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111 South Hamilton Street #19
Madison, WI, 53703

Our office is conveniently located next to the Wisconsin State Capitol in the historic Jackman Building.

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When should a person consider bankruptcy?

We all would prefer to pay our legally incurred debt. However, if creditors will not work with you, if they harass you with telephone calls, letters and legal actions, you have a right to examine your bankruptcy options. If you have more debt than you can realistically pay, you have a right to protect your home, vehicles, personal property and future income for yourself and your family.


Will I lose my home, car or other assets if I file bankruptcy?

Almost never. Wisconsin exemption laws are more generous than in most states. An individual filer is able to protect a homestead with up to $75,000 equity. Joint filers who are husband and wife can protect up to $150,000 equity in a homestead. Cars and other assets are almost always protectable. 


What is a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Chapter 7 is the most commonly used provision of the bankruptcy code. Under this Chapter, unless an individual or joint filer has income or asset values that exceed certain limitations, the filer(s) are able to eliminate their liability for most unsecured debts.  Some unsecured debt is not dischargeable, including child support, student loans and most taxes.  Attorney Rynes will discuss those specifics with you in your consultation.


What is Chapter 13 bankruptcy?

Chapter 13 provides very flexible tools to help reorganize debt. Regardless of income or asset status, a person or couple can restructure debt under Chapter 13. Depending on circumstances, a Chapter 13 filer may be able to pay all debt without interest. Alternatively, filers may be able to pay a modest percentage of unsecured debt and receive a discharge of the rest once the Chapter 13 is complete (usually about 3 to 5 years). Chapter 13 can be used to cure arrearages on home or vehicle loans. A Chapter 13 filer can reduce interest on vehicle loans, or in many cases, rewrite the loan entirely. Filing Chapter 13 protects your income (and income tax returns) from overly aggressive creditors, including student loan lenders and tax entities. 

How much will a bankruptcy cost?

Our services can be retained for as little as two to three hundred dollars up front for a basic Chapter 13 case, with the balance of our fees being paid through Chapter 13 plan payments. More complex cases will require more money up front and higher average monthly payments.

Court filing fees are $335 for a Chapter 7 and $310 for a Chapter 13. The filing fee for a Chapter 13 can be paid through the plan’s monthly payments.

There are also mandatory counseling fees, which are in the $15 to $25 range. These fees are paid directly to the counseling agencies. We can refer you to a good agency.

In all cases, Attorney Rynes will prepare a contract before any payment is required. That contract will incorporate a flat fee that will cover all attorney's fees except in those rare cases in which there are adversary actions or a trial. Generally a half payment will get a Chapter 7 filed, with the other half payable in five weeks. 

If a creditor has started court action against me, can I still file for bankruptcy?

Yes. Filing bankruptcy will stop almost all collection activity, including garnishment, repossession, and foreclosure.


Why should I choose Bankruptcy Law Services?

Attorney Mike Rynes has been representing working people in bankruptcy since October, 1981. While such statistics are not officially kept, he has almost certainly represented more people than any other single attorney in southwestern Wisconsin over that time period. He is known and respected in the bankruptcy system for his efficient and reliable service. The firm strives to take the angst out of what might otherwise be a stressful situation for clients. We even offer evening appointments.

If you choose Bankruptcy Law Services, you will not be paying for costly television or print advertising. Most clients are referred by other clients or people in the system. The best advertising for Bankruptcy Law Services comes from its thousands of satisfied clients.