NNNicolet Law Office, S.C.
800-456-6956
CALLS ANSWERED 24/7. FREE CONSULTATIONS. SERVING WI & MN EMAIL

Three Main Differences Between Chapter 7 And Chapter 13

Millions of Americans file for debt relief through bankruptcy each year. The Bankruptcy Code was written to be a financial safety net for individuals who are facing mounting debt. Whether through job loss, reduction in hours, divorce or medical emergency, financial peril is usually only a few paychecks away. Fortunately, depending on your circumstances, you have numerous legal options.

#1: What happens to my debt?

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is often referred to as debt elimination or debt liquidation. Once you've completed all steps of the process, your unsecured debt is eliminated. Conversely, Chapter 13 is referred to as debt reorganization. Based on your income, you will be given a three year or five year repayment plan. Successfully completing your repayment plan results in the elimination of your unsecured debt.

#2: How often can I file?

Depending on your bankruptcy history, you might be eligible to file again should the need arise. If you filed for Chapter 7, you cannot file another Chapter 7 until eight years have passed. You cannot file a Chapter 13 if, in the last four years, you have filed Chapter 7, Chapter 11, or Chapter 12, or if you filed a Chapter 13 in the previous two years.

#3: How can I tell if I'm eligible?

To be eligible for a Chapter 7, a debtor must pass the means test. Essentially, the means test compares your income against the state median income. If you are not eligible for a Chapter 7, you are likely eligible for a Chapter 13. A bankruptcy attorney can carefully examine your finances and provide clear direction.


Filing for bankruptcy is a personal choice reliant on numerous factors. You should consider the types of debt you are facing, what property you would prefer to protect and what exemptions exist in your state. Before making this life-changing decision, it is wise to discuss the matter in detail with a lawyer experienced in these matters.

Source: American Bar, "General Comparison of Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy." Accessed 4/6/15.

Awards & Recognition

Our peers and independent third-party organizations have recognized the hard work and dedication we put into every case. This has led to numerous awards and accolades.

  1. Rated By Super Lawyers | Russel D. Nicolet
    Super Lawyers Rising Stars
    Avvo Rating 10.0 Superb | Top Attorney Personal Injury Avvo Rating 10.0 Superb | Top Attorney Bankruptcy
  2. The American Association of Legal Advocates Wisconsin Association for Justice BBB Accredited Business - A+
  3. Minnesota State Bar Association American Bar Association State Bar of Wisconsin
  4. BV Distinguished | Lexis Nexis | Martindale-Hubbell | For Ethical Standards and Legal Ability The National Trial Lawyers

Office Locations

Regional Office Map

Hudson Office
511 2nd Street Suite 203
Hudson, WI 54016

Phone: 715-802-0872
Hudson Office

Superior Office
1507 Tower Ave Suite 210B
Superior, WI 54880

Phone: 715-802-0872
Superior Office

Rice Lake Office
337 N. Main Street
Rice Lake, WI 54868

Toll Free: 800-456-6956
Rice Lake Office

Eau Claire Office
402 Graham Ave, Suite 305
Eau Claire, WI 54701

Eau Claire Office

St. Paul Office
332 Minnesota Street, Suite 3172
St. Paul, MN 55101

Phone: 651-243-2872
St. Paul Office

Amery Office
228 Keller Ave N.
Suite 3A
Amery, WI 54001

Toll Free: 800-456-6956
Amery Office

Maplewood Office
2097 E. County Road D
Suite B-200
Maplewood, MN 55109

Phone: 651-243-2872
Maplewood Office

Nicolet Law Office, S.C. helps people throughout Western Wisconsin and Minnesota including; Hudson, Eau Claire, Superior, Amery, Rice Lake, Chippewa Falls, River Falls, Menomonie, Hayward, New Richmond, Spooner, Bloomer and Barron.

Privacy Policy | Business Development Solutions by FindLaw, a Thomson Reuters business.

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.