My name is Jeff Murrell, and I've been helping people prepare and file these cases from my office in Milwaukee all over Wisconsin since 1998. I'm only the third person in history to publish about this unique law - scroll down to my article link in Wisconsin Lawyer below. I give folks free, unlimited telephone, text and email consultations to help them figure out if Chapter 128 is right for them. Filing bankruptcy can cost you generally between $1,500 and more than $3,000 these days! I can help you file a Ch. 128 for $250 - $300 upfront, plus the court filing fee (which is only around $50, depending on what Wisconsin county you live in).

Call or text me at 414-372-6598 today!

You may have heard that, in Wisconsin, we have a unique law that lets people in debt obtain virtually the same kind of legal protections against creditors and their collections agencies that filing for bankruptcy provides. At the same time, this law lets someone pay off trouble debts with one, easy monthly payment. This law is not new, but it is not well known, even by many attorneys in Wisconsin.

It's not bankruptcy and it's not debt consolidation, but it's similar to both.

If you are a Wisconsin resident, have any steady source of income (even disability benefits), and need fast, effective debt relief, Chap. 128 of the Wisconsin statutes can provide an easy court-ordered plan to force most creditors to accept repayment of most debts (even student loans*) in comfortable, monthly increments over a period of three or fewer years.

Like bankruptcy, this stops credit-card and most other kinds of interest, and it stops creditors from garnishing you. And like debt consolidation, you get to pick and choose which of your bills you want to pay in full at a rate you can handle (retaining more of your good credit history)!

Stop garnishments! No submitting any schedules of property, finances or tax returns! No going to court! Low cost!

Can be done any time, even after having just filed federal bankruptcy and receiving a discharge!

For just one low fee of $250 - $300, plus court filing fees (see FAQs, below), I can assist and guide you in getting lightening fast debt relief in just a few easy steps via email, regular mail and telephone!

Typical debts that can be handled through a Ch. 128 include:

overdue utilities*

accounts in collections

PayDay/Check N' Go loans

credit cards

medical bills

personal loans

Wisconsin taxes*

child-support arrears*

repossessed-vehicle loan deficiencies

civil judgments

Wisconsin tickets/fines

practically anything other than car, home or other secured loans!

In every one of these cases that I have helped people since I started doing these back in 1998, only one set of co-debtors had to go court for a contested debt - nobody else I've assisted has ever been required to go to court. And all of it can be done through e-mail and/or the regular mail.

No matter where you live in the state, I can help you get the expansive debt relief that this unique Wisconsin law provides in as little time as two days (one day, in many cases). So take advantage of being a Wisconsin resident if you're over your head with debt, but don't need or want to file bankruptcy - take advantage of my many years of experience and let me help you file for relief under Chapter 128 (and take a break from the pressure)!

So call, text or email me for a free consultation to discuss any questions the "FAQs" below do not answer, and to go over all of your options.

I help people file these cases in every county in Wisconsin.

Want to know how to get started? Just email, call or text me!
jeffmurrell @ lawyer . com

TEL/TEXT: 414-372-6598

Just click on the above e-mail address and send me a message (or call/text me) requesting my easy, initial instructions. I normally respond immediately, if not the same day.

CAUTION: Though I personally respond to all emails that I receive, please note that I will automatically respond to you at whatever e-mail address from which you email me. That means you should not email me from any address to which you do not want me to reply! Easy enough?

Also, please note that I do not have the time to sign up/register to decrypt emails sent through the secure email systems of hospitals and banks. That said, I do not reply to emails sent through systems that require me to log in or otherwise go through extra moves to decrypt and read them.

Remember, experience counts and you really do get what you pay for!

*Ch. 128 does not stop utility cut-offs and it does not alleviate  interest & penalties on most student-loan defaults, taxes and child-support arrears.

Past Chapter 128 Seminars I've Presented:

April 14, 2011- Stafford Rosenbaum LLP, Madison

December 3, 2010 - Milwaukee Bar Association

April 9, 2009 - Waukesha Co. Bar Association Family Law Section

January 29, 2008 - Milwaukee Bar Association

October 5, 2007 - Wisconsin Clinic Credit Managers Assoc.

Published Articles:

Click the image above to read my May, 2008 feature article about Ch. 128 debtor actions in the official publication of the Wisconsin State Bar.

~ Chapter-128 FAQs ~
(Frequently Asked Questions)

Q: How much does it cost?

A: The court filing fee is $31.50 in every county except Milwaukee County where it is $35. Electronic filing of the required court documents imposes an electronic filing fee of $20 in addition to the regular court filing fee. Be aware that these fees are subject to change periodically. Electronic filing is mandatory in every county in Wisconsin. Please email me to request my initial instructions which set forth how much my document-preparation fees cost.

