Filing bankruptcy in Wisconsin.
It's a drastic step to take when one decides to file for relief under the Bankruptcy Reform Act. Because of the way that bankruptcy laws were changed in 2005, it has become a bit more of a hassle for people to file for bankruptcy, but it's still an option available to those who have no choice left but to do so. I've been filing bankruptcy for clients in Milwaukee since I was admitted to practice law in 1995. I've written a simple, easy-to-read, 20-page outline about filing under the new law. Click HERE to open, read and, if you want, to print out the .pdf file for it.
Se habla espaņol - I speak, read and write the Spanish language
If you are losing sleep, are depressed or are suffering in other ways because of overdue bills caused by unexpected changes in your employment circumstances, by a sudden need for expensive medical care or even by an out-of-control gambling habit, don't think about crazy ways out of it. Don't run away from your family, don't steal money from others and, for God's sake, don't ever let the thought of killing yourself even cross your mind! If things get so bad that you start thinking about crazy ways like those of dealing with mounting debt, start thinking about bankruptcy instead. Though it can take a while for some of the slower clients we help to gather the information that we need to draft the paperwork for court and to get through the whole legal process, filing bankruptcy immediately provides sweeping, drastic relief from harassing creditors of every type. Filing under Chapter 13 immediately stops home foreclosure and vehicle repossession. Chapter 7 bankruptcy gets rid of all the debt that you owe to everyone, with a few exceptions (student loans, most taxes and family-support obligations, to name a few). Both types of bankruptcy stop garnishments, credit-card interest, PayDay-loan interest, utility shut-offs, and provide substantial, long-term financial relief that frees up one's income and liberates the soul without the vexing stigma that it once had years ago (nobody except the predatory creditors ripping you off with usuriously high interest rates cares these days if you file bankruptcy - not your family, not your employer, nor your friends). After filing bankruptcy and receiving a discharge, mortgage lenders will usually start dealing with you after an average of about three years time (that's to say some will talk to you way sooner than three years after receiving a discharge). And it won't shoot your chances of ever getting another credit card completely out of the water; credit-card companies and other predatory lenders will be after you once again to try to get you to sign up for more cards almost immediately after receiving a discharge in bankruptcy because they know you can't file for Ch. 7 relief again until after eight years has passed. In fact, the only thing you'll have left to worry about after filing bankruptcy will be staying away from tempting offers made by creditors like those!
Is it worth hiring an attorney to file bankruptcy?
I have seen too many people trying to file bankruptcy by themselves get their cases unexpectedly dismissed because they lost track of some procedural requirement. People without lawyers constantly show up at their scheduled meeting of creditors without having served the trustee with copies of all the documents that the trustee is supposed to have before the meeting. They leave the meeting being told that their case will be dismissed in a matter of days if they do not provide the required copies as instructed. In late November of 2007, I saw one poor lady who had filed on her own show up at a court hearing on her reaffirmation agreements (at the very end of the bankruptcy process) only to be told by the judge that her hearing was going to be very short because her case was dismissed due to her failure to follow a prior order issued by him. I obviously recommend that everybody who files bankruptcy do so with the guidance and counsel of an experienced bankruptcy lawyer, like me. Though the fees to hire an attorney to help you file usually exceed the one-thousand-dollar mark these days, it's far cheaper to pay those fees and do it right the first time, rather than mess it up by trying to do it yourself and get your case dismissed (which can have serious ramifications when later trying to refile all over again). The fees I charge to represent a person in need of bankruptcy relief are generally lower than average. I do not file bankruptcies to get rich - I file them for people as a last resort who have no other viable alternatives available to them.
What about my stuff - will I lose anything if I file?
No client for whom I have filed a bankruptcy has ever lost any of his or her property. I completely analyze the client's circumstances and advise him or her before filing whether he or she risks having any property seized. Were the client to stand losing any property, he or she knows exactly what property might be put at risk and is fully informed about that fact before making a decision to file. I have never had that type of client elect to file bankruptcy because I am usually successful at finding an alternative to bankruptcy for them.
Will filing bankruptcy prevent home refinancing?
No! New programs, depending on broker services, can refi as soon as one (1) day out of bankruptcy with a FICO score as low as 475. So, although you have to wait until you're finished with the bankruptcy process and get your discharge, it's as possible as ever to refinance your home and trade in that unfair ARM for a standard, fixed mortgage loan.
Blind, deaf, quadriplegic or other physical "disabilities" . . .
Anyone who is 18 years of age or older who has his or her mental faculties intact, no matter how physically disabled he or she might be, can be eligible to file bankruptcy, so long as he or she is able to communicate with me - even through rudimentary ways, such as blinking of the eyes. I've helped the totally, physically disabled file bankruptcy before. It might take a little longer, but it's really no problem at all!
Student loans can be discharged - even under the new bankruptcy law!
I have obtained the total and complete discharge of student loans before. If you are physically and/or mentally disabled to the point that you really can't hold down a full-time job, I might be able to get some or even all of your student-loan debt discharged through bankruptcy.
Have you considered alternatives?
Of course, I always encourage people to consider easier alternatives to filing bankruptcy, such as filing for relief under sec. 128.21 of the Wisconsin Statutes (widely known as "Chapter 128") - click HERE to go to my web site about this Wisconsin bankruptcy alternative.
Are you a creditor who needs help preventing the unfair discharge of a debt owed to you?
My bankruptcy-court expertise isn't just limited to getting debts discharged for people - I also have years of bankruptcy trial-litigation experience protecting people who are owed money! If someone has filed bankruptcy and you risk having a debt owed to you by that person made unenforceable through the bankruptcy laws, call me for a free consultation to find out if filing an adversary action in the bankruptcy court against that person might keep the debt from being wholly or partially discharged. It's easier than one would think!
I maintain an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau!
P.O. Box 579, Milwaukee, WI 53201 414-224-0668 Wisconsin State Bar # 1020925 -- New York Atty Reg. # 4308573
"We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code."