Frequently Asked Questions about Bankruptcy

How Chapter 7 & 13 Bankruptcy Works in Wisconsin

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.

This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. This information should not be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. Please contact bankruptcy attorney Steven R. McDonald for your free initial case assessment.

Contact our Milwaukee County bankruptcy attorney for a FREE consultation.

Can bankruptcy reinstate a suspended driver’s license?

Failure to pay traffic fines can lead to a suspended driver’s license. Filing for bankruptcy does NOT guarantee your suspended driver’s license will be reinstated. It all depends on how your license was suspended in the first place. Contact Steven R. McDonald for a FREE case assessment to see if bankruptcy is right for you.

Jump To Top
Can bankruptcy stop eviction?

Chapter 7 bankruptcy can prevent or delay eviction if filed at the right time. If orders of eviction were already started, it may be too late. Request a FREE case assessment to find out if you can avoid eviction through bankruptcy.

Jump To Top
Will bankruptcy stop the IRS?

Individuals are able to discharge certain federal and state income taxes by filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Wisconsin. You must meet certain qualifications for discharging income tax debt (the only type of tax debt that can be discharged in bankruptcy). Take advantage of your free consultation with our bankruptcy attorney to learn about your best options for a fresh start.

Jump To Top
Does bankruptcy stop wage garnishment?

Once you file the proper paperwork for chapter 7 an automatic stay is immediately imposed which will stop wage garnishment (among other benefits). If you are filing chapter 13, the automatic stay will stop wage garnishment resulting from specific types of tax debt or a civil judgment for consumer debt. If your wages are being garnished for alimony, child support or federally-funded student loans, filing bankruptcy will not eliminate this type of garnishment.

Jump To Top
Are bankruptcy filings public record?

While personal bankruptcy filings are public records, it is unlikely members of the general public will encounter the information. PACER is a public access system containing information about nationwide bankruptcy filings. Users are required to register an account and pay by the page for every document obtained. Most PACER access comes from bankruptcy pros or lenders.

Bankruptcy will also appear on your credit report for around ten years, meaning anyone obtaining your credit report (for example a landlord) will be made aware of your bankruptcy filing.

If you have more questions about public access to your personal bankruptcy case filing please contact our law office.

Jump To Top
Which bankruptcy eliminates all debt?

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a liquidation of debts. Filing for chapter 7 can discharge (eliminate) certain debts so you are no longer required to pay them down. In some cases this constitutes most or all of an individual’s debt. Some debts are “nondischargeable” including child support, criminal fines and others.

Jump To Top
What do I need to know before filing for bankruptcy?

Before filing for bankruptcy in Milwaukee or other nearby locations in southeastern Wisconsin, there's a few things you've got to understand:

  1. Debts you may be able to discharge
  2. The difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13
  3. Know if you qualify for Chapter 7
  4. The costs of filing
  5. Potential effect on your credit report
  6. You should NOT file without a lawyer

If you have more questions or concerns about filing for bankruptcy, please contact Steven R. McDonald today and schedule a free consultation.

Jump To Top
Does filing for bankruptcy prevent utility disconnection?

Yes. The state of Wisconsin stops utility shut-offs due to missed payments from November 1st through April 15th. For the rest of the year, you could face lost power due to unpaid bills. Filing for bankruptcy temporarily prohibits utility shut-offs in the state of Wisconsin.

However, filing for bankruptcy will not relieve your debt from unpaid utility bills. Schedule a free consultation today to discuss more details.

Jump To Top
Can Bankruptcy Help Me Get Rid of Payday Loans?

Yes! Like all other unsecured nonpriority debts, payday loan debt can be discharged completely by filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy (if you are eligible) or partially discharged after paying off a certain percentage over the duration of your repayment plan. Learn more about getting rid of payday loans by filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Jump To Top
Does Bankruptcy Cover Medical Debt?

If you are eligible to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you may eliminate all of your debt from medical bills. By filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you must pay a percentage of your medical debt over the duration of the repayment period. 

For more details concerning discharging your medical debt, contact our experienced and knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney Steven R. McDonald at 414-226-2200 today.
Jump To Top
Does Bankruptcy Cover Credit Card Debt?

Certain types of credit card debt can be discharged by filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Filing for Chapter 13 requires a partial repayment of credit card debt, though the remainder may be discharged at the end of your repayment period. Learn more about discharging credit card debt utilizing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Jump To Top
Which kind of bankruptcy should I file?