What will my monthly payments be?

A: The rule of thumb is that there is about a $300 monthly payment for every $10,000 of debt you want to include in your Ch-128 plan (which includes all attorney fees and trustee administration expenses which you also pay through your plan). Call or email me for an exact estimate of what your monthly payments would be with the debts you wish to include.

I get paid bi-weekly (every two weeks). Will each of my monthly Ch-128 payments get split evenly between both my monthly paychecks?

A: Yes.

Do the payments have to come out of my payroll checks from my job and does my employer have to know that I'm doing this?

A: Normally, yes - but I offer clients an option for sending in their payments directly to the trustee's office themselves as a "self-pay," keeping their employers and nosy co-workers out of it entirely.

If I am a self-pay, can my monthly Ch-128 payments be automatically withdrawn from my bank account and sent to the trustee instead of me having to send a check to the trustee myself each month?

A: No (sorry).

How long does the process take?

A: I can usually get your paperwork all ready within two days (often times the same day - I work really fast) after you submit the required personal and creditor information that I need. After the initial pleadings are signed and notarized, it normally takes about a week to file the case. It then takes the trustee several weeks after that to get your monthly payments going. You do not have to pay your listed creditors or the trustee's office before then. (If you do not hear anything from the trustee in a month after filing, get a hold of one of us to find out what's going on with your case - court clerks sometimes misplace or even lose the court files, and those long delays in getting essential paperwork back to us results in higher monthly-payment amounts for the client than originally determined!)

How will this appear on my credit report?

A: See next FAQ below and "IMPACT ON CREDIT" in the outline.

What's the difference between Ch. 128, bankruptcy, debt consolidation and "debt settlement"?

A: Bankruptcy is federal law and allows for the discharge (forgiveness) of debt. It can wreck your credit score for at least ten years. Chapter 128 is a Wisconsin state law that does not discharge debt; it functions almost exactly the same for you as debt consolidation does, with intermediate credit-report scores of "I -7" or "R-7" indicating "debt consolidation" lasting up to only seven years. Chapter 128 is a legal action through your county court system in which you tell the court how much debt you need to pay off, then send in monthly payments to a trustee who distributes your money to your creditors until they're paid off. With debt consolidation, you must go to a private lender and ask them to pay off your trouble debts with what amounts to a brand-new loan to you which you pay back to them with a new interest rate, "service" and other miscellaneous fees which can be considerably high and even fluctuate with market trends and rates over time. Obviously, getting into more debt to pay off existing debts is never the best idea. And click HERE to read a JSOnline article from October of 2008 and learn how it can be an even worse choice for you to decide to try to work with a "debt settlement" company to reduce your debt!

With Ch. 128, you only pay one, low court filing fee, you pay me  a low "flat" fee and you pay a set amount in trustee fees over the life of the repayment plan. It does not change or fluctuate over time, unless you want to add or remove creditors from your plan (see next FAQ below). It's supervised by a county-court judge and a court-appointed trustee . That means it's a safe, reliable way to reduce the debt you want to down to nothing in three or fewer years with no unexpected fees or other costs cropping up to take you by surprise at any time!

Can I add more debts or take some out after my case is filed?

A: Yes, debts incurred before filing your case, but which were not originally included, may be added into your plan after filing for an additional fee (you may not add new debts that you incur after we get your case filed). Just email me if you would like to add (or even remove) one or more debts.

May I prepay all or some of my plan debt without penalty?

A: Yes.

May I pay back-taxes through a Ch. 128?

A: Some, yes. Overdue Wisconsin income taxes may be paid back through a Ch. 128, but not federal taxes that are overdue (federal taxes, judgments, etc. are all protected against Ch-128 filings via the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution). Some Wisconsin municipalities will accept payment of overdue property taxes through a Ch. 128, but not all of them - property taxes are technically secured debt, so they cannot be included as a matter of right because Ch. 128 does not permit the repayment of secured debts, unless the creditor agrees to accept repayment through a Ch. 128.

Do you work with my creditors the same way that a debt-settlement or credit-counseling company does?

A: No, I do not "work" with your creditors. I help you invoke the legal authority and contempt powers of Wisconsin State Circuit Courts to tell your creditors that they're going to accept repayment of your debts owed to them without accruing interest or penalties over the course of three or fewer years, that they're not going to garnish your wages, etc.

Will I be able to get a car loan, or refinance my car or home after filing Ch. 128?

