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Milwaukee, WI Bankruptcy Law Blog

Monday, October 23, 2017

We’ve Seen This One Before

The Appleton-based paper company Appvion has filed for bankruptcy. As Yogi Berra supposedly said, “It’s déjà vu all over again.” We’ve all seen this one before. Too many times. This is an industry that has seen many ups and downs over the years.

Although companies going through a bankruptcy where the goal is restructuring claim things are business as usual, workers often suffer. The only silver lining is that because we’ve been through this before, we know what to do to help workers impacted by their employer’s bankruptcy decide if a personal bankruptcy is also in order.

Businesses have a slew of attorneys that can advise them whether, when, and what type of bankruptcy to file. I aim to provide the same type of advice to individuals with financial difficulties.

Whether?

Bankruptcy is often the best option for people under financial stress because it allows you to start fresh with a clean slate, but it is not the only option available to an individual or family in financial trouble.

It may be possible to avoid bankruptcy by having some debts consolidated or renegotiated under better terms. Creditors would much rather get some money from you, than have you file for bankruptcy and get mere pennies on the dollar, so they are willing to wheel and deal.

Here in Wisconsin, there is also something called Chapter 128, which helps people get control over their debt without filing for bankruptcy. It involves hitting pause on your debts until you can work out a plan for paying them off.

When?

If you decide to file for bankruptcy, timing is the next issue to consider. Will filing right away help you get your life back on track, or are you expecting things to get worse before they get better? If you can foresee things getting worse, it might be a good idea to wait a bit before filing.

It is also important to consider timing if you hope to have a lot of debt forgiven. The bankruptcy system doesn’t allow new debts to be forgiven because it doesn’t want to reward people who go on a shopping spree before filing because they know their debts will be forgiven. Sometimes waiting to file is necessary in order to get recent debts that were accumulated in good faith forgiven.

What Type?

Individuals also must decide what chapter of the bankruptcy code to file under.

Chapter 7 allows you liquidate your assets and have your debts wiped away relatively quickly.

Chapter 13 allows you to pause your debts and reorganize them. Then, you start a court-supervised repayment plan that can last three to five years.

Questions?

If you are in financial trouble, and you don’t know what to do, don’t hesitate to reach out to an experienced bankruptcy attorney. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can help you figure out what your options are, and help you decide which option is right for you.


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© Mont L. Martin, Attorney at Law | Disclaimer
933 North Mayfair Road, Suite 107, Milwaukee, WI 53226
| Phone: 414-436-8428