseling course. These are all in addition to the means test you must complete in order to determine if your income bracket will allow you to file Chapter 7.

Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Chapter 11 bankruptcy is more complex than other types of bankruptcy. It is often used by businesses and certain types of people. It allows petitioners to restructure their debts with a reorganization plan. This way, they are easier to manage over a determined length of time, usually four to 18 months. The main benefit of Chapter 11 bankruptcy is that it does not require petitioners to sell off or liquidate their assets to pay what they owe. It does allow debtors to negotiate with their creditors a reorganization plan that enables them to stay current on their debts moving forward.

The Operating Guidelines for Chapter 11 are provided by the U.S. Courts. While Chapter 11 can be beneficial for certain individuals, it is generally taken up by businesses that desire to pay off their debts, but do not wish to shutter or liquidate in order to do so. This restructuring of debt will allow those who engage in Chapter 11 protections to establish a new timeline to repay the debt. It also allow you to even borrow additional funds in some cases.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is a debt restructuring or wage earners plan. In Milwaukee, WI after you file, the courts will assign a trustee to examine your liabilities and assets and ability to pay bills. Unlike other types of bankruptcy, Chapter 13 involves you restructuring your debt with a three to five-year repayment plan. The flexibility of this repayment plan will depend on what property you want to keep and how steady your income is. It may also give you the opportunity to have some or most of your debts discharged.

The Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee states that Chapter 13 allows debtors to repay their debts at a lower rate. This can be ideal for individuals trying to protect their home. Or those trying to make up for missed car or loan payments, or pay off back taxes. Unlike Chapter 7 where the debt is wiped out, Chapter 13 allows the debtor to pay off the debt under a revised timeline. However, the most crucial part of Chapter 13 is your repayment plan, and for this you will want to seek out an experienced attorney in Milwaukee.

The Bankruptcy Process in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

There is never an ideal time to declare bankruptcy. However, if you are unable to pay off what you owe within five years, filing for bankruptcy can help you to lessen the negative impact on your situation. As well as help you get back on track.

In Milwaukee to begin the filing process, gather all of your financial records, including monthly expenses, debts, assets and annual income. This information is crucial to give the courts an accurate picture of your circumstances. Failure to provide all necessary information can result in your petition being denied.

Milwaukee residents filing for bankruptcy are required to file the appropriate forms and pay the accompanying fees. You’ll have to decide if bankruptcy can actually alleviate your debt, and which particular type of bankruptcy you will pursue. Then you’ll need to stop paying qualifying debts and file for your exemptions.

Potential Exemptions

The Wisconsin State Legislature records that any resident can exempt up to $75,000 worth of equity in their home, and up to $4,000 for a motor vehicle. There is also a $12,000 exemption for personal property that can be applied. In addition, public benefits, 401Ks, simple IRAs, and even Roth IRAs are exempt at up to $1,362,800 per person.

At least six months before you file for bankruptcy, eliminate unnecessary spending. Do not run up the balances on your credit accounts. You’ll also need to complete an approved credit counseling course, usually online or over the phone. Credit counseling is necessary to help you learn financial literacy and help you learn better financial habits. Once you complete the course, you’ll receive a certificate of completion to include in your filing. If you don’t have the certificate of completion from the credit counseling course that you took, the courts will reject your bankruptcy petition.

Work With an Experienced Milwaukee, Wisconsin Lawyer

Hiring a local bankruptcy lawyer in Milwaukee during this process can help reduce the costly risks of self-representation in court. An experienced bankruptcy lawyer understands state and federal bankruptcy laws. He or she can help you understand which laws apply to your case. Especially, they can help determine which debts that can be discharged or can’t be discharged. An experienced Wisconsin attorney can also offer you guidance to improve the outcome of your case.

Keep in mind that there are debt management alternatives and financial resources that may benefit you more than bankruptcy, such as debt consolidation. Though bankruptcy is an attractive solution, it is best as a last resort. Do you need immediate help? Then one of our experienced lawyers in Milwaukee can guide you through the entire bankruptcy process. We can even help you connect with an attorney across Wisconsin state lines.

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