A story in the Green Bay Gazette reaffirms that there is life after an individual bankruptcy in Wisconsin. Robert Jahnke filed bankruptcy in the 90s owing to a divorce along with crushing business debts and an inability to negotiate appropriate payment arrangements with his creditors. In the process, he lost his travel agency business and his credit rating went into the tank. Sometime after the bankruptcy, the article reports, he went back and voluntarily paid off his creditors, but was still unable to get business loans.

While working in a prison, he self-financed a door-to-door marketing business. After selling that business, he started PrePaid Legal and later TopHat Marketing. He quit the prison job in 2001 to devote full-time to his entrepreneurial ventures. Jahnke also found the time to help start Helping Business Build Assets (HBBA), a non-profit business networking group.

Here’s what Jahnke says to those individuals who might similarly be in need of debt relief in Wisconsin: “Having experienced a bankruptcy, he recommends that businesses do everything possible to avoid it. That means getting help early, being upfront with creditors and refinancing debt payments. But, if a bankruptcy is necessary, he wants others to know it isn’t the end of the road.”

Never give up the dream of starting a new business venture after bankruptcy, he adds, even if that means starting small. “I read that Col. Sanders went to 1,000 places before he got a loan for his chicken.”

While it didn’t happen overnight, Jahnke evidently worked closely with his debt consolidation lawyer to get back on his feet and again become successful. So if you are being hounded by creditors to the point that you need to consider a personal bankruptcy in Milwaukee or elsewhere, remember that in all likelihood you can survive and thrive after seeking bankruptcy protection.