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What is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is referred to as a “fresh start” and what most people think of when they are looking to file bankruptcy. Chapter 7 is simple, quick and will allow you to regain control of your income and expenses in a very short time frame. Chapter 7 will discharge the majority of your unsecured debt including medical bills, credit card debt and pay day loans.

Once the Chapter 7 bankruptcy is filed you are protected by the bankruptcy court and the automatic stay. This automatic stay prevents any creditor from calling you, harassing you, garnishing your wages and other collection activity. The case will last four to six months from the filing date. Once the case is discharged your debts will be a thing of the past and you can move forward with your life.

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  • How fast does bankruptcy get rid of my debts?

    You have probably been experiencing financial difficulty for a long while now and are concerned how long it would take for a bankruptcy to help. We can file bankruptcy protection for you as soon as a week after you contact us. After it is filed, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy takes about 3-4 months to receive a full discharge of debts. However, relief from debt collection starts the minute you file bankruptcy and your creditors have to immediately stop collecting all money owed. They have to stop sending collection letters and making harassing phone calls. They have to stop lawsuits and garnishments. They have to stop taking automatic payments from your bank account. They have to stop foreclosure on your house.

  • Is it hard to file bankruptcy?

    Some people are afraid to file bankruptcy because they heard that the paperwork that needs to be filed is difficult and the process is overwhelming. We will take care of all of the paperwork for you and make it as easy as possible to file bankruptcy. We will guide you every step of the way. If you retain us to help you, we will let you know specifically what information and documents you need to provide. We will then prepare all of your bankruptcy paperwork and file it for you with the bankruptcy court. You will then attend a brief telephone hearing where a bankruptcy trustee asks you about your paperwork with one of our lawyers right there with you. After that, your debts will be gone!

  • Can I file a medical bill bankruptcy?

    A sudden health emergency or chronic health issue can leave you trying to deal with a mountain of expensive medical bills. A “medical bill bankruptcy” is another term sometimes used for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. You can get rid of your medical bills in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy will also wipe out most of your other unsecured debts. Other bills that you can wipe out include credit cards, pay day loans, personal loans, bills in collections, and even judgments that have already been entered against you in court. This bankruptcy will get rid of these debts and give you and your family a fresh start.

  • Won’t everyone know if I file bankruptcy?

    You may be concerned about who will find out about your bankruptcy if you file. “Will my friends and family find out?” is a common question. Most people don’t want their financial difficulties announced to the world. It is a common myth about bankruptcy is that everyone will find out – this is simply not true. Essentially, the only ones that get notified about your bankruptcy filing are your creditors so they know to delete your debts out of their accounts. Any required bankruptcy hearings are by telephone so nobody will ever see you in a courtroom. Bankruptcy is a federal legal process, so it won’t get listed in public state court records (like Wisconsin’s circuit court record system, or “CCAP,” as it is well known). The only ones who really access bankruptcy federal records are the creditors, bankruptcy lawyers, and judges who work in the system.

What should I expect when I file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

  • STEP 1: Consultation

    Attend a FREE consultation to evaluate your situation.

  • STEP 2: Get Representation

    Retain a law firm with at least minimum payment.

  • STEP 3: Fees Paid in Full

    Once fees are paid in full, we will begin the process of preparing your bankruptcy.

  • STEP 4: Credit Counseling

    Credit counseling is REQUIRED by law and your bankruptcy cannot be filed until it is completed.

  • STEP 5: Bankruptcy Paperwork

    Bring all requested documents to a meeting with your attorney.

  • STEP 6: Finalize Paperwork

    Final review and signing your bankruptcy paperwork.

  • STEP 7: Case is Filed

    Your bankruptcy case is now formally filed with the court.

  • STEP 8: Second Credit Counseling Course

    A second credit counseling course must be completed by law.

  • STEP 9: 341 Hearing

    Mandatory attendance at a meeting of creditors to discuss your case.

  • STEP 10: Debts Discharged

    Your bankruptcy is complete!

