Top-Rated Wisconsin Bankruptcy Lawyers
Every year, bankruptcy helps thousands of Wisconsin residents obtain relief from mountains of debt, keep their homes and motor vehicles, prevent wage garnishment, and stop creditor harassment. Although filing bankruptcy has a bad connotation, the process can be a lifeline for those in need.
At Nicolet Law Office, you can rest assured that all of our approachable attorneys are here to help you, not judge you. We’ve served clients in all kinds of circumstances, including individuals who have lived beyond their means, have become victims of predatory lending, or have suffered a personal injury. If you’re experiencing financial hardship, we are here for you.
Compassionate Wisconsin Bankruptcy Services
We know that the decision to file for bankruptcy can be difficult, especially since it can affect more than just a person’s finances. When our clients trust us with their cases, our experienced bankruptcy attorneys can help:
- Stop creditor harassment
- Keep your vehicle from being repossessed
- Prevent wage garnishment
- Fight to help you keep your home
Most importantly, we can help our clients eliminate unsecured debt and take the first steps toward rebuilding their finances.
We know that protecting assets and eliminating debt are our clients’ biggest concerns. We also understand that our clients may worry about their ability to get a credit card, secure a car loan, or refinance a car payment. Whether you are filing under Chapter 7, Chapter 13, or Chapter 128, we can systematically guide you through each step of the process toward financial recovery.
“I had a great experience with Nicolet Law Office. Russell was my attorney, and he made my experience in filing bankruptcy much more tolerable. He was great with the details and very easy to talk to. He also gave me several options and helped me decide what was best for me and my situation.” Read More Client Reviews.
Quality Representation for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Clients
Chapter 7 individual bankruptcy, or liquidation bankruptcy, is most commonly filed by individuals. According to data from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Wisconsin Chapter 7 filings accounted for about 70 percent of the state’s total filings.
Chapter 7 offers debtors a chance to refresh their finances and eliminate most, if not all, unsecured debt. When individuals file under Chapter 7, some of their liquid assets may be used or sold off to compensate their creditors. Although selling property may sound scary, the experienced attorneys at Nicolet Law Office have been able to help many of our clients protect and keep most of their assets.
When you work with our trusted bankruptcy attorneys, we will help you determine whether Chapter 7 bankruptcy is right for your situation. If you do decide to file Chapter 7, we are ready to help you protect your assets, including your home and car, while you work toward eliminating your debt.
Chapter 7 “Means Test” Explained
Because Chapter 7 bankruptcy is designed for those who do not have the means to repay their debts, those with higher incomes and more assets may not be eligible to file under Chapter 7. The “means test” is a formula designed to determine whether a debtor qualifies for Chapter 7 or whether they should pursue another form of debt relief. Established in 2005, the test consists of two steps that take an individual’s income, expenses, and family size into account.
The first step compares a debtor’s income with the median income for their state. This will require a thorough analysis of a person’s income—sources of which may include wages, unemployment compensation, child or spousal support, and state disability insurance. If an individual’s income is less than the state’s median, he or she passes the means test and can file under Chapter 7.
For those with income that exceeds the median, the test has a second part. Individuals interested in filing under Chapter 7 must calculate their disposable income, or the amount left over after paying all monthly expenses. If a person’s disposable income is too low to afford debt payments, they also pass the means test.
At Nicolet Law Office, our skilled attorneys have years of experience guiding our clients through bankruptcy. Together, we can evaluate your situation and determine which option is right for you—whether it be Chapter 7, Chapter 13, or a bankruptcy alternative. When you trust us with your case, we will do everything in our power to help you regain your financial stability.
Personal Attention to Your Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
If you do not qualify for Chapter 7, you may be able to consolidate and reorganize your debt under Chapter 13. Designed to help those with a regular income, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy enables qualifying individuals to develop an extended repayment plan while retaining most of their assets. If you file under Chapter 13, you will be able to pay your mortgage, rent, and car payments and still have enough money to cover the necessities.
To qualify for Chapter 13, you must have a reliable source of income so that you can pay your creditors through monthly installments. If you find that you cannot make your payments, Chapter 13 allows for modifications and even conversion to Chapter 7. When you finish your payment plan, you will be rewarded with a discharge of remaining debt.
Bankruptcy for Companies and Family Farms
The skilled bankruptcy attorneys at Nicolet Law Office can also help those seeking debt relief under Chapter 11 and Chapter 12.
Also referred to as “reorganization bankruptcy,” Chapter 11 can help businesses restructure their debts. Although Chapter 11 cases are typically filed by corporations, individuals may also qualify if they make too much money. Resolving a Chapter 11 case can take between six months and two years.
Chapter 12 provides family farms the opportunity to restructure their finances to avoid liquidation or foreclosure. While not many debtors qualify for Chapter 12, the relatively recent addition to bankruptcy law has served as a lifeline for many Wisconsin farmers. Those who file under Chapter 12 commit to a repayment plan lasting between three and five years.
Contact Nicolet Law Office Today
Clients can reach our dedicated bankruptcy attorneys by dialing 1-855-NICOLET for a free consultation, or by filling out our secure contact form for more information. We offer flat-fee bankruptcy, payment plans, and reasonable fees. With eight convenient offices throughout Wisconsin, we are prepared to serve clients across the state.