Legal Protection Through Bankruptcy Laws

Looking for a lifeline to get out of debt once and for all? Bankruptcy may be right for you. However, bankruptcy laws are complex, and not all attorneys are equipped to provide the best results for your case. Your first priority should be to contact a law firm that is 100% focused on bankruptcy; one that will relate to your financial situation and clearly explain your legal rights and options. Here are a few of the key consumer bankruptcy laws that your Debt Advisors lawyer can help explain:

    • Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention & Consumer Protection Act, (BAPCPA)
    • Wisconsin Consumer Act
    • Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. (FDCPA)

Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention & Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA)

This act was passed in 2005 to protect WI consumers and support bankruptcy abuse prevention.  Many amendments to the bankruptcy code have been passed since its inception, including a requirement to take a “means test” to determine if a debtor is qualified to file either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy.  The means test is administered and submitted by a local bankruptcy attorney to determine current monthly income, expenses and eligibility.  For example, if the current monthly income is higher than the median income then Chapter 7 cannot be filed safely without abusing bankruptcy laws.  Here are a handful of the 2016 bankruptcy code amendments that impacted the Consumer Protection Act:  Production of Tax Returns and other documents, the bankruptcy Means Test, limits on Automatic Stay, and more protection for consumers after bankruptcy has been filed.

United States Courts Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention & Consumer Protection Act reports.

The Wisconsin Consumer Act

We want you to know that there are Wisconsin laws that offer legal protection.  Many laws are designed to protect consumers- whether you file for bankruptcy or not. If one files bankruptcy, then The Wisconsin Consumer Act protects during and even after filing.  Sometimes banks or other creditors will carry out behavior which is illegal according to the WI Consumer act.  For example, they may try to continue to collect for debt that is no longer the responsibility of the debtor.  In the event that this happens to you, is important to have a general understanding of consumer protections such as The Wisconsin Consumer Act.

Major provisions of the WCA according to the Wisconsin Dept. of Finance:

  • Require detailed disclosures in credit contracts and advertisements,
  • Limit certain interest and non-interest charges assessed in credit transactions,
  • Provide a three day right to cancel certain contracts,
  • Require judicial process in certain repossessions, and
  • Prohibit certain collection practices.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.  (FDCPA)

The Federal Trade Commission also provides protection through the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.  This includes the prevention of fraud, deception, or misrepresentation by those entities who wish to collect unpaid bills and loans.  This act pertains to household debts, personal debts, and family debt such as medical bills, car loans or credit cards.  However, it does not cover debts incurred to run a business.

According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the FDCPA covers the collection of:

  • Mortgages
  • Credit cards
  • Medical debts
  • Other debts mainly for personal, family, or household purposes.

COVID-19 Cares Act

As a response to COVID-19 “The CARES Act,” (Federal Stimulus Bill), was signed into law in March of 2020. Under this act there were many consumer protections such as suspensions on foreclosure, evictions, student loan forbearance, limits on debt collection, elimination of interest and more. In December “The Continued Assistance Act of 2020” was signed.  The lingering financial impact of COVID-19 continues to impact our society. As COVID-19 related protections continue to fade, consumers need to review their financial obligations to ensure that there is minimal loss of assets including eviction or foreclosure. If you feel that you may be at risk, talk to a Debt Advisors attorney today to learn your rights and protect what is yours; it’s the single most important thing that you can do right now.

We’re Here For You Wisconsin

When bills have become out of control, you are left feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. The last thing anyone in this situation needs is to be harassed or taken advantage of by banks, creditors, collection agencies or payday loan lenders.  When you find yourself in a desperate financial crisis, we don’t want you to lose your home, your car, or hope.

We offer consultations in person as well as virtually. The people you’ll speak with at Debt Advisors are bankruptcy experts regarding both Wisconsin and Federal bankruptcy.  We have (7) office locations across Wisconsin. Voted #1 bankruptcy law firm since 2012.  We have the experience and know-how to get you out of debt and on to a fresh new start. But don’t take our word for it – read what bankruptcy clients have to say about us!

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