Filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Wisconsin: Your Questions Answered

The decision to file for bankruptcy is a serious one—and one that can be fraught with mistakes. The mistakes come with the many steps involved in the process (such as, but not limited to): deciding whether to declare Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy, compiling the necessary paperwork, navigating through the Chapter 7 bankruptcy means test, filing in the Eastern or Western District of Wisconsin.

The whole process of declaring Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be complicated, which is precisely the reason it can become necessary to hire an experienced lawyer. An experienced lawyer can guide those filing for bankruptcy (debtors) through the entire process. The goal of Chapter 7 bankruptcy is to ease the debt load and discharge debts.

What is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Chapter 7 bankruptcy, otherwise known as liquidation bankruptcy, is the legal process for discharging debts. After filing, a trustee is appointed by the court to use nonexempt property to pay off debts, such as (but not limited to) medical or credit card debt. Some debts, such as a car or home loan, can be wiped out if the property is not wanted. Once the process is started, creditors cannot contact debtors about collection; there are exceptions, such as when the eviction process was started by a landlord prior to filing and because the debtor did not pay rent. When the process is finalized, the debt is cleared and the creditor is not allowed to collect on the debt (with a few exceptions). Examples of these exceptions are:

  • Child or spousal support,
  • Court fines,
  • Student loans (with a few exceptions),
  • Income taxes (with a few exceptions).

Who can file for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Those wishing to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy need to pass the means test. This basically means that the income of the individual or couple filing must fall under a certain amount; this is determined by reviewing past financial documents. There are certain circumstances where an individual or couple can still file even when the income exceeds the median income. A bankruptcy lawyer can provide more information on these situations.

When can I file Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Debts can only be discharged under Chapter 7 bankruptcy every 8 years and 6 years after a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. After a Chapter 7 bankruptcy debt discharge, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy cannot be filed for another 4 years. A bankruptcy filing stays on a credit report for 10 years.

Do I need a lawyer to file for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

No. However, an experienced bankruptcy lawyer can be an invaluable help when navigating through the process of filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

The materials on this website are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. These materials are intended, but not promised or guaranteed to be current, complete, or up-to-date and should in no way be taken as an indication of future results. Transmission of the information is not intended to create, and the receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship between sender and receiver. You should not act or rely on any information contained in this website without first seeking the advice of an attorney.

Your Questions about Filing for Bankruptcy in Wisconsin Answered

stressed young man because of lots of bills trying to decide whether to file for bankruptcyWhen the bills pile up, the stress from the financial strain piles up—and so do the questions about filing for bankruptcy. We’ve heard those questions in our office as we’ve assisted clients through the process. Our general answers are listed below—as much as we can give because the exact answers are dependent upon your situation (contact us to get those exact answers).

When can I file for bankruptcy?

At any time. Before you file, talk to a lawyer to determine what is the next step to take to initiate the process or to prepare for a bankruptcy filing.

What chapter bankruptcy do I file?

There are two common kinds of bankruptcy filing in Wisconsin: Chapter 7 and 13. The answer to your specific question depends on many factors, especially your median household income. Contact a lawyer to determine the chapter of bankruptcy filing that best fits your financial situation. The key difference between the two chapters of bankruptcy is that a repayment plan is set for Chapter 13, while a Chapter 7 does not involve any repayment.

Do I need to give up my things when I file for bankruptcy?

Every situation is different, however there are exemptions in Wisconsin that make it possible so that you can keep certain kinds of property during the bankruptcy process. A lawyer can tell you what the Wisconsin exemptions cover specific to your situation.

Will bankruptcy hurt my credit score?

This is where you need to look at your current situation and assess your options; if your credit score is already low, the relief that a bankruptcy provides can be worth the low credit score. Filing for bankruptcy can put an end to collection efforts, judgments, etc.

How do I file for bankruptcy?

While some sources make filing for bankruptcy sound as simple as filling out paperwork, the truth is that choosing the right chapter and navigating through the bankruptcy process is much more complicated. Contact an experienced local lawyer to guide you through the process from start to finish.

The materials on this website are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. These materials are intended, but not promised or guaranteed to be current, complete, or up-to-date and should in no way be taken as an indication of future results. Transmission of the information is not intended to create, and the receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship between sender and receiver. You should not act or rely on any information contained in this website without first seeking the advice of an attorney.