Frequently Asked Questions About Consumer Bankruptcy
Q: What is a consumer bankruptcy case? What are the differences between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13?
A: Chapter 7 allows you to eliminate almost all of your debt. A trustee will be appointed to determine if any of your assets should be sold. However, most Chapter 7 debtors can protect all of their assets. For debtors who make more than the state median income and fail to qualify for Chapter 7 under a series of rather complex financial tests, Chapter 13 is still available. Under Chapter 13, you pay a certain portion of your income to a trustee for a period of years from which your creditors are paid all or some of what you owe them.
Q: How much will this cost?
A: Since the Bankruptcy Abuse and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCA) was passed in October 2005, filing for bankruptcy will cost a lot more than it used to. The filing fee for consumer bankruptcy has increased to $299 for a Chapter 7 case, but has decreased to $274 for a Chapter 13 case. Because of requirements under the new law, we must spend a lot more time with you, and it will cost more money to file your case. Our prices vary depending on the difficulty of the case, but we can give you an estimate during your free initial consultation. To schedule a consultation, contact us today.
Q: Will I lose my house or car?
A: Not necessarily. In many cases, you can reaffirm your debts to keep your house from being foreclosed upon and keep your car from being repossessed. You also will be able to keep your qualified retirement accounts in almost every case.
Q: Can I get credit again?
A: Actually, you will be surprised how quickly you can get credit again. Some credit card companies will solicit you to keep your credit card and reaffirm your debt with them. This may or may not be a good idea for you. We will advise you about your particular case.
Q: Will my creditors keep bothering me?
A: Once you hire Lakelaw, your creditors no longer can contact you. We will determine whether you have a potential claim under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act or Wisconsin Consumer Act if your creditors have been particularly aggressive or hostile toward you.
Q: Will this affect my husband or wife?
A: A married couple may file a joint case but one spouse can also file alone. Special rules apply in Wisconsin because Wisconsin is a community property state.
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If you are filing for bankruptcy, trying to stop foreclosure or fighting back against predatory lending, there is no substitute for legal advice from an experienced attorney. Our web site is designed to give you general information. Each case and each person is different. Do not take legal action based on what you read here or on any web page. For a free initial consultation with a lawyer to discuss whether bankruptcy is right for you, click here or call 262.694.7300.
We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.