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Keep more property when filing bankruptcy in Wisconsin

Posted on Dec 2, 2009 in Exemptions, Wisconsin

You can keep exempt property in a chapter 7 bankruptcy case.  Thanks to a new Wisconsin law going into effect on December 16th, you’ll be able to keep more of your property if you have to file for bankruptcy.

Under 2009 Wisconsin Act 90:

  • The homestead exemption is raised to $75,000 and each individual in a marriage may use this $75,000 exemption.  Prior to this change, the exemption was limited to $40,000.
  • Equipment, inventory, farm products, and professional books used in the business of a debtor or a debtor’s dependant is doubled from $7,500 to $15,000.
  • Household goods and furnishings are now protected up to $12,000, up from $5,000.  This includes wearing apparel, keepsakes, jewelry, appliances, books, musical instruments, firearms, sporting goods, animals, and other tangible personal property.
  • Protection in the equity of a motor vehicle rises from $1,200 to $4,000 in value.  Moreover, any unused portion of the Household goods exemption can be applied to the car protection.
  • Bank accounts can now be protected up to $5,000 instead of $1,000.  These are only for personal use and not business.
  • Exemptions for personal injury claims double from $25,000 to $50,000.

In Wisconsin, you can select either state or federal exemptions.  Sometimes, federal exemptions are better for you.  So always consult an attorney before selecting the exemptions for your bankruptcy petition and schedules.  What you protect from your possessions and estate can mean the difference between peace of mind and a trustee demanding that you turn over the things you need for a normal life after bankruptcy.

For financial relief in Kenosha, Racine, Walworth or Milwaukee, call Lakelaw today at 262.694.7300 and ask for Attorney Ryan Blay or David Leibowitz.

This post was written by Ryan Blay, Supervising Attorney in Lakelaw’s Kenosha office.

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