Are you behind in your bills? Are creditors constantly calling you? Are you experiencing harassment, wage garnishment, or threats of losing your home? Kemp Law Firm will work hard to give you the relief that you need. We stand by you through each step to insure that you get the fresh start you deserve. Attorney Chad Kemp is known as Madison’s most efficient & empathetic bankruptcy attorney.
The stress of financial problems can be overwhelming. A chapter 7 bankruptcy may eliminate that stress outright. Chapter 7 bankruptcies allow individuals the opportunity to neutralize their existing debt and get the new beginning that they need. Chapter 7 bankruptcies also have exemptions that may protect assets such as your home or vehicle.
Chapter 13 bankruptcies allow the client to reorganize and pay down their debts over time.
Wisconsin Chapter 128
Many may not realize, but the state of Wisconsin has a law that allows individual to obtain nearly the same legal protections against their creditors that filing a bankruptcy provides. This law allows individuals to pay off their debts in one monthly payment. Chapter 128 relief can provide a court-ordered payment plan that can force most creditors to accept repayment of most debts in monthly increments over a period of 3 years.
Notice: We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.
Find more answers to Wisconsin Bankruptcy FAQs here.
Wisconsin Bankruptcy Exemptions
The U.S. Bankruptcy Code allows individual debtors to exempt certain property from creditor claims based on exemptions under either federal law or state law. Exemptions vary from state to state. Some states have adopted their own set of bankruptcy exemptions that are used in place of the federal exemptions. However, other states give debtors an option to choose between either state or federal exemptions.Wisconsin bankruptcy law allows residents to use either the federal set of exemptions or state exemptions. Below are common state exemptions in Wisconsin:
- Homestead: $40,000 homestead exemption.
- Automobile: Motor vehicles not to exceed $1,200 in aggregate value, plus any unused portion of the household goods exemption Bank Accounts Personal depository accounts in the aggregate value of $1,000.
- Household Goods: Household goods and furnishings, wearing apparel, keepsakes, jewelry, appliances, books, musical instruments, firearms, sporting goods, animals or other tangible personal property not to exceed $5,000 in aggregate value.
- Books & Art Objects: See “Household Goods”
- Wearing Apparel: See “Household Goods”
- Furs & Jewelry: See “Household Goods”
- Tools of the Trade Equipment: Inventory, farm products and professional books used in the business of the debtor not to exceed $7,500 in aggregate value.
- Other: Cemetery lots, above ground burial facilities, burial monuments, tombstones, coffins.
Madison Consumer Protection Attorney
Wisconsin has a number of laws designed to protect individuals from abusive collection agencies and businesses. The Wisconsin Consumer Act was put in place to help those that feel that have no recourse against debt collectors, merchants and debt buyers. You have the right to go after any agency that constantly calls, threatens you with criminal prosecution or arrest, or uses obscene language. You may want to pay your debts, but do not have the means at the time. This does not give these companies the right to harass you. If these creditors are pursuing you and using illegal practices, you can sue them for damages and get the attorneys fees paid for. Do not accept this behavior. Contact an attorney that can handle your case.
Illegal Collection Actions
Under Section 427.104 of the Wisconsin Consumer Act, a debt collector is prohibited from all of the following:
- Use force or threaten to use force or violence to cause physical harm;
- Threaten criminal prosecution;
- Disclose or threaten to disclose information concerning the existence of a debt known to be reasonably disputed by the customer without disclosing the fact that the customer is disputing the debt;
- Communicate with the customer or person related to the customer with such frequency or at such unusual hours or in such a manner that can be reasonably
- Engage in other conduct which can reasonably be expected to threaten or harass the customer or a person related to the customer;
- Use obscene or threatening language in communicating with the customer or a person related to the customer;
- Claim or attempt or threaten to enforce a right with knowledge or reason to know that the right does not exist;
- Use a communication which simulates legal or judicial process or which gives the appearance of being authorized, issued or approved by a government, governmental agency or attorney at law when it is not;
- Threaten action against the customer unless this kind of action is taken in the regular course or is intended with respect to the particular debt.
There can also be federal violations under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
Consumer Law & Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Violations
A debt collector must:
- Identify who they are to you and advise them at each and every communication that the communication is coming from a debt collector, and any information obtained will be used for purposes of debt collection.
- Send written correspondence to your home address within 5 days of the first communication identifying who they are, who they are collecting on behalf of, and the balance owed. In addition, the correspondence must advise you that you have the right to dispute the debt, and has 30 days to demand that the debt collector validate the debt.
- If you seek the validation, then discontinue all attempts to collect the debt until such time as the debt collector provides verification.
- In the event of obtaining a post dated payment instrument, provide you written notice of the intent to deposit the post dated instrument.
According to FDCPA 15 USC 169, a debt collector cannot:
- Call you before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m. or at any time or that they are given notice that it is inconvenient to call.
- Tell other people (friends, family, neighbors) about you owing a debt.
- Call your work if you have advised them, or they have been advised, that you cannot accept these calls at work.
- Use any profane language or any language that is harassing and abusive.
- Engage in any conduct, the natural consequence of which is to harass, abuse or oppress.
- Make any misrepresentations of fact to you, such as how much you owe, or certain actions they may take to force you to pay them.
- Threaten arrest or criminal prosecution.
- Send false information to the credit bureaus.
- Cause your phone to ring an unreasonable amount of times.
If a debt collector has engaged in any of the above conduct that is not allowed by the law, or has been deceptive to you in any other way you can recover attorneys fees and actual damages of up to $1000. Contact our office for a free case review – 608-622-7763.