Dan Freund, Eau Claire bankruptcy attorney

More bankruptcy questions? Check our our FAQ page.

stop look and listenThis page contains general information. Contact a WBG attorney for specific advice.

Rushing into a Wisconsin bankruptcy? Stop, take a breath, and consider these tips first.

1. Consider other options.

Starting a bankruptcy seems easy – hire an attorney, fill out the forms, and you’re on your way. But “easy” doesn’t mean “painless.” For example, a bankruptcy appears on your credit report for ten years. It won’t keep you from good credit for all that time. But it may affect your employment options, cost of insurance, and other aspects of your financial life for years to come. So you should explore other options before jumping into a bankruptcy.

2. File at the best time.

Bankruptcy may be in your future, but that doesn’t mean you should file now. You may have a better outcome by waiting a bit.

Why? One reason is that the law limits the number of times you can file. So you should wait to start a bankruptcy until your financial future is bright.

Another reason to wait applies to higher income folks. By timing your bankruptcy you may reduce the amount you pay during the bankruptcy. In fact, you may avoid having to pay anything at all.

It gets even more complicated if you face life changes, such as divorce or job loss.

3. Protect your assets.

The law allows folks who file for bankruptcy to keep certain exempt assets. Before a bankruptcy you can exchange non-exempt assets for exempt assets. After a bankruptcy you can’t. So rushing into a bankruptcy can mean less protection for your property.

What is exempt and how can you maximize your exemptions? Contact a Wisconsin Bankruptcy Guide attorney for advice tailored to your specific situation.

4. Take the time to do it right.

You’ll sign bankruptcy documents under penalty of perjury. If you have to amend your documents because the trustee or someone else found an error you could lose an exemption, lose your discharge, or even go to prison. So you need to take the time to list all of your debts and all of your assets. And you need to provide complete and accurate answers to all of the questions on the forms.

Bankruptcy provides relief to those who have truly come to the end of their rope. But, like any strong medicine, it may have dangerous side effects. You can reduce your chances of a negative outcome by following the four tips set forth above and avoiding the five things you should NOT do before bankruptcy.

More bankruptcy questions? Check our our FAQ page.

This page contains general information. Contact a WBG attorney for specific advice.
Wisconsin Bankruptcy Guide is provided by law firms designated as Debt Relief Agencies by the federal government because we help people file for relief under the Bankruptcy Code. We also provide other types of debt relief options.

Image credit: Jon Curnow

Share This