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Chapter 13 Archives

Bill Collector Harassment

When a debt becomes past due, most creditors send the account to a debt collector. Bill collection agencies often specialize in digging up information about you and in some cases use this information to harass you. Fortunately, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is a law that protects people from the harassment of debt collectors.

Wisconsin homestead exemptions increased effective December 16

The amount of equity a Wisconsin homeowner can exempt, or protect, from judgment creditors increased effective December 16, 2009. An individual can now protect $75,000 of equity in their home, or the proceeds from the sale of their home with the intent to purchase another homestead for 2 years. The new exemptions have also eliminated the marriage penalty, allowing a married couple to protect $150,000 in their homestead.

Will my friends and family find out that I have filed for bankruptcy?

This is a common question that we get asked quite frequently. And the answer is probably not, unless you have some kind of business relationship with them, or if one of them owes you money. Bankruptcy is a matter of public record, so anyone could get access to the information, however it is usually not published anywhere. The only exception to this if a large asset is involved (such as a business) .

NY Times Article on Medical Bill and Bankruptcy

In September , President Obama addressed congress. He called on lawmakers to protect those, "who live every day just one accident or illness away from bankruptcy." Below is a link from a recent New York Times article that discusses the impact of how increasing medical expenses are forcing more and more Americans into bankruptcy. This article also addresses how the new healthcare reform legislation could keep more people out of bankruptcy court.

Should I Chose Bankruptcy or Debt Consolidation?

fotolia_250326_xs.jpgMany people who can pay their bills are faced with the dilemma of filing bankruptcy or choosing some form of debt consolidation. A debt consolidation program (sometimes called debt management) means working with a law firm or debt consolidation service who will arrange lower payments to your creditors. Once you start a debt consolidation program it is very likely that your creditors will stop harassing you by phone or mail. At Miller & Miller we handle debt consolidation. We take care of the paperwork with your creditors so you will not have to deal with your creditors directly. The advantages of debt consolidation is that it is not a bankruptcy. It is discreet, confidential and there is no information given to your employer, although a debt consolidation program will generally appear on your credit report. Unlike a bankruptcy where you lose all of your credit cards, a debt consolidation program may allow you to keep a credit card for future use.

Is Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Just Debt Consolidation?

I often have clients who are concerned that if they don't "qualify" for a Chapter 7, they don't want to do a bankruptcy at all. Perhaps they don't qualify due to higher income, or due to a previous Chapter 7 filing in the last eight years. These clients have a vague idea of what a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is - a repayment plan - and don't feel it's "worth" doing a bankruptcy if they have to pay their creditors. Isn't that why they are seeing a lawyer in the first place, because they cannot afford to pay the creditors? Chapter 13 bankruptcies can be difficult, so I understand the hesitation. But before making a decision a person should know more about what a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy actually is, and also how to weigh that option against his current situation.

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