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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.

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Reviews by Google Users

  • review rating 5  As a customer I was very glad with the level of service I received. I was both nervous and ashamed that I was going through the process of filing. My attorney was nonjudgmental, professional, and very knowledgeable. I had lots of questions and he patiently answered each of them helping me feel more confident in my decision making. I was unable to pay all fees up front and was happy to learn that there was a payment option where payments were deducted from my account until paid in full. Upon my final payment the process ran quickly and smoothly. I always felt like my best interest was at the forefront front the filing process, followup phone calls, reminder phones calls, the court date and discharge. I called the offices 3 years after filing and still, they were welcoming, supportive and informative even though I am not a current customer. This was the first step to me reestablishing myself as a conscious borrower and consumer.

    thumb Ashley Vtine
  • review rating 5  Both Cad and Michael were fantastic!!! They were dedicated and very helpful during my entire bankruptcy. Every step was explained as well as any question that I had (even if I asked three or four times) got answered. I would recommend this team to anyone that needs to swallow their pride and file bankruptcy.

    thumb Andrew Ossowski
  • review rating 5  My husband and I hired Debt Advisors to help with our bankruptcy back in 2010. They made it simple and easy then. Now 10 years later we needed information regarding our bankruptcy and they still make things simple and easy. I have and will recommend Debt Advisors to anyone that needs help. Thank you to Debt Advisors for helping my family plan for the future.

    thumb Carrie Kilbey
  • review rating 5  Even one year later Debt Advisors continue to help by making it easy to access archived information. This experience with this service and it's staff has been stress free from day one. I recommend this team if you want thorough and excellent service like old times.

    thumb Reynell Jones
  • review rating 5  My experience with debt advisors law office was an excellent experience. Chad and his partner we're very knowledgeable and their staff was very helpful through my whole process. As We Know this type of experience bankruptcy can be very trying and stressful however Chad and his staff made it a lot easier on me and I felt they did a wonderful job. I would recommend to anyone.

    thumb Sandy Herfel
  • 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.

    thumb Pringle Productions
  • 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

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