If you’re thinking of filing for bankruptcy, it’s important to know the basics of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Milwaukee. You have undoubtedly reached the point where you feel completely crushed by your debt and have decided to file for bankruptcy for the fresh start you crave. Before you look for an attorney and try filing, make sure you have all of the facts so you feel more prepared, and most importantly to make sure you’re eligible and that this route is the right choice for you.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is usually the simplest and quickest form of the several types of bankruptcy. Married couples, singles, and corporations all have the ability to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
But, are you eligible? Since laws changed back in 2005, it’s harder to qualify for debt relief through Chapter 7. There is a means test that can determine if you are eligible. It examines your income and expenses and compares it to the average for Wisconsin. If you make less than the median income for other families of your size in Wisconsin, than you would be able to file for Chapter 7. If not, you would explore other options, most likely Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Credit counseling and budget analysis would also be mandatory in order to file for Chapter 7.
Once you determine your eligibility and you’ve qualified, you have to file a petition, schedules and Statement of Financial Affairs in a Milwaukee bankruptcy court. To do this, you’ll need a list of creditors with claim types and amounts, the source and amount of your income, a list of all of your properties, and monthly living expenses.
Once you file, bankruptcy law stops creditors from continuing to try to collect money from you. During this time, they’re also prevented from filing new lawsuits against you, giving you a bit of a break from the craziness that you have been enduring up until this point.
The majority of your case will be handled by a trustee in their office, and not in a courtroom. A trustee will be appointed to you once you file and will begin working through your case.
Some of your property will be protected from collectors, but you can check Wisconsin laws to be sure what exactly will be protected. Usually your home, trade tools, life insurance, health aids, any benefits, and funds from lawsuits are exempt.
Twenty to forty days after you file for Chapter 7, your trustee will hold a 341 meeting. During this, you will be placed under oath and the trustee will ask you questions about your income and expenses. After this, collectors have 60 days to convince the court that they should be allowed to collect and your debts shouldn’t be relieved.