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Bankruptcy Exemptions

Keeping Property After Filing for Bankruptcy in Wisconsin

Are you considering filing for bankruptcy, but are afraid of losing your possessions? This is a common fear among those filing for bankruptcy, but an unfounded one. There are many different strategies one can employ when filing for bankruptcy to ensure their assets remain theirs, such as: exemption as a way of retaining property. However, bankruptcy is always tricky and it would benefit anyone to get assistance from a knowledgeable and experienced Milwaukee bankruptcy attorney.

Sapinski Law Office, S.C. is here to help secure your financial future. In 20 years of practice, I have helped thousands of people file for bankruptcy. As one of the most respected bankruptcy law offices in Milwaukee, my team and I can help you better understand the process of filing for bankruptcy and the possibility of exemptions.

Protecting Your Assets - Filing for Bankruptcy in Milwaukee

Milwaukee debtors have the option to choose between either state or Federal bankruptcy exemptions. In fact, Wisconsin is one of the few states in the nation that allows you this choice, which is a real advantage. What this means is that if you are filing for bankruptcy, we can help you review both types of exemptions and choose what scheme will best protect your assets.

Some of the most notable Wisconsin State exemptions are:

  • $75,000 homestead exemption
    ($150,000 if married and you file with your spouse)
  • $4,000 motor vehicle exemption
    ($8,000 if married and you file with your spouse)
  • $12,000 "consumer goods exemption"
    ($24,000 if married and file with spouse) which can be applied to various types of property, including your vehicle(s)
  • $5,000 exemption for savings and checking accounts
    ($10,000 if married and file with spouse)
  • $50,000 personal injury award exemption
    ($50,000 for each spouse if married and you file together)
  • Also full protection of most retirement accounts

The amounts of the federal exemptions do increase every few years.

Some of the most notable federal exemptions are:

  • $22,975 homestead exemption
    ($45,950 if married and you file with your spouse)
  • $1,225 "wild card exemption"
    ($2450 if married and you file with your spouse) which can be applied to anything you own
  • An additional "wild card exemption" limited to $11,500 of an unused homestead exemption
    ($23,000 if married and you file with your spouse)
  • $3675 motor vehicle exemption
    (an additional $3675 can be applied to a 2nd vehicle if married and you file with your spouse)
  • $12,250 household goods exemption
    ($24,500 if married and you file with your spouse)
  • $1,550 jewelry exemption
    ($3100 if married and you file with your spouse)
  • $22,975 personal injury exemption
    ($22,975 for each spouse if married and you file together)
  • Also full protection of most retirement accounts

If your assets are not exempt from creditors bankruptcy might be your best option; however, at times if you file for chapter 7 bankruptcy your assets could still be in danger. If this is the case then your best course of action could be a chapter 13 bankruptcy.

How Can Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Help?

With a chapter 13 bankruptcy, your assets aren't typically in danger because you do eventually pay back everything that you owe. Chapter 13 requires a payment plan and how much you pay back at once can depend on multiple factors, such as: how much you own, your income, and the how much your non-exempt estate is worth. Furthermore, if you have a qualified attorney your assets may be protected through "exemption planning", which will turn non-exempt assets into exempt assets.

This should never be done without the assistance of a bankruptcy attorney because of the complex nature of bankruptcy law. You could end up waiting a number of years to file bankruptcy you need to happen immediately.

You can find out more about these and other exemptions from an experienced and knowledgeable Milwaukee bankruptcy attorney. I am ready and waiting to assist you, so contact me today.

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