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How bankruptcy exemptions protect your future

On Behalf of | Mar 30, 2023 | Bankruptcy Law

If you’re like millions of other Americans and are struggling with insurmountable debt, you’re probably trying to figure out your options for debt relief. Some people spend years or even decades trying to make good on their debt only to find themselves falling deeper and deeper into the hole. You don’t want to waste your time, money, and health trying to do that.

Instead, you should consider seeking out other debt relief options. Perhaps your best path forward is personal bankruptcy. If you successfully navigate this process, you may be able to completely eliminate your debt.

But won’t I be left with nothing if I pursue bankruptcy?

This is a common misconception. Although you may have to sell some of your assets if you want to eliminate your debt, as is the case with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Wisconsin allows you to use either state or federal bankruptcy exemptions. This means that you’re allowed to remove some of your assets from the bankruptcy process so that you can continue to own them even after the bankruptcy process is completed. This can help ensure that you have the financial stability that you need to move into your post-bankruptcy life.

What do those exemptions look like?

You can choose whether you want to use state or federal bankruptcy exemptions. Here are some of the key exemptions under state law:

  • Up to $75,000 in a homestead exemption, which is doubled to $150,000 if you’re married.
  • Up to $4,000 in vehicle exemptions, or up to $8,000 for a married couple.
  • Up to $12,000, or $24,000 if you’re married, in consumer goods, which can cover a wide variety of property
  • Up to $5,000 or $10,000 in your checking and savings accounts, depending on whether you’re married

If you choose to use federal exemptions, things will look a little differently. Here are some of the key exemptions under federal law:

  • Almost $23,000 in a homestead exemption that can be doubled if you’re married
  • A little over $1,000 in a wild card exemption that can be applied to any of your assets, again with that amount doubling if you’re married.
  • Up to $12,250, or $24,500 for a married couple, in household goods.
  • Up to a little over $3,000 in a vehicle exemption.
  • Up to a little more than $3,000 in jewelry for married couples.

This is just a brief overview of some of these exemptions. There are other exemptions that may be important to you, which is why you need to carefully consider your options before you settle on one that you think is right for you.

What will my credit look like after bankruptcy?

While it’s true that your credit score will take a hit after pursuing bankruptcy, you can work to rebuild it. You can take out secured credit cards, seek co-signers on loans and stay current on all of your debt. You can also avoid job hopping to demonstrate financial stability.

In other words, regardless of how bleak your future may seem, you have the opportunity to seek the fresh financial start that you need and deserve.

Are you ready to take the next steps toward your future?

If you’re ready to consider bankruptcy, you might want to think about discussing it with an attorney who is experienced in this area of the law. There are a lot of nuances in these cases, and you want to make sure that you’re making the decisions that are right for you while protecting your interests. An attorney can help you do that while advocating for the future that you envision for yourself and your family.