A: Since I started handling these back in 1998, I have not had any clients be unable to get a car or home loan because they filed under this law. However, one downside does appear to be that you end up paying a higher interest rate.

Is there a monthly/quarterly statement that shows that the payments went to my creditors?

A: Yes, the trustee provides that.

Can car, truck or house payments be included?

A: No, not normally. Those are "secured" debts, but they may be included if the creditor agrees to accept payment through your plan. Vehicle debts may also be included if the creditor has already repo'd the vehicle, and a house mortgage may be included if it has already been foreclosed on and is not too big a debt that it cannot be feasibly included in your Ch-128 repayment plan.

Will my house or other property be taken away or affected in any other way by my filing for Ch-128 debt relief?

A: No, all of your property and income are exempt from attachment under this law.

Is there any minimum or maximum amount of debt required to file?

A: No. You can include as little debt or as much as you want, so long as you can handle the monthly payments.

I make a lot of money. Can that disqualify me from filing under this law?

A: No. Again, this is not federal bankruptcy where such restrictions apply. There is no cap on earnings that disqualifies you from being able to make this law work for you.

I think there is a mistake on what is being paid out to one or more of my creditors - what can I do about it?

A: Contact the trustee's office - the trustee is responsible for all matters and issues associated with the collection and distribution of your monthly payments.

I included a creditor in my Ch. 128 who is now suing me! Can they do that and do I have to go to court on the date indicated?

A: Commencing a law suit to obtain a judgment on the amount owed them is the only thing they can do which the law allows for debt in a Ch-128 plan. You can go to the court date armed with your Ch-128 case number, especially if  you feel that the creditor has not listed the correct amount owed. (Because the debt was included in the client's Ch. 128, the client will not have to make any financial disclosure or answer any questions.) Once a judgment is obtained, the client should let the trustee  know the judgment amount. By law, the trustee then inserts the judgment amount into the Ch-128 payment plan in place of the original amount that the client listed in his or her affidavit of debts, and the judgment then gets paid in full through the Ch. 128.

What do I do if I lose my job or change jobs?

A: Unless you're a "self-pay," you must contact the trustee right away and let him or her know. If you lose your job and do not know when you'll be employed again, you may continue to fund your plan on your own as a "self-pay" for as long as you can afford to. If you cannot afford to continue to fund your plan, see the next FAQ below . . .

What if I miss a payment?

A: The trustee will move the Court to dismiss your case if you are more than 30 days late with a payment. But you are always free to contact the trustee's office to negotiate something to keep your plan alive in that situation.

What if I move away from Wisconsin after I file?

A: You may continue to fund your plan until completion, with all attendant protections and creditor prohibitions remaining intact.

If it just doesn't work out for me after I file Ch. 128, can I go ahead and file bankruptcy?

A: Yes, as long as you meet the federal eligibility criteria required for filing bankruptcy.

Q: I successfully completed a Ch. 128, but I still have creditors trying to collect, reporting high balances, reporting charged off as bad debt, or reporting that it was bankruptcy, and I'm still disputing credit report after credit report! What can I do?

A: You can make some money off it in federal court! The first step is to dispute any inaccuracy with the credit reporting company who is reporting an inaccuracy on a trade line in your credit report, especially if it's showing "bkcy." The Credit Reporting Agency ("CRA") then communicates with the "data furnisher" (the offending creditor) who either fixes the trade line to not say "bkcy" or "verifies" the trade line as reported. When the latter happens, there is a 15 USC 1681i and 1681s-2(b) claim that can produce a damage claim for you, and attorneys fees and costs. Federal law requires that a consumer (you) notify the CRA about the inaccuracy and getting it "fixed." The law requires the CRA to contact the creditor who is reporting "bkcy" or any other inaccuracy, and see if the creditor will fix it. If the creditor will not fix it, the CRA responds to the consumer that the "bkcy" or whatever other inaccuracy is, in fact, true, and "verifies" the report. In these cases, the law describes the creditor as the "data furnisher" and, at this point for a former Ch-128 client, there is an immediate FCRA claim against both the CRA and the "data furnisher" (the creditor). I work with a nationally-recognized law firm in Minnesota which is quite ready, willing and able to take such offending creditors to the cleaners for you in federal court here in Wisconsin! There's no payment of attorney fees unless you win, so let me know if I can help you try to get some money out of offending creditors who will not follow the law and keep your credit reports messed up.


I do not collect any personal data on persons visiting this website. If you choose to contact me through e-mail or by submitting forms through U.S. Mail, the information you provide will only be used by me for assisting you in filing for relief pursuant to Wis. Stat. sec. 128.21.