Dealing with Government Debt

Income Taxes: If you cannot pay the total amount due, contact the Wisconsin Department of Revenue and the IRS right away. Ask for information on repayment plans and find out whether your reduced income makes you eligible for tax credits. Contact the Wisconsin DOR at (608) 266-7879 or There’s a $20 fee to make an installment agreement. Contact the IRS at (800) 829-1040 and ask to be transferred to “advanced accounts.”

Property Taxes: Contact your county treasurer and explain your situation right away if you’re not able to pay property taxes.

Child Support Orders: If your income has dropped sharply, contact your family court to find out about lowering your support order as soon as possible. This cannot be done retroactively.

Student Loans: If you are having trouble making your federal student loan payments, contact your loan servicer immediately. You may be able to have payments deferred – or postponed – during periods of unemployment or financial hardship. But you cannot qualify for a deferment once your student loan is in default.

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