Southeastern Wisconsin Bankruptcy Lawyers
Bankruptcy is a highly refined procedure that is full of detail and interpretations based on prior case law. Each one is different, as are the consequences to you as the debtor. Retaining a skilled and respected bankruptcy lawyer such as Halling & Cayo’s Ryan Harrington will ensure proper planning in anticipation of a bankruptcy filing and may save you money, property, and countless hours of revising improperly completed documents. After a thorough analysis, we may find that bankruptcy is unnecessary. If it is, we can ensure that the process is as effective for you as your specific circumstances will allow.
What is bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy is a uniform, federal court-supervised procedure to relieve individuals and businesses from debts, while protecting and preserving the rights of secured creditors and providing unsecured creditors with equal treatment of their claims.
There are four types of bankruptcy that individuals may select, depending on their particular financial circumstances. Most individuals file under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code (the Code), sometimes known as “straight” or “liquidation” bankruptcy. Chapter 11 is available to individuals, but generally is used by corporations to reorganize their business affairs. Chapter 12 is designed for use by farmers. Chapter 13, also referred to as a “wage-earner” or “debt-adjustment” plan, is available to individuals and unincorporated businesses that intend to use future income to pay some or all of one’s debts according to a plan designed by the individual (within certain statutory limitations) to meet his or her needs.
Who may declare bankruptcy?
There are relatively few limitations on who can file bankruptcy. The decision of whether to file, and under what Chapter, is based on each individual’s need for relief from debts, their ability to pay, and the value of their assets. Prospective debtors must also undergo a Means-Test to determine whether they are eligible to file under Chapter 7. This “test” generally applies to those whose annual income exceeds the median income for a similar-sized family in Wisconsin. Halling & Cayo or a debt-counselor can help you consider alternatives to bankruptcy.