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Milwaukee Bankruptcy Law Blog

Retail bankruptcies may become the new normal

Rating agencies announced that the retail sector has replaced the nations' energy industry as the sector most likely to face the risk of business bankruptcy this year. Internet competition, changing consumer behavior, digital investment costs, excess retail locations, decreasing foot traffic from shoppers, lower discretionary spending and decreasing revenue are among the problems plaguing retail now and in the future.

Fitch Ratings placed many retailers on its bonds of concern lists. Fitch anticipates that the default rate for retail to increase to from one percent in 2016 to nine percent in 2017.And, while sales improved in January, the obstacles facing this sector are continuing to increase, and sales are not anticipated to grow.

Fighting higher medical bills

Health care expenses and high medical bills may cause insurmountable debt for Wisconsin patients and their families. Twenty six percent of respondents in a national survey conducted by the New York Times and Kaiser Family Foundation said that they or someone in their home had trouble paying these bills in 2015. However, medical billing experts provide some suggestions on lowering medical expenses.

First, consumers should understand their insurance policies before they become sick or injured. This knowledge will allow consumers to demand the full extent of their coverage. Coverage and health insurance contributions, specified in paychecks, should also be periodically reviewed.

Gift cards protected in bankruptcy

Sometimes, business bankruptcy may leave consumers out in the cold or end a businesses' ability to serve customers. Chapter 11 bankruptcy protects businesses from creditors during the liquidation of debts under a court-approved plan. But, how are gift cards handled in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

There are court opinions on the treatment of gift card claims after the filing for bankruptcy. In fact, the Bankruptcy Court recently ruled that business owners must segregate gift card proceeds received after the filing of the bankruptcy petition. This, according to the court, provides adequate protection to customers and does not constitute an excessive burden on the debtor.

What are Wisconsin's bankruptcy exemptions?

The U.S. Bankruptcy Code and Wisconsin law allow individuals to claim bankruptcy exemptions from trustee liquidation in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Debtors in Wisconsin can choose either state or federal exclusions from creditor claims.

Wisconsin provides several exemptions. First, the homestead exemption excludes a debtor's personal residence up to $40,000. Automobiles are also excluded, up to $1,200 in total value, in addition to any unused part of the household goods exemption.

Prudent college loan borrowing and debt management

Wisconsin students leave college with a diploma and sometimes with debt that may be a tremendous and overwhelming burden. Several steps can help with this debt repayment, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

First, it is important to know the identity of the student loan servicer, who is the private company responsible for managing the borrower's account, sending bills, processing monthly payments and communicating with the borrower. A borrower who falls behind on debt can discuss any deferment or forbearance options with them. The servicer's identity is available on the monthly statement, on the My Student Aid website for federal loans and on credit reports for private loans.

Wisconsin motorcycle company shutting down yet again

A Wisconsin motorcycle company is shutting down yet again. The company, Erik Buell Racing, is headquartered in East Troy and is shutting its doors for a second time. The company went through a bankruptcy restructuring back in 2015.

EBR Motorcycles was the sequel to Buell Motorcycle Company, which was owned for a little over 10 years by Harley-Davidson Inc. Harley-Davidson dropped the brand from its line back in 2009.

Can a school refuse to give you a transcript after bankruptcy?

Can a university or college refuse to give you a copy of your transcript—essentially rendering your education valueless—if you filed bankruptcy on your educational debt?

Most people have heard that discharging education debt in a bankruptcy is next to impossible, but that's not really true.

How to eliminate tax debts during Wisconsin bankruptcy

Bankruptcy is the last resort for many individuals and businesses in Wisconsin who have no other answers. A person who files for bankruptcy is not a failure. They simply ran into some problems along the way that caused them to make this decision. Before filing, make sure it is an informed decision, especially when dealing with tax debts.

It is more likely for a debtor to have tax debt discharged when filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy than Chapter 13. When filing for Chapter 13, the debtor will have the tax debt restructured in a repayment plan that must be met. This also includes federal tax debt.

Restoring credit after bankruptcy in Wisconsin

People considering bankruptcy often worry about the impact that bankruptcy will have on their credit. Many people defer bankruptcy longer than they should fearing they will never be able to get a credit card, mortgage or car loan again. Learn the truth about bankruptcy and credit and what can be done to restore credit after bankruptcy.

Stop debt-buyers from harassing you

What happens when you get a bill from a company that you never heard of, for a service or product you don't recognize, for an amount that the company refuses to justify?

You've probably become the victim of a debt-buying company. These companies often scoop up old debts for pennies on the dollar and then use aggressive -- or illegal -- tactics to pursue debtors.

Contact Our Milwaukee Law Firm

Reach Miller & Miller Law, LLC, online or call us at 414-326-9231 to schedule a free initial consultation. Our law office also provides Spanish language services. Se habla español.

To schedule an initial consultation, call 414-326-9231 or contact Miller & Miller today.

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