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Bankruptcy Basics

Bankruptcy Attorney in Milwaukee, WI

Bankruptcy is a procedure under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (the “BIA”) designed to provide financial relief to individuals, corporations, partnerships, and certain trusts with overwhelming debt loads, by stopping the legal actions of creditors (also known as a stay of proceedings). This stay of proceedings against creditors is in place to prevent one creditor from gaining an unfair advantage over another.

When it is determined that the debtor’s operations are not viable or cannot be restructured to provide greater value to the stakeholders, or when all other options have been exhausted, bankruptcy is deemed a viable option.

At Miller & Miller, we are seasoned Milwaukee, WI bankruptcy attorneys who take prompt legal action. To know more about bankruptcy basics in Milwaukee, WI, please schedule a consultation for more information. We are accessible around the clock to discuss your legal options.

Why Do I Need a Bankruptcy Attorney in Milwaukee, WI?

bankruptcy basics in milwaukee, wisconsinIf you are contemplating filing for bankruptcy, you may wonder if it is worthwhile to hire a bankruptcy attorney or if you should just take your chances and handle it on your own. You may believe that hearing this recommendation from a bankruptcy attorney is biased. Still, in order to demonstrate why it is ultimately the best course of action, we have outlined four reasons why you should not hesitate to hire a lawyer to handle your case.

  • Bankruptcy attorneys can protect creditors and collection agencies. Your attorney can contact your creditors to stop annoying collection calls, saving you time and allowing you to focus on regaining your financial independence.
  • Bankruptcy attorneys can assist you in staying on top of your paperwork. Filing for bankruptcy involves a substantial amount of paperwork. You will also need to gather various supplementary materials to accompany your applications. A Missouri lawyer can keep you on track with everything required for your application and provide legal counsel, which a document preparer cannot.
  • Bankruptcy attorneys offer their knowledge and experience. Without a comprehensive understanding of bankruptcy law, it may be difficult to navigate the process on your own may be difficult. A lawyer can advise you on the best way to respond to a judge’s questions and will assist you with all necessary preparations using their legal expertise. They can help you avoid costly errors, such as failing to disclose an asset or property that could result in loss.
  • Bankruptcy attorneys provide security and protection from uncertainty. When you entrust your case to an expert, you will experience less anxiety because you will know that it is proceeding as planned. A lawyer can advise you on how to proceed and provide you with regular updates on the status of your case.

Hiring a competent, experienced Milwaukee bankruptcy attorney to handle your case could save you money in the long run if everything is completed correctly from the start. In the legal realm, errors can be extremely costly, as they can affect your time, finances, and even your case. With so much at stake, it is unwise to undertake bankruptcy proceedings without the counsel of someone who has extensive experience with them.

What are the Types of Bankruptcy?

There are two major types of personal bankruptcy: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. The names are derived from the bankruptcy law chapters that establish the rules for each type of case.

Chapter 7

Many of your debts may be “discharged” or canceled in a chapter 7 bankruptcy. This means you owe them no longer. The majority of your assets are sold to satisfy your debts. You may be permitted to retain a certain property. This is known as exempt property.

To qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your income and assets must be very low. 

Chapter 13

In chapter 13 bankruptcy, you agree to a repayment plan to attempt debt repayment. You will also retain the majority of your property. To qualify for chapter 13, you must have sufficient regular or consistent income to repay your debts according to a repayment plan.

A judge will evaluate your repayment plan and decide whether or not it is acceptable. If the plan is approved, you will make fixed, recurring payments to a chapter 13 trustee or court-appointed official who assists in the administration of chapter 13 cases. The trustee will then pay creditors.

Paying Creditors in Full

Chapter 13 bankruptcy requires you to pay your creditors in full, if possible. If not, you must pay all of your disposable income for three to five years. Disposable income is the income remaining after necessary living expenses have been deducted.

Upon completion of the repayment plan, you will be released from some of your remaining debts. During the plan, you must continue to pay certain back taxes and all child support and maintenance obligations in full. Additionally, certain debts cannot be discharged.

Prior to filing for chapter 13 bankruptcy, it is essential to consult with an attorney if possible, as drafting a repayment plan without one is extremely difficult. Most cases filed pro se are unsuccessful.

What are Possible Reasons for Filing for Bankruptcy?

Here are some positive outcomes that may result from filing for bankruptcy:

  • In chapter 7, the majority of your debts are discharged, allowing you to start over.
  • Chapter 13 allows you to save certain assets, such as a house or car.
  • At least temporarily, bankruptcy halts wage garnishment and collection agency harassment.
  • Repossessions and foreclosures are halted and cannot proceed unless the court grants permission.
  • You may maintain exempt property
  • Stopping utility shut-offs or restoring service after paying a reasonable deposit, then paying only for current service, is possible.
  • Employers and government agencies cannot retaliate against bankruptcy filers. and
  • You can have your driver’s license reinstated if it was suspended for nonpayment of a debt dischargeable in bankruptcy.

Call our Milwaukee, WI Bankruptcy Lawyers Now!

Struggling to get out of debt? Any client who is in need of assistance can speak with one of our Milwaukee, WI bankruptcy attorneys, and they will also work with them to create a payment plan that is both flexible and affordable. Our lawyers and professional staff at Miller & Miller understand the stress that your situation may cause, and we promptly return all of our clients’ phone calls. 

Contact our Milwaukee, WI law office if you would like to speak with an attorney about your legal matter in a manner that is kept strictly confidential. In order to better serve you, we are available to take your call at any time, day or night, seven days a week.