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Chapter 7 discharge can help Wisconsin residents eliminate debt

Residents of Outagamie County, Wisconsin, like to be self-sufficient and work hard to secure a strong financial future for their family. However, certain unforeseen circumstances and financial challenges can land a person in overwhelming debt and he or she may find it difficult to eliminate it.

Debt can impact an individual and his or her family both emotionally and financially and Chapter 7 discharge can help that person make a fresh financial start. After obtaining the Chapter 7 discharge from a bankruptcy court, a debtor is released from personal liability for most debts. It also gives a debtor protection by preventing creditors from attaching a lien on the debtor's property or taking any collection actions.

A discharge order is generally issued by a court within 60 to 90 days after a meeting with an individual's creditors on the first set date, unless an interested party objects or seeks more time to respond. Generally, a debtor receives a discharge order in 99 percent of the cases filed under Chapter 7, but there are certain grounds for which an individual debtor may be denied discharge in a Chapter 7 case.

The debtor will need to sign a reaffirmation agreement in writing and file it with the court. A debtor receives a discharge in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case for most of his or her debts; however, debts such as spousal and child support, certain taxes and some other debts are not dischargeable under Chapter 7.

An individual will have to enter into a reaffirmation agreement with a creditor if he or she wishes to keep certain secured property before the discharge is entered. Since a Chapter 7 discharge is subject to many exceptions, an attorney may be the right person to discuss the scope of this type of discharge with the debtor.

Source: United States Courts, "Liquidation Under the Bankruptcy Code," accessed Dec. 16, 2014

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