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Affiliated Attorneys, LLC Blog

Monday, January 18, 2016

Factors to Consider Before Declaring Bankruptcy

Filing a petition for bankruptcy protection is a major decision that will have a huge impact on an individual’s financial future. There are many factors that a person has to consider before making that decision. These are some considerations to take into account.

  • It will take 7 to 10 years for the bankruptcy to be removed from the filer’s credit history.
  • The most common reasons for bankruptcy are divorce, unemployment, and excessive medical bills, but none of these are necessary to declare bankruptcy.
  • Filing will halt all collection efforts, including letters, phone calls, and lawsuits, through a process known as the automatic stay.
  • Depending on the chapter of the bankruptcy code under which relief is sought, the result will either be the discharge of debt, or the consolidation of the debt into a manageable monthly payment.
  • Secured debts,  that is, debts that are tied to an asset like a car loan or mortgage, cannot be discharged.
  • Many assets may be liquidated in order to pay off debts, but some assets will be exempt from collection.
  • Not everyone qualifies for bankruptcy protection; petitioners must meet income requirements.
  • Costs for bankruptcy attorneys and filing fees vary from region to region. Low-cost legal services are available for those who qualify.
  • Where a petitioner shares a debt with another party, such as an ex-spouse, the other party remains liable for the debt, even if it is discharged.
  • Bankruptcy petitioners are required to take a 90-minute course on financial management. The course is available online.
  • The bankruptcy petition and subsequent order is a part of the public record and can be found by anyone searching for it.
  • Not all debts will be discharged in a bankruptcy. Some debts, such as student loans, support payments, certain tax debts and many other debts are exempt from discharge in a bankruptcy.
  • An individual’s decision to declare bankruptcy cannot lead to negative action from a governmental entity or a private employer. This means that a public utility cannot refuse service, a student loan cannot be denied, and a petitioner cannot lose his or her job as a result of filing for bankruptcy protection.

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Serving Southeastern Wisconsin, with offices in Milwaukee and West Bend, Affliated Attorneys, LLC represent clients throughout Milwaukee County, Washington County, Waukesha County, Dodge County, Ozaukee County, Racine County, Sheboygan County, Jefferson County, Fond du Lac County and Walworth County.



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