Legal News & Best Practices

Redact Confidential Info from Pleadings

May 23, 2016

Under newly enacted Sec. 801.19, effective July 1, 2016, social security and financial account numbers, such as credit card account numbers, should not be mentioned in any documents being filed with the courts.  In 128.21 cases, redact this information from the court copy of the Affidavit of Debts, but DO include it in the copy you provide to the trustee.  It is vital information for creditors to properly apply payments from the trustee.

Electronic Filing Becoming Mandatory, But Pro Se Filers May Still File in Paper

August 1, 2016

Electronic filing is gradually becoming mandatory county-by-county across the state for attorneys.  To check on a specific county, go to www.wicourts.gov/ecourts/efilecircuit/participation.htm and scroll down to "Upcoming mandatory eFiling implementations".  To register for an eCourts account, go to www.wicourts.gov/ecourts/efilecircuit/docs/register.htm

Filing in paper will remain available for individuals who are not represented by an attorney.  For more information, contact our office at 414-258-5787.

The 128.21(2) Stay Bars Supplemental Proceedings

October 23, 2015

The Sauk County Circuit Court recently issued a ruling that the stay under 128.21(2) "...precludes the listed creditors from pursuing supplemental proceedings during the pendency of a voluntary amortization proceedings."  A copy of the decision would be available upon request.

Cleaning Up Judgments

October 30, 2015

If you paid a judgment through the plan, ask the creditor to provide a Satisfaction of Judgment.  Use Official Form GF-129, available at  http://www.wicourts.gov/forms1/circuit/ccform.jsp?FormName=&FormNumber=&beg_date=&end_date=&StatuteCite=&Category=16.  Once signed by the creditor, docket the completed form with the clerk of the circuit court where the judgment was entered.  The docketing fee is $5.00 per judgment.

Paying Milwaukee County Property Taxes

May 19, 2015

The Milwaukee City Treasurer will consider allowing delinquent property taxes to be paid through debt amortization plans on a case-by-case basis.  You may contact Kerry Urban, special Assistant to the City Treasurer, 414-286-8782 to review your case before filing.  Be prepared to discuss details beyond the years the taxes are due, e.g. whether the property is owner occupied, its condition, whether it's mortgaged and the circumstances for the delinquency.  The tax claim would bear statutory interest that can be paid through the plan. Also, if the debtor has other debts to amortize, consider proposing a plan that pays the tax claims first, so they are paid sooner.

Claims for Unemployment Compensation overpayments may be included in 128.21 plans.

August 22, 2013

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development-Division of Unemployment Insurance abides by the stay under Wis.128.21(2) in cases that include claims to recover an overpayment of unemployment compensation benefits. 

Does 128.21 Stay Apply to Evictions?

February 20, 2013

Two circuit courts have ruled that the stay under 128.21(2)applies to eviction actions; one has ruled that it does not. Contact my office for more details.

Best Practices for Electronic Filing

October 1, 2012

128.21 pleadings may be filed electronically in many counties. For a list of participating counties and instructions for registering, go to: www.wicourts.gov/ecourts/efilecircuit.htm. When filing electronically, format the Order Enjoining Creditors and Appointing Trustee in Word, not PDF, so the court can make changes and sign it. Also, be sure to send a copy of the signed Order to the trustee. Lastly, because all electronically filed papers are reviewed before being accepted, the filing may be delayed, also delaying the automatic stay. Best to file urgent cases in person.

Best Practice: Include Trustee's Final Status Report with Voluntary Dismissal Requests

October 18, 2011

More and more, courts are looking for the trustee's final accounting before signing orders to dismiss on debtor's motion. The best approach is to contact us for our final accounting and include it with the motion papers.

WeEnergies Adopts New Policy; Disconnects Resume

September 21, 2011

In the wake of Judge Pocan's 8/25/11 ruling (see below), We Energies announced a new policy today that filings under 128.21 will no longer stop service disconnections or qualify for reconnection of utility services. The policy will be applied prospectively, i.e., cases filed as of 9/20/11 will not be affected by the new policy.

Milwaukee County Judge Pocan Rules 128.21 Stay not applicable to utility service providers

August 25, 2011

Milwaukee County Judge William Pocan ruled today that the stay under 128.21 (2)does not apply to utility service disconnections. The 128.21 stay applies only to attachments, garnishments and executions of judgments. Service disonnections do not constitute any of the above.

Milwaukee County adopts new Petition and Order Enjoining Creditors and Appointing Trustee forms

July 13, 2011

The Milwaukee County Circuit Court Civil Division has revised its form Petition and proposed Order Enjoining Creditors and Appointing Trustee, effective today. We would be happy to forward the forms to you upon request. Just use the Contact Us form on this website.

Watch the plan payment due date

June 3, 2011

The courts are not uniform in setting the date when the first plan payment is due. The range generally is between ten and 30 days after the order is signed. The best practice is to advise the client to be ready to make the first payment within two weeks after the case is filed.

Milwaukee County adopts local rules

March 11, 2011

The Milwaukee County Circuit Court has adopted Local Rule 3.30 concerning debt amortization proceedings under Sec. 128.21, effective April 1, 2011. The Rule prescribes the forms and procedure for commencing a case in Milwaukee County which have informally been in place for a year. New are the requirement that the petition state the debtor's place of employment, and a provision that the court will not act on a deficient filing, and will dismiss such a case without notice after 30 days, if the deficiency is not corrected. Contact our office for a copy of the forms and outline of the procedures. Best practice: calendar your cases for 25 days after filing to be sure the court has issued the first Order.

County Treasurer may foreclose on property taxes included in a 128.21 plan

November 1, 2010

Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Dennis Maroney ruled that, under 128.21(8) the Milwaukee City Treasurer may foreclosure on delinquent property taxes that are provided for in a 128.21 plan.