What is Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is also called a wage earner’s repayment plan. It enables individuals with regular income to develop a plan to repay all or part of their debts. With a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, debtors develop a repayment plan to make installments to creditors over three to five years based on the debtor’s income. During this time, it is illegal for creditors to contact you to collect debts.

A Chapter 13 bankruptcy can have a number of advantages. Perhaps most significantly, Chapter 13 offers individuals an opportunity to save their homes from foreclosure. By filing Chapter 13, individuals can stop foreclosure proceedings, and it allows them to pay their past due mortgage payments over time.

Another advantage of Chapter 13 is that it allows individuals to pay their other secured debts in the payment plan (like car loans) and extend them over the life of the Chapter 13 plan. Doing this may lower the payments.

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  • Can bankruptcy wipe out my students loans?

    Unfortunately, filing bankruptcy does not get rid of student loans. Federal bankruptcy law establishes that student loans are not dischargeable unless the loans “impose an undue hardship” on you. However, there are some ways that bankruptcy can help you manage repayment of your student loans. We can analyze your situation to determine this. A Chapter 13 repayment bankruptcy can stop garnishments from student loans coming directly out of your paycheck.

  • Can bankruptcy get rid of tax debts?

    Tax bills can be overwhelming. Unfortunately, most of the time tax debt cannot be wiped away with bankrupcty. There are some limited circumstances where tax debt can be discharged depending on the type of tax debt and long you have owed it. For the tax debt that can’t be wiped out, a Chapter 13 repayment bankruptcy may be a good option for you to help you pay back the tax debt in small manageable monthly payments on your own terms. This can be particularly helpful if you are already getting garnished for unpaid taxes. We will analyze your specific tax debts to help you make the determination on what Chapter of bankruptcy might work best for you.

  • Will I lose my possessions if I file bankruptcy?

    You may be concerned that the bankruptcy court will take some of your property if you file bankruptcy. “Will I lose my house?” “Will I lose my car?” Everyone that files bankruptcy is allowed to keep all of their property up to a certain value. We will ensure that you will be able to keep all of your possessions. The property that most people own fall well under the allowed amounts, and a Chapter 7 bankruptcy makes sense. In some situations, people own more property than they are allowed to keep under the bankruptcy rules. In these cases, we may recommend a Chapter 13 repayment bankruptcy. We will carefully review your specific situation to determine what Chapter will work best for you.

  • Can bankruptcy stop foreclosure on my home?

    Financial difficulties can arise that can cause homeowners to fall behind on their house payments. If too many house payments are missed, the mortgage lender may start foreclosure proceedings in court. Worrying about where you and your family are going to live if the bank takes your home is extremely stressful. If you are behind on payments and receive notice from your mortgage lender that they are going to foreclose on your home, we can help you file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy to stop the foreclosure and keep your home. Through a Chapter 13 repayment bankruptcy, you can start making your regular monthly mortgage payments again, and all of the missed payments will be combined to be paid back to the lender in equal small monthly installments over the next 3-5 years.

What should I expect when I file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy?

  • STEP 1: Consultation

    Attend a FREE consultation to evaluate your situation.

  • STEP 2: Get Representation

    Retain a law firm with at least minimum payment.

  • STEP 3: Fees Paid in Full

    Once fees are paid in full, we will begin the process of preparing your bankruptcy.

  • STEP 4: Credit Counseling

    Credit counseling is REQUIRED by law and your bankruptcy cannot be filed until it is completed.

  • STEP 5: Bankruptcy Paperwork

    Bring all requested documents to a meeting with your attorney.

  • STEP 6: Finalize Paperwork

    Final review and signing your bankruptcy paperwork.

  • STEP 7: Case is Filed

    Your bankruptcy case is now formally filed with the court.

  • STEP 8: Payroll Deductions

    You will receive an order for payroll deductions.  You plan payments must start BEFORE the court hearing.

  • STEP 9: Second Credit Counseling Course

    A second credit counseling course must be completed by law.
  • STEP 10: 341 Hearing

    Mandatory attendance at a meeting of creditors to discuss your case.

  • STEP 11: Debts Discharged

    Your bankruptcy is complete!

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