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How to Get Debt Relief in Wisconsin

Sarah Edwards | July 21, 2022

SoloSuit is on its way to rescue you from debt

Summary: If you're struggling with debt in Wisconsin, SoloSuit can help you find the relief you need.

Sometimes called the Dairy State, Wisconsin is known for its production of cheese and beer, not to mention beautiful lakes that attract residents and tourists alike during the summer. But in addition to Wisconsin's exciting local offerings, its residents are also accustomed to its high cost of living, especially when it comes to groceries.

The average person living in Milwaukee holds $7,753 in credit card debt. This debt, combined with a mean salary of $53,120, which is lower than the national average of $58,260, can make it hard to climb out of debt.

Like other states, Wisconsin has seen a significant increase in the cost of goods. Gas alone is up 44% compared to last year.

For individuals deciding whether to spend their last $100 on groceries or send it to their creditors, debt relief programs may be on their minds. Fortunately, several programs exist to benefit individuals seeking to get out of debt, and both federal and state governments offer protection to consumers through certain laws.

How does the federal government protect consumers?

In 1977, the federal government passed the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), which is designed to protect consumers from unscrupulous debt collection tactics. It also outlines the methods that debt collection agencies may use when attempting to collect a debt from a consumer.

In particular, consumers are protected from certain actions that may be construed as unfair or harassing, including:

  • Threatening to take property from the consumer that they don't have the right to.
  • Communicating with a consumer about a debt via postcard.
  • Using written communication that appears to be legal but isn't.
  • Causing the consumer's telephone to ring incessantly with the intent to annoy.
  • Not disclosing their identity as a debt collector when talking to the debtor.

Consumers who feel that a debt collector is harassing them may file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

Wisconsin debt collection laws protect you

Each state has its own statute of limitations laws for debt collectors trying to collect payments on consumer debt. Once the statute of limitations period has passed, debt collectors may no longer file a lawsuit against a consumer in an attempt to get money.

The current debt-related statute of limitations for consumers in Wisconsin is as follows:


Wisconsin Statute of Limitations
on Debt

Debt Type

Deadline in Years

Open Accounts

6

Written

6

Oral

6

Credit Card

6

Promissory

10

Judgments

10-20


Source: Findlaw


Once the statute of limitations has passed on an old debt, it is considered time-barred. No lawsuit may be filed against you in an attempt to collect the debt. However, if you make a payment toward the old debt or validate it in any way, the statute of limitations clock will start over from the beginning.

The federal government also has laws in place to protect borrowers. For example, the Federal Debt Collection Practices Act prohibits abusive and unfair debt collection practices. In short, the law may be enough to give you the debt relief you need.

Should I consider debt consolidation?

Debt consolidation is a type of debt relief program that offers significant benefits for those who qualify. It involves taking out a loan to pay off debts from a debt consolidation lender. Once your original creditors are paid off with the proceeds from the loan, you make a single monthly payment to your debt consolidation lender.

Debt consolidation is a good solution for individuals who have decent credit and want to pay off their debts in a shorter period than if they had continued to make only minimum payments to their original creditors. Consumers can often get a lower rate of interest on their outstanding debt, resulting in less money going to finance old principal.

Debt consolidation usually has no negative impact on a person's credit score, so they are free to obtain new credit in the future if they need it. However, to qualify for a debt consolidation lending program you will typically need a credit score of at least 650.

How does debt settlement work?

Debt settlement is usually open to anyone, regardless of their credit score. It involves working with your creditors to reduce the balance you owe and then making a single payment to pay off the settlement debt. You can handle debt settlement on your own, or you may choose to work with a debt settlement agency.

If you decide to work through debt settlement on your own, you'll need to research to find out the best practices for negotiating a settlement amount with your creditors. This can take time from your schedule, and if you don't feel comfortable handling it, it may be best to work with a reputable debt settlement agency.

Keep in mind that you will pay fees for their services, but even with the fees, there's a great chance you will still save a lot of money.

Debt settlement can also hurt your credit report for a few years. This is because agencies typically ask you to stop making payments to your creditors for a while in an attempt to negotiate better settlement opportunities for you.

If you have plans to purchase a home or know that you will need to obtain credit soon, you may be better off making minimum payments or working with a credit counselor to pay off your debt.

Should I declare bankruptcy?

The ultimate debt relief program is bankruptcy, but it doesn't come without repercussions. Individuals who decide to declare bankruptcy will find that it affects their credit report for up to ten years, which can make it difficult to qualify for a mortgage or obtain new credit.

There are two main types of bankruptcy for individuals: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Both have specific qualifications that need to be met before bankruptcy may be filed. While bankruptcy can eliminate consumer and medical debts, it does not wipe out everything. You'll still be responsible for federal student loans or tax debts.

Working with a skilled bankruptcy attorney can help you determine whether bankruptcy is the right option for your situation.

Explore these Wisconsin debt relief programs

  • Wisconsin Works (W-2): This program provides employment preparation services, case management and cash assistance to eligible families.
  • Job Access Loans: Offers short-term, no interest loans designed to assist eligible individuals to meet emergency needs that support employment.
  • Cash Assistance: Wisconsin has a variety of resources that provide cash assistance to people in need, including services for adoption, funerals, child support, and emergency assistance.
  • Tax Credits: You may be eligible for federal and state tax credits available to eligible W-2 working families that can reduce their tax burden and increase income.
  • Wisconsin Shares Child Care Subsidy Program: Supports eligible families by funding a portion of the cost of child care while the parents are working or participating in an approved activity.
  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP): Provides emergency cash assistance to cover the costs of heating or electric bills.
  • FoodShare: Wisconsin's version of SNAP, this program provides cash assistance to help people in need buy food.
  • Private Student Loan Relief: Provides a network of financial counselors who link troubled families with trustworthy agencies for financial assistance with private student loans.

Are you being sued for debt in Wisconsin?

Consumers in Wisconsin who are being sued for debt should take steps to make sure that they have the right defense in place. Rather than ignore the summons for a lawsuit, a reply should be filed in a local court.

You can use SoloSuit's Answer form to respond to your debt lawsuit and win in court. To learn more about how to respond to a debt lawsuit, check out this video:

What is SoloSuit?

SoloSuit makes it easy to fight debt collectors.

You can use SoloSuit to respond to a debt lawsuit, to send letters to collectors, and even to settle a debt.

SoloSuit's Answer service is a step-by-step web-app that asks you all the necessary questions to complete your Answer. Upon completion, we'll have an attorney review your document and we'll file it for you.

Respond with SoloSuit

"First time getting sued by a debt collector and I was searching all over YouTube and ran across SoloSuit, so I decided to buy their services with their attorney reviewed documentation which cost extra but it was well worth it! SoloSuit sent the documentation to the parties and to the court which saved me time from having to go to court and in a few weeks the case got dismissed!" – James


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