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Answers to Common Questions

    • Tax returns for the past two years (and attached W-2s)
    • A copy of one bill from each creditor (or the name and address of the creditor), with all account numbers of which you know, and including, if applicable:
      • Your car loan statement/information, including the VIN # for your vehicle, if there is a loan on it
      • Your mortgage statement/information, if any
    • Income records or pay stubs for past six months. If you are living on SS or SSDI, please bring your most recent yearly awards statement (sent out in December of each year)
    • A copy of any court action paperwork or wage garnishment paperwork that you may have received
    • Bank statements for all accounts (checking, savings etc.) for the 90 days before filing (including totals in accounts updated to date of bankruptcy filing)
    • If you have been divorced in the last 8 years, please bring in a copy of your divorce settlement and judgment documents
    • If you own your own business, or have owned your own business in the past year, I will need a profit & loss (income and expense) statement, information on business assets and accounts receivable for at least 6 months prior to the month of our meeting
    • You will also need a current SS card or an original W2 from an employer for your bankruptcy hearing

    Annualcreditreport.com offers one free credit report from each credit bureau yearly. It is a good idea to check at least one report against your own debt list if you are not completely sure of all that you owe.

  • It is always best to pay your legally incurred debt. However, if creditors will not work with you, if they harass you with telephone calls, letters and legal actions, you have a right to examine your bankruptcy options. If you have more debt than you can realistically pay, you have a right to protect your home, vehicles, personal property and future income for yourself and your family.

  • Very unlikely. Wisconsin exemption laws are more generous than in most states. An individual filer is able to protect a homestead with up to $75,000 equity. Joint filers who are husband and wife can protect up to $150,000 equity in a homestead. Cars and other assets are almost always protectable.

  • Chapter 7 is the most commonly used provision of the bankruptcy code. Under this Chapter, unless an individual or joint filer has income or asset values that exceed certain limitations, filers are able to eliminate their liability for most unsecured debts. (Some unsecured debt is not dischargeable, including child support, student loans and most taxes.)

  • Chapter 13 provides very flexible tools to help reorganize debt. Regardless of income or asset status, a person or couple can restructure debt under Chapter 13. Depending on circumstances, a Chapter 13 filer may be able to pay all unsecured debt without interest. Filers may be able to pay a modest percentage of unsecured debt and receive a discharge of the test once the Chapter 13 is complete (usually 3 to 5 years). Chapter 13 can be used to cure arrearages on home or vehicle loans. A Chapter 13 filer can reduce interest on vehicle loans, or rewrite the loan entirely if the loan is old enough. A filer protects income (and income tax returns) from overly aggressive creditors, including student loan lenders and tax entities.

    Chapter 13 also provides for a Mortgage Modification Mediation Program through the Federal Bankruptcy Court, which has helped many debtors refinance their first mortgages to a more affordable monthly payment. Jen has been actively participating in these mediations since 2013, and has helped to modify many mortgages.

  • Jen’s services can be retained for as little as $200. Two hundred dollars and steady employment will get a basic Chapter 13 filed. Most cases are basic. Total attorneys’ fees for a basic Chapter 13 case average in the $50 to $100 monthly range and are paid through monthly Chapter 13 payments. More complex cases will require additional money up front or higher average monthly payments.

    Court filing fees are $338 for a Chapter 7 and $313 for a Chapter 13. The filing fee for a Chapter 13 can be paid through the plan’s monthly payments.

    There are also mandatory counseling fees, which are in the $9 to $25 range. These fees are paid directly to the counseling agencies. We can refer you to a good agency.

    In all cases, Attorney Morrison will prepare a contract before any money changes hands. That contract will incorporate a flat fee that will cover all attorneys’ fees except those generated by an adversary actions or a trial. Jen’s fees for a Chapter 7 can be paid in installments before the case is filed. Two hundred dollars will get basic Chapter 13 cases filed.

  • Yes! Not having a lot of money saved up should never be a barrier to filing for debt relief. Badger Bankruptcy LLC accepts payment plans for attorney’s fees and court filing fees. For a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, clients can make payments an affordable amount (of each client’s choosing) over a number of months before filing. For a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, clients can get filed immediately upon producing all necessary documents for as little a $100 initial payment, and can pay the rest of his or her attorney’s fees and court filing fees through regular Chapter 13 monthly plan payments.

  • Yes. Filing bankruptcy will stop almost all collection activity, including garnishment, repossession, and foreclosure.

  • Jen has a great deal of empathy for those experiencing financial difficulty. She has been around bankruptcy attorneys and clients all of her life, and she strives to take the angst out of what might otherwise be a stressful situation for clients! She offers some evening and early Saturday morning appointments.

  • The following is a list of some of the questions that should be expected to be asked by the Trustee overseeing the meeting. This list is not intended to be 100% comprehensive, but the following questions are commonly asked. The purposes of the Trustee’s questions are to ensure the accuracy of the petition and to determine that the debtor is a proper candidate for bankruptcy. The Trustee is also looking for assets that may not be listed in the petition or undervalued in the petition.

    1. State your name and current address for the record
    2. Please provide your picture ID and Social Security number card for review.
    3. Did you sign the petition, schedules, statements, and related documents and is the signature your own? Did you read the petition, schedules, statements, and related documents before you signed them?
    4. Are you personally familiar with the information contained in the petition, schedules, statements and related documents? To the best of your knowledge, is the information contained in the petition, schedules, statements, and related documents true and correct?
    5. Are there any errors or omissions to bring to my attention at this time?
    6. Are all of your assets identified on the schedules? Have you listed all of your creditors on the schedules?
    7. Have you owned or operated any businesses in the past 4 years?
    8. What payments of $600 or more did you make in the 90 days before filing?
    9. Did you make any payments to close friends or family members in the past year?
    10. Have you transferred/sold or given away any property in the past four years?
    11. Do you have any claims to an inheritance or are you expecting to receive any lump sums in the next year?
    12. Have you previously filed bankruptcy? When?
    13. Is the address of your current employer as stated on your Petition correct?
    14. Is the copy of the tax return you provided a true copy of the most recent tax return you filed?
    15. Do you have a domestic support obligation? To whom?
    16. Have you read the Bankruptcy Information Sheet provided by the United States Trustee?