One of the main concerns people have about filing for bankruptcy is the fear of losing assets. While Chapter 7 is referred to as the “liquidation” bankruptcy, the reality is that very few debtors actually lose any property. Federal and state law protects or exempts certain types of assets from being included in your bankruptcy estate.
The U.S. Bankruptcy Code sets forth numerous bankruptcy exemptions which allow a debtor to protect certain types of property from the claims of creditors. Wisconsin law also has different exemptions to those granted under federal bankruptcy law. Your bankruptcy attorney can help you determine whether claiming federal or state exemptions will be more beneficial to you.
The following are a few assets that are protected by Wisconsin exemptions:
- Equity in real estate which is a primary residence below $75,000 (or $150,000 for a married couple filing jointly)
- Household items (such as furniture, appliances, etc.) below $12,000 (any unused portion may be applied toward a vehicle)
- One car of fair market value below $4,000
- Deposit accounts up to $5,000
- Equipment, inventory, and tools of trade up to $15,000
- Unlimited amount for qualifying retirement accounts
The bankruptcy process is intended to provide the debtor with a “fresh start.” In order for you to get a second chance with your finances, it is important that you still have assets. Thus, both federal and state exemptions help ensure that your important assets remain in your possession at the conclusion of your case.
If you are considering filing for bankruptcy protection, call DeLadurantey Law Office, LLC, at (414) 377-0518. We believe that each client should receive the individual attention necessary to reach their financial goals. Recognizing the needs of working clients, we maintain a flexible schedule and offer evening appointments. Initial consultations are always free, and phones inquiries are always welcomed. Find us on the Internet and on Facebook.