Bankruptcy allows an individual or business to get rid of some or all of its debt. Generally, bankruptcy should only be considered when the debt is completely unmanageable, impossible to pay off, and there are no other options. However, in some cases, the benefits of bankruptcy can significantly outweigh the costs. Bankruptcy is controlled by federal law, and proceeds in federal courts. So, the process for filing for bankruptcy in Wisconsin will be very similar to the process everywhere else in the U.S. However, individual bankruptcy courts have different rules for exemptions, so it might be a good idea to consult with a local lawyer in Waukesha County, Wisconsin before filing.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Waukesha County, Wisconsin

In Waukesha County, Wisconsin, there are 2 commonly-used types of consumer bankruptcy: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Chapter 7 bankruptcy involves liquidation of some of the debtor's assets. It requires some percentage of the debtor's property to be sold in order to pay off as much of his or her debt as possible. However, the majority of property that most people own is exempt. This usually includes homes, vehicles, insurance policies, and retirement accounts. These do not have to be sold.

Once eligible assets are sold, and the proceeds turned over to the creditors, most remaining debt is excused. However, some forms of debt cannot be discharged in bankruptcy, including student loans, taxes, child support, personal injury awards, and fines. If most of your debt in Waukesha County, Wisconsin is not dischargeable, you may want to consider other options besides bankruptcy.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Waukesha County, Wisconsin

In Waukesha County, Wisconsin, Chapter 13 is quite different from Chapter 7. Chapter 13 may or may not be the best choice for you; this depends on the facts of your particular situation. Chapter 13 bankruptcy does not eliminate debt, it restructures it. This involves a court coming up with a new repayment plan designed to be manageable for the debtor. This new plan sets aside the terms of the original agreements that created the debt in the first place. This creates a new payment structure, usually involving a single monthly payment, that the debtor should find manageable.

Which Type of Consumer Bankruptcy Should I File in Waukesha County, Wisconsin

Whether Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 is the right choice for you depends heavily on your individual situation. If you have a stable income stream, and a lot of non-exempt property, Chapter 13 might be right for you. If you don't have a stable income, and most of your property is exempt, Chapter 7 might be a better way to go.

Regardless of your situation, you should speak with an attorney in Waukesha County, Wisconsin who is accomplished in bankruptcy before making a decision. They will be able to advise you of your options, and the likely consequences of each one, allowing you to make a much more informed decision.