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Careful consideration required for choosing a debt repayment plan

Debt problems can arise as the result of various circumstances. While some Wisconsin consumers may just have accumulated too much credit card debt, illness, unemployment and other dilemmas can also bring about overwhelming debt. Debt repayment problems may lead to some consumers falling for the marketing tricks of companies who promise so solve all financial problems instantly.

Such offers must be carefully considered as they may be misleading and may even lead to more debt. It is sometimes suggested that the best action is to become fully informed about all the available options and their respective pros and cons. While personal bankruptcy is often avoided at all costs, it may be the one option that provides protection against actions such as foreclosure, repossessions and wage garnishment.

However, the U.S. Bankruptcy Code presents hurdles that must be cleared before a person can file for personal bankruptcy -- either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. Debtors must undergo credit counseling within six months prior to filing for any bankruptcy, and a government-approved organization must provide the counseling. Those who want to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy -- also known as liquidation bankruptcy -- will be subjected to a means test to determine eligibility.

Wisconsin consumers may obtain the necessary knowledge by discussing their debt repayment problems with an experienced bankruptcy attorney. A lawyer can assess the client's financial situation and become familiar with his or her unique circumstances. Based on this information, an attorney can provide advice on the most suitable remedy -- even if the situation can be resolved in manners not involving bankruptcy. If bankruptcy is determined to be the best way forward, a lawyer can provide guidance and support throughout the proceedings.

Source: consumer.ftc.gov, "Debt Relief or Bankruptcy?", Accessed on Feb. 13, 2016

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