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The Bankruptcy Process

Request a Free Consultation with an Appleton Bankruptcy Attorney

The decision to file for bankruptcy is difficult to make. With your financial standing and reputation on the line, you need to assess all of your available options and learn about the consequences associated with bankruptcy. It is critical to understand the proper steps toward freedom from debt and a clean financial slate.

Speak with a Lawyer

Reading up on bankruptcy or conducting research online is not enough to get a firm grasp of what bankruptcy entails. Since your debt situation is unique, having a skilled bankruptcy attorney thoroughly evaluate your financial history and current standing is a huge step in the right direction. A lawyer can determine if you qualify for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, prepare the necessary paperwork, and guide you through the process to ensure you obtain the most favorable outcome.

Ask family members or friends for any referrals to skilled attorneys. However, if you want to keep your bankruptcy private, directories containing lawyer information are found in the Wisconsin Bar Association.

Complete a Credit Counseling Course

Two credit counseling sessions with the U.S. are required. These courses must be approved by the U.S. Department of Justice.

The first course is called pre-filing bankruptcy counseling, which occurs prior to filing your bankruptcy documents with the court. The counselor will set your budget and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of bankruptcy. It is not uncommon for the counselor to offer alternatives to bankruptcy. The second course is known as the debtor education session, which must be completed before the discharge of your unsecured debts.

Going to Court

Once counseling is complete, you must file for bankruptcy with the court. In return, an automatic stay is granted, prohibiting creditors from contacting you, garnish your wages, foreclose your home, or repossess your vehicle.

Meet with Creditors

The bankruptcy trustee will schedule a meeting for your creditors within 30 to 45 business days after the filing. Creditors or their representatives may ask questions to you or the trustee. The trustee will ensure you understand the consequences of bankruptcy and how reaffirming a debt can impact your life.

In the end, you determine whether or not to move forward with the proceedings. Furthermore, the creditors will either formally object to your bankruptcy or take no action.

Discharge of Debt

If you file under Chapter 7, asset liquidation is the next step. The proceeds from your liquidated assets are given to your creditors. Once the creditors are paid or if there are no assets that can be liquidated, the court will issue a discharge order, meaning your remaining debt has been eliminated.

In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the trustee receives your monthly payments according to your repayment plan and distributes the funds to your creditors. This often takes three to five years until the repayment plan is complete. Once you fulfill your payment plan, the court issues a discharge order of any remaining unsecured debt.

Get an Appleton Bankruptcy Lawyer On Your Side

If you want to restart your life through bankruptcy, I am committed to helping you navigate the intricacies of the process, making sure you take all of the necessary steps toward financial freedom. With more than 20 years of legal experience, I have personally helped thousands of clients get their life back on track. Isn’t it time yours should too?

For more information, contact us at (920) 352-1622 to schedule a consultation.

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