When a person files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Wisconsin they are given certain exemptions for property and income so that it will not fall into the hands of their creditors. It is important that you declare as much of your property and income exempt as possible that that you get to keep most if not all of your stuff. Each state has its own exemptions for property; in fact, this is the biggest difference in bankruptcy law across the country. In Wisconsin, you are given the choice of two different exemption schemes. You may file using the federal exemptions statutes, or the ones designed specifically by Wisconsin. The following are Wisconsin's exemptions.
The first exemptions to be discussed that you will receive when declaring bankruptcy in Wisconsin are the insurance exemptions. These include: federal disability insurance, fraternal society benefits, life insurance policy or proceeds to $5,000, life insurance proceeds held in trust by insurer, un-matured life insurance contract, and accrued dividends from un-matured life insurance.
The most important exemptions probably are those that are for your personal property. The good news is that when you declare bankruptcy in Wisconsin you will be given a long list of personal property exemptions such as: burial provisions, deposit accounts to $1,000, household goods and furnishings, clothing, keepsakes, jewelry, appliances, books, musical instruments, firearms, sporting goods, animals, lost future earnings recoveries, motor vehicles to $1,200, personal injury recoveries, wages used to purchases savings bonds, and wrongful death penalties.
You will be allotted exemptions for numerous public benefits such as: crime victim's compensation, social service compensation, social security payments, unemployment compensation, veteran's benefits, and worker's compensation. It's easy to see why these important public benefits were introduced as exemptions in bankruptcy legislation.
There are plenty more exemptions that you will be given when you declare bankruptcy in Wisconsin. In fact, this is just a brief list in order to give you an idea of what exemptions will be granted. In order to get a full list, and make sure that you get as many exemptions as possible, make sure you go over this with a lawyer. Other miscellaneous exemptions include alimony, child support, business partnership property, numerous pensions, tools of trade, and 75 per cent of earned but unpaid wages. Most importantly, you will receive an exemption for your homestead up to $40,000 if you occupy or intend to occupy it.