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How Can Bankruptcy Protect Me?

The Automatic Stay Protects Consumers

One of the first things we will explain about the process of bankruptcy is the power of the automatic stay to protect consumers. The automatic stay remains effective despite new bankruptcy laws intended to protect creditors. Although the recent law changes may limit the protection of the automatic stay, in most cases, when you file for bankruptcy relief your creditors must stop attempting to collect from you. Creditors cannot continue to call you or send you collection letters. The Bankruptcy Code protects you  This “stay” prohibits all collection activity after you file for bankruptcy relief. The automatic stay stops any lawsuit filed against you and almost any other action against you, your property and your paycheck.

The automatic stay stops all of the following emergencies:

Foreclosure: If your home is in foreclosure, the automatic stay will stop the foreclosure action. Chapter 13 is your best bankruptcy option to save your home from foreclosure. Ordinarily, you can file a chapter 13 to save your home anytime prior to the forced sale of your home.

Utility shut-offs: If your lights and gas have been disconnected by the utility company, the automatic stay will force the utility company to reconnect your service. If the utility company is threatening to shut-off your lights and heat, filing bankruptcy will prevent the utility company from disconnecting your service.

Car Repossession: The repo man cannot take your car after you file for bankruptcy relief. The automatic stay prevents your creditors from taking your car. If you want to keep your financed vehicle, you must continue to make your car payments after you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If you filed Chapter 13, you must make all of your trustee payments or the car creditor can ask the judge to “lift the stay” so they can lawfully repossess your car.

Lawsuits/Garnishments: Filing bankruptcy stops lawsuits and wage garnishments immediately. The automatic stay protects your pay check from your creditors. You will take home a full pay check and you will probably be able to eliminate that entire outstanding debt in bankruptcy.

Public Benefit Overpayments: If you receive public assistance in Wisconsin and the agency mistakenly overpaid you, the agency can collect the overpayment. The automatic stay stops the agency from collecting the overpayment. The debt will be eliminated in bankruptcy unless the government agency objects based on fraud.

Tax Levies: The automatic stay will stop the IRS from issuing a tax levy or seizing your property. However, the IRS can still audit you, demand you file your tax returns, assess you a tax liability and demand you pay the assessment.

The automatic stay will not stop any of the following:

Criminal Proceedings: The automatic stay will not stop a criminal action. If you are charged with driving under the influence, filing bankruptcy will not stop the state from prosecuting you. However, if a criminal action can be separated into criminal and civil liabilities, the creditor may be prevented from collecting on the underlying debt.

Domestic Support Actions: The automatic stay will not stop a lawsuit against you seeking to establish paternity or to establish, modify, or collect child support or maintenance.

The automatic stay will remain in effect until:

  • You complete the bankruptcy and receive a discharge;
  • The bankruptcy judge lifts the stay at the request of the creditor;
  • The property you want to protect is no longer part of the bankruptcy estate.

Learn about how new bankruptcy laws affect your particular situation. Contact an attorney at Debt Advisors Law Offices to schedule a free initial consultation at any of our six Wisconsin locations.  Or, complete our secure online evaluation form, and an attorney will follow up with you promptly.

We are a Debt Relief Agency. We help people file for relief under the Bankruptcy Code.  Contact Chad Schomburg or Mike Georg, bankruptcy lawyers, at the Wisconsin offices of Debt Advisors, to learn how bankruptcy can protect you when creditors hound you about debts that you cannot repay.

Milwaukee ● Madison ● Oshkosh ● Green Bay ● Sheboygan ● Racine & Kenosha

Reviews by Google Users

  • review rating 5  A few years ago I found myself drowning in debt, after doing some research I decided I would get some help in dealing with that debt, so I reached out to Debt Advisors Law Offices. I was scared, nervous, and embarrassed that I had gotten to this point but after my first meeting with Debt Advisors I knew I was making the right decision. They made me feel comfortable and confident in my decision to move forward. The best part was it was all on my time, I felt no pressure from them which was amazing. They were always available to answer my questions and help me through the process. A couple years after my case closed, I reached out to get some information and within that same day they responded to me and remembered me! Truly a wonderful firm to work with!

    thumb Weston Jones
  • review rating 5  Best place to relieve your debt. Debt Advisors offers a seamless process which is both worry and stress free. Flexible payment options and quick turn-around. The staff is very knowledgeable and goes above and beyond to deliver satisfaction!....Hands down Debt Advisors is the BEST!

    thumb Nina Ross
  • review rating 5  Greg and his staff are great! They made the whole process easy and made everything clear to understand. You don’t second guess nothing. They are with you every step of the way and if you have any questions they definitely have the answer for you.

    thumb Ethan Wemmer
  • review rating 5  Greg and Jeremy strategized the best timing for filing based on the variables changing throughout my divorce process. The team counciled me several times on the various benefits and potential risks while we navigated the best solution specific to my particular situation. I would fully recommend their expertise and their customized approach of how they manage their clients financial recovery.

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  • review rating 5  These people are great! They have been so helpful and polite, even during my most stressful moments. I’m sure I got on their last nerve! But they remained courteous and helpful to the end!

    thumb Latasha Messer
  • review rating 5  Great firm to work with. Very helpful and considerate for the many questions I am sure they hear many times over.

    thumb Anonymous
  • review rating 5  Attorney Schomburg went above and beyond to help me through my bankruptcy. It is amazing to have worked with a man of such incredible integrity. Thank you!

    thumb Maggie Robertson
  • review rating 5  It was a positive and life changing experience working with Attorney Schomburg of Debt Advisors. He was professional, competent and non-judgmental.I commend Attorney Schomburg and Debt Advisors for providing Money Sharp's Credit Counseling Services.I walk away feeling confident, being educated and optimistic about my financial future.I

    thumb Donna King King
  • review rating 5  Attorney Georg has been a life saver for me. he has been the best lawyer, counselor, and friend he treats you like your apart of his family. I was going thru a divorce at the same time of the bankruptcy. He really cared about my mental health I really appreciate that. He was so loyal and committed to me and my case . I give him 100% he gave me 100%

    thumb Teresa Touchstone
  • review rating 5  I have worked with several people in the office and I have never felt looked down on or made to feel embarrassed about my situation. They really go above and beyond in truly caring about their clients. Not just as clients, but as people too. I've recommended several people here and will continue to do so. Professional, affordable and kind. What a great combination!

    thumb Catie Y

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