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Wisconsin Bankruptcy Law Blog

Wisconsin ranks high among best U.S. states

Whether you've been born and raised in Wisconsin or are new to this state, you likely do your best to be a productive member of your community. Perhaps yours is one of many households where both parents work full-time jobs outside the home to get by, or maybe your family has a long history in dairy farming, which is a main industry here.

No matter what your current employment background happens to be, you may have encountered financial challenges at some point, as most people do. You'll be glad to know that studies list Wisconsin as one of the best places to live in the United States. Living here, of course, is no guarantee that you'll never face a serious financial crisis, however. That's why it's always good to explore options for debt relief ahead of time, in case a problem arises and you need to act fast.

Laying the groundwork for a new financial future

Have you ever noticed that some projects turn out better if you scrap the original plan and use a creative alternative? Perhaps you initially thought you had everything you needed or had worked out all the details in your mind about how to execute a particular project from start to finish only to find that you'd run into some obstacles along the way that threatened a successful completion.

Coming up with a Plan B and not being afraid to ditch the first idea may be key factors toward bringing your project to fruition. The same can be said regarding other aspects of life, as well. For instance, if you're having financial trouble, it often helps to gain a whole new perspective, to interject a new idea or plan that helps resolve problem issues and paves the way toward a stronger financial future.

Why is credit counseling important to bankruptcy?

Wanting to file for bankruptcy in efforts to handle your outstanding debt is a major step to take. While you may have first wanted to handle your financial issues on your own, you likely came to realize that they were too overwhelming for small actions.

Of course, bankruptcy is not a simple process in which you file a form and have your debts discharged. The steps involved and the outcomes could depend on the type of bankruptcy you qualify for and the types of debt you have. Plus, before you can move forward with bankruptcy, you will need to go through credit counseling.

Various life events could contribute to financial hardships

Many Wisconsin residents often feel less stress and feel happier when they are financially stable. Unfortunately, when that stability is shaken, the problems that started out small could become insurmountable sooner than expected. As a result, you may have found yourself in a difficult financial spot that you thought would last temporarily, but now, you do not know if you will recover.

Facing this type of struggle can certainly take its toll on anyone. Additionally, anyone could end up in a situation in which his or her once-stable finances take a turn for the worse. Numerous life events could have contributed to the difficulties you now face.

Consumer debt is now higher than in the summer of 2008

Can you gauge the state of the country's economy by how much credit card debt people have? The simple answer is maybe. For example, in the summer of 2008, this type of debt hit a high of approximately $866 billion around the time of the housing crisis that plunged the nation into a recession. 

Credit card debt hit a low in 2013 but has steadily climbed since as the economy recovered, which was not unexpected. However, what wasn't expected was that 2018 would beat 2008. At the end of last year, credit card debt reached $870 billion. Perhaps more alarming is that more and more people are getting 90 days or more behind on their payments.

Five ways to overcome serious financial problems

If money has been on your mind a lot more than usual lately, you're likely not the only person in Wisconsin who's having financial problems. In fact, most adults encounter such challenges at some point in life. It's not so much about the fact that your finances have veered off-track as it is about how much you know about options that might be available to help you overcome the crisis.

Many Wisconsin residents can relate to unexpected issues that spark money trouble, such as losing a job or experiencing a medical condition that leads to hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars' worth of bills rolling in. Some situations are undoubtedly more difficult to resolve than others. However, in most cases, financial trouble is temporary, and knowing where to seek support as needed is a key factor toward restoring financial stability.

The means test will let you know if Chapter 7 is an option

If you are drowning in debt like so many Wisconsin residents are, you have probably been looking at all of your available options for relief. Unfortunately, because of your search, you may feel more confused now than ever before about whether bankruptcy -- particularly Chapter 7 -- is a good fit for you. If you want to know if you qualify for Chapter 7 relief, the means test will let you know.

Some people hear the word test and the anxiety associated with school exams comes rushing to mind. This is not that kind of test. You cannot get anything wrong on the means test. The purpose of it is to compare your income level to the state median in order to see if you fall below the middle level. If you do, you pass and may file a Chapter 7 petition. If you do not, all hope is not lost as Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection may still be available to you.

How can you make the wage garnishment process stop?

One of the most unpleasant consequences associated with owing a significant amount of debt is wage garnishment. This is a process by which a creditor can move to have your employer withhold a portion of your wages. This means that some of your paycheck will not end up in your pocket -- it will go to pay down certain debts. 

Wage garnishment can be embarrassing and unfair, but it is a valid option for many debt collectors. How can you get ahead and regain your financial security when you aren't even able to bring home your full paycheck? Your situation may feel hopeless, but there are specific legal options available to you, including seeking bankruptcy protection.

Payday loans are not always the quick fix they claim

The week before payday is often the worst. You are out of cash, maxed out on your credit cards and you need just enough money to tide you over until your next paycheck comes. It can be a desperate feeling that often causes people to make desperate choices.

Taking a payday loan is one of those desperate choices. They have the benefit of offering fast cash with no credit check, so they may seem better than a traditional loan. However, if you are already in financial straits, a payday loan may only add to your troubles.

Has your credit card balance thrown your finances off-track?

Credit cards provide convenience to consumers in many ways. If you've recently purchased a big-ticket item such as a car or vacation property, you may have used your credit card in the transaction. Wisconsin residents, like those in other states, understand that the global and national economies can greatly affect their personal financial portfolios.

In short, when times are tough, many people resort to using their credit card to help meet their expenses. Shopping on credit typically involves an intention to pay off the balance before the pay cycle ends. However, if you're having trouble doing that and it has prompted a serious financial crisis, you might want to explore your debt relief options, including but not limited to bankruptcy.

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