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Financial Future


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Answers to Common Questions

    • Your past two years tax returns (and attached W-2s)
    • A copy of one bill from each creditor (or the name and address of the creditor), including, if applicable:
      • Your car loan statement/information
      • Your mortgage statement/information
    • Your past six months of income records or pay stubs. If you are living on SS or SSDI, please bring your most recently 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
    • 90 days of bank statements for each checking or savings account
    • A state-issued photo id and proof of SS number, including either an SS card or an original W2 from an employer

    Jen can search your credit report online during an initial meeting, but she does not like to rely on credit reports for all of your information, as credit reports are often inaccurate and missing creditors. If you would like to pull up a credit report before our meeting, annualcreditreport.com offers free credit reports. If you would like to pull up your credit report before your consultation for your review, she would recommend pulling either the Experian or Transunion credit report.

  • 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 $335 for a Chapter 7 and $310 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.