Most Individuals file Chapter 13 Bankruptcy or Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. Chapter 13 consists of reorganization and repayment of debt to owed creditors. Chapter 7 is the discharge of (most) debts. The type of bankruptcy controls which debts can be discharged which debts must be repaid and how long payments can be stretched out. The type of bankruptcy depends on your specific financial situation.

Bankruptcy laws are extremely complex and intricate. When you are considering bankruptcy you should speak with a knowledgeable and highly experienced bankruptcy lawyer to ensure you're making the best debt relief decision for your circumstances.

Jump To Top
What is Bankruptcy?

Those who file for bankruptcy do so because they are unable to pay their creditors. Typically, individuals file for Chapter 7 (discharge of debt) or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy (reorganization and repayment of debt).

Jump To Top
How Often Can I File for Bankruptcy in Wisconsin?

In Wisconsin, Chapter 7 Bankruptcy can be filed every 8 years after previously filing for Chapter 7 or 6 years after filing for Chapter 13. 

Filing bankruptcy in Wisconsin can negatively impact your ability to obtain future credit, rent an apartment or obtain housing, especially if you have filed for bankruptcy more than once. Filing for bankruptcy is a decision which should be carefully considered. If you have more questions about how often bankruptcy can be filed in Wisconsin, contact Milwaukee area bankruptcy attorney Steven R. McDonald for a free consultation.

Contact our Milwaukee bankruptcy law firm today for your FREE consultation and find out if Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy is right for your unique situation.
Jump To Top
What is the Bankruptcy Means Test?

The Bankruptcy Means Test is a standardized form which helps to determine if you qualify for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. This formula shows the median income of households based on the number of members of the household.  If you are at or under the median income you qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. If you are over the median income you may need to file for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy.  Because this standardized formula does not account for all variables, it is important to contact the experienced Milwaukee bankruptcy law firm to evaluate your specific financial circumstances.  Please call today to setup your free bankruptcy evaluation. 

Jump To Top
What do I need to know prior to the meeting of creditors?

Typically, most people who file a bankruptcy never have a hearing before a judge. The only court hearing you will need to attend is a brief meeting with the bankruptcy trustee referred to as the Meeting of Creditors. With our experienced bankruptcy attorney there to guide you, there is no need to worry about the meeting of creditors.  It usually lasts about 5-10 minutes.  You will be asked a short series of questions under oath. These questions include confirmation of your identity, social security number, whether your petition is accurate and if you’ve truthfully listed all of your debts and assets. Creditors are allowed to attend these meetings, but rarely do so.  Creditor harassment or bullying is not permitted in the meeting of creditors. Our Milwaukee bankruptcy attorney as well as the bankruptcy trustee is there with you the entire time to ensure this type of behavior does not occur.

Jump To Top
What do I need to bring to the Meeting of Creditors?

You will need to bring your driver’s license or state ID card and your social security card to the meeting of creditors. All other requirements will be handled by our Milwaukee bankruptcy attorney.

Jump To Top
What if I can’t afford the bankruptcy filing fees?

If you cannot afford to pay the bankruptcy filing fees in full at the time the case is filed, the court may allow payment in installments.

Jump To Top
What is the filing fee for a Chapter 7 as compared to a Chapter 13 bankruptcy?

In the United States, bankruptcy courts charge a fee to file a case under their jurisdiction. The costs of filing for bankruptcy are the same across the United States. The filing fee for a Chapter 7 is $335.00, and the fee to file a Chapter 13 is $310.00

Jump To Top
What is the difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Wisconsin?

There are a few key differences between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The primary difference is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is a liquidation of assets. A person is able to discharge most debt and start fresh. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is a restructuring of debts. This type of bankruptcy allows people to keep certain assets, typically homes and cars when they have fallen behind on the payments. Your Milwaukee area bankruptcy attorney will draft a debt payment plan, which repays your creditors. These plans last between 3 to 5 years depending upon the debts you owe and you financial circumstances.

Jump To Top
What does “discharge of debt” mean?

When debt is discharged it means you are no longer legally obligated to pay it and creditors are not allowed to attempt to collect the debt. This is different from how debt consolidation companies work.

Jump To Top
When filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy what debts are considered dischargeable?

Debts that are typically discharged in Chapter 7 include:  

There are some exceptions, so it is wise to speak with our local bankruptcy attorney in Milwaukee to determine if your debts are dischargeable. 

Jump To Top
Wisconsin bankruptcy lawyer serving: Oak CreekMilwaukeeCudahyFranklin • St. Francis • Union Grove • New Berlin • Racine • Greenfield • Greendale • Hales Corners • Caledonia • Muskego • Hales Corners
© 2024 The Law Office of Steven R. McDonald, LLC. All Rights Reserved.