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Wisconsin Bankruptcy Law

Posted on Jan 12, 2010 in Wisconsin

Clients ask us if we practice Wisconsin Bankruptcy Law.  Strictly speaking, we don’t do that.  What we do is represent clients in bankruptcy law in Wisconsin. 

There’s a big difference between the two.

Under our Constitution, there is just one bankruptcy law.  It’s federal.  In just one sentence of the Constitution, our Founding Fathers gave the United States federal government gave Congress the exclusive right to regulate both bankruptcy and immigration.  That’s quite an assignment for one sentence.

Even though we practice federal bankruptcy law, Wisconsin law is still very important to our Wisconsin debtors in bankruptcy.  Why?  That’s because all property rights are determined by State law.  In  Wisconsin, unlike Illinois, you get to select whether you’d like to take advantage of Wisconsin exemptions or federal exemptions in a bankruptcy case.  The federal exemptions can be very advantageous if you don’t have any equity in your house.  You can then use the federal homestead exemption to protect personal property.

On the other hand, Wisconsin exemptions have just been amended to be much more liberal.  So planning your bankruptcy case with reference to allowable exemptions is very important.

If you have moved into Wisconsin from another state within the past two years, other state law may decide what you get to keep.  But that’s a different question for a different day.

So remember.  Lakelaw practices bankruptcy law in Wisconsin. Don’t let anyone tell you that they practice Wisconsin Bankruptcy Law.  If they do, run in the opposite direction!!


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