Wisconsin Bankruptcy Lawyer

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In the year ending 2008, over one million bankruptcies were filed in the United States alone. In the state of Wisconsin, in the year ending 2008, there were approximately 7,500 bankruptcies filed.

Bankruptcy is a legally declared inability or impairment of ability of an individual or organization to pay its creditors. Creditors may file a bankruptcy petition against a debtor in an effort to recoup a portion of what they are owed or initiate a restructuring. In the majority of cases, however, bankruptcy is initiated by the debtor.

Bankruptcy may be a way for citizens of the United States to wipe their debts clean or reduce their debt to a manageable level. Although bankruptcy is not easy, it is sometimes necessary. Hiring an experienced bankruptcy attorney can make the entire process easier and less stressful. The laws and process are so complicated that unless you have an extremely straightforward simple case, you have to have some help.

Due to recent changes in bankruptcy law you must lay out your financial situation so the court can decide if you qualify to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This type of bankruptcy is a total liquidation of nonexempt assets, which in Wisconsin, include a home with no more than $40,000 in equity, insurance benefits, pensions, personal property and any equipment needed for your livelihood.

You and your attorney can decide whether you want to abide by Wisconsin or Federal exemptions.

When you file for Chapter 7, your case is turned over to a trustee who will liquidate your assets and distribute the funds to your creditors. If you have no assets and a low income, you will likely be able to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy relief. If you have a steady income and assets, such as a home and a vehicle which you would like to keep, you can file for Chapter 13. This type of bankruptcy allows you to stop foreclosure or repossession and gives you a chance to make up the payments owed.

The court will decide, based on your income and basic needs, how much money will be allocated to your creditors every month over a three to five year period. You will then have to keep up with your payments until the bankruptcy is discharged. For those whose income is too high to allow for filing under Chapter 7, the only other option is Chapter 13. There are also Chapters 11 and 12, but they are for family farmers, businesses or people with unusual amounts of debt. Businesses will often use this type of bankruptcy in order to reorganize their debt and stay up and running.

There are six types of bankruptcy under the Bankruptcy Code, located at Title 11 of the United States Code:

Chapter 7: basic liquidation for individuals and businesses;
Chapter 9: municipal bankruptcy;
Chapter 11: rehabilitation or reorganization, used primarily by business debtors, but sometimes by individuals with substantial debts and assets;
Chapter 12: rehabilitation for family farmers and fishermen;
Chapter 13: rehabilitation with a payment plan for individuals with a regular source of income;
Chapter 15: ancillary and other international cases.

Set up a consultation with a bankruptcy attorney in your area today in order to figure out which one is the right fit for you. They have the expertise it takes in order to ensure that the correct bankrupt filing occurs. You can have the fresh start you deserve and a little peace of mind.


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