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This article will discuss Frequently Asked Questions regarding Chapter 13 Bankruptcies in Wisconsin.

What is a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

There are several chapters that make up the Bankruptcy Code. Chapter 13 is the chapter of the code that focuses on a repayment of debt based on disposable income. If the debtor is able to keep up with their repayment plan, whatever dischargeable debt remains could be released.

What is the Cost of Filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Wisconsin?

The filing fee for a Chapter 13 is $313.00. This fee is paid directly to the court when your petition gets filed.

Who qualifies for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

You must have regular income and your debts must not exceed $1,000,000.00. $250,000 in unsecured debts and $750,000 in secured debts. If the circumstances are met, individuals, and those with sole proprietorships may seek relief under Chapter 13.

How do I file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Wisconsin?

First you will need to take your pre filing credit counseling class and receive your certificate of completion. You must then complete a petition indicating the specific chapter you are filing as well as the exemptions you plan to use. This petition will require all your debts, assets, and liabilities to be listed. The petition will also require information necessary to identify and notify your creditors. As part of the Chapter 13 petition, you will have to set up a repayment plan that follows through with the guidelines. The Trustee must approve the repayment plan so it is crucial to get it right. If you have all the documents you must then e-file them with the clerk of the court.

Do I need a lawyer for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Wisconsin?

While its legal to file a petition “pro se” it is not recommended. Wisconsin is a state that allows for both Federal and State benefits to be taken advantage of. Considering Chapter 13 is the opportunity to consolidate and eventually discharge your debt, it should not be taken lightly. These are Federal proceedings and the consequences could be serious if there are any mistakes in your petition. The Trustee also has to approve of your work so this is no walk in the park.

What is the Means Test for the Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

As part of your petition you will be required to enter income and expense information onto the appropriate forms, the 122A Forms or the 122C Forms, and then make calculations using the information entered. This information will determine your eligibility and serve as an exemption over the presumption of abuse. The form will ask for current monthly income, and all the evidence required for it comes from your own personal records.  

What are the Chapter 13 Bankruptcy forms?

Form 101 - Voluntary Petition for Individuals filing for Bankruptcy.

Mailing Matrix - List of all creditors

Form 121 - Statement of Social Security Number

Certificate of credit counseling pre and post filing ( 2 certificates total)

Form 119 - Bankruptcy Petition Preparer's Notice, Declaration, and Signature

Form 2800 - Disclosure of Compensation of Bankruptcy Petition Preparer 

Form106 Sum - Summary of Assets and Liabilities and Certain Statistical Information

Form 106A/B - Schedules A/B

Form 106C - Schedule C

Form 106D - Schedule D (NOTE: Schedule D must include full recording data: page and document numbers, date and place of recording, or state "unrecorded" - attach separate page if necessary)

Form 106E/F - Schedule E/F

Form 106G - Schedule G

Form 106H - Schedule H

Form 106I - Schedule I

Form 106J - Schedule J

Form 106Dec - Declaration About an Individual Debtor's Schedules

Declaration Regarding Electronic Filing

Form 1013 - Statement of Financial Affairs

Form 108 - Statement of Intention for Individuals Filing Under Chapter 13  

Form 2030 - Disclosure of Compensation of Attorney for Debtor 

Form 122A-1 - Statement of Current Monthly Income 

Form 122A-1Supp - Statement of Exemption from Presumption of Abuse under Section 13013(b)(2)

Payment Advices Cover Sheet with copies of all payment advices (pay stubs) or other evidence of payment received by the debtor from an employer within 60 days before filing the petition, if any.

Provide to the trustee a copy of the Federal income tax return.

What is a Chapter 13 bankruptcy Discharge?

A discharged debt under Chapter 13 bankruptcy means you do not have to pay that debt. Discharged debts essentially get wiped out by the court order after you have completed your repayment plan. Not all debts are dischargeable so it is important to hire an attorney that can explain the difference.

How many times can I file a Chapter 13 in Wisconsin?

You may only file a Chapter 13 once every 2 years. There is no limit to the number of times you may file, but there is a limit as to how many discharges you may receive in the 2 year time period.

How long does a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy stay on your credit report?

The Fair Credit Reporting Act, Section 60.states that credit reporting agencies may not report a bankruptcy case on a person’s credit report after ten years from the date the bankruptcy case is filed. The only thing to keep in mind is that you may have to enforce this yourself as the bankruptcy court does not have jurisdiction over Credit agencies and does not have a duty to actively enforce this regulation.

How long does Chapter 13 Bankruptcy take in Wisconsin?

When you file, you get a hearing date assigned. If there are no objections your plan could be approved in a couple of weeks without requiring you to do a hearing. When a hearing is required, it is possible for 60-90 days to pass before your plan is approved. The time varies on the judge and location of the court. Your repayment plan can last between 3-5 years. The remainder of your debt would be discharged once you have completed the payment plan.

Can I use Chapter 13 bankruptcy for my Business in Wisconsin?

If your business is a sole proprietorship then your personal bankruptcy filing will certainly assist you. Wisconsin allows for many business expense exemptions that prove useful for individuals using this tool to save their businesses.

Can a Chapter  13 Bankruptcy stop a Foreclosure in Wisconsin?

Yes a chapter 13 Bankruptcy sets an Automatic Stay on any proceedings opened against you. From foreclosures, to repossessions and other law suits, a Chapter 13 Filing could delay or put an end to those proceedings. The repayment plan would allow you to make affordable payments on your debt while continuing to pay your mortgage or note. Often times it is possible that a Chapter 13 filing could assist you with keeping some interest rates lower than your original arrangement.

What Happens after the Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

Once you have completed your repayment plan the remainder of the debt is released. If for whatever reason you are not able to keep up with the repayment plan and you are no longer with regular income, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy may still be filed. If you complete everything successfully, you will slowly but surely begin to build your credit again.

As you can see these cases can be complicated and do carry long lasting consequences. By hiring our firm, you are hiring attorneys that will advise you on best practices and guide you towards the best path.  If you have any questions, please give us a call. 

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