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This article will discuss the options available to someone looking to file for Bankruptcy in Wisconsin. We will answer the following questions:
- What is Bankruptcy?
- What must be included in a Bankruptcy filed in Wisconsin?
- What do I need to file in Wisconsin?
- How long does the Bankruptcy process take in Wisconsin?
By the conclusion of this article you should know exactly how to file for Bankruptcy in Wisconsin.
What is a Bankruptcy:
While some people may think of bankruptcy as a setback in life, the reality is, that is represents a major step forward. There are different types of bankruptcy filings available to individuals, but they all have one purpose in mind, allowing the petitioner to get a “fresh start.” A bankruptcy filing could be the difference between creditors calling you daily and real peace of mind. The bankruptcy code has multiple chapters, this article will focus on Chapters 7 and Chapter 13.
It is important to note that when we are talking about bankruptcies, we are talking mostly about the Federal code, however, the State of Wisconsin does provide its own protections and exemptions which play a crucial way in determining how you want to list your assets and liabilities. This is why it is incredibly important to consult with an Attorney in your local jurisdiction.
What Must Be Included in a Bankruptcy Filed in Wisconsin?
Each and every debt that you have must be included in your Bankruptcy filing. No matter what Chapter of the Bankruptcy code you file under, you are expected to include all of your debts and liabilities when you file. Debts include everything from: medical bills, utilities, credit cards, car loans, and personal loans. If you are being sued by a creditor for default, that too should be included.
As part of filing for bankruptcy in Wisconsin, the code requires that you also include your assets within the petition. The court will want to know about any homes, automobiles, collectable items, antiques, furniture, stocks or even bank accounts, that you might own.
Another crucial item that must be included in your petition involves your debt to income ratio and means test. The petition will ask about your income and expenses. If you are married but not filing jointly, you may still be required to include your spouse’s income. The Trustee will ask that you include 3 months pay stub info and even 3 years of tax information if applicable to your petition.
What do I need to File Bankruptcy in Wisconsin?
All you really need is a government issued I.D. that shows you’re a resident of the state of Wisconsin, and a social security number or ITIN. The barriers to entry are pretty low as the purpose of this code, is to assist those going through hardship. As part of this purpose, the regulations also require you to take a court approved credit counseling class. You will be required to file a certification of completion along with your bankruptcy petition. Once your petition is filed you will have to follow that class up with a second post filing credit counseling class. This second certificate is required for your case to close successfully.
The Petition you file is at the center of everything in this case. It is important to have everything organized in an efficient manner with the proper exemptions listed accordingly. Your petition should have all the information regarding your secured and non-secured debts including details for notification. The petition will indicate to the court and your creditors, exactly what your intentions are. This is the document that drives the case and instructs the court what you wish it to order.
How long does the bankruptcy process take in Wisconsin?
The process begins with your first consultation. By speaking with one of our attorneys, you will find out within the first couple of minutes what Chapter of Bankruptcy you are eligible for and what type of relief may be granted. Once retained, our office is able to assist you with a review of your credit report and assessment of your debt.
After deciding which path to take with your attorney, you will know which credit counseling course you will be required to take. With the information you provided your attorney, they will be able to file the petition and get you in front of the trustee for a 341 meeting within 45 days. Depending on the Chapter you filed under and depending on the successful completion of your second class (and the filing of the certificate), your matter may be closed 60 days after the hearing.