Wisconsin Bankruptcy Exemptions

The state of Wisconsin allows you to replace the Wisconsin bankruptcy exemptions with the federal set of exemptions. However, the federal supplemental exemptions can be used only if you are using the state-specified exemptions.


Though most states in the United States of America offer you some exemptions in the wildcard category, there are no such provisions in Wisconsin.


Certain types of wages are exemptible in the following manner.

- Wages of inmates under work-release plan
- Wages of county work camp prisoners
- Wages of county jail prisoners
- In general, a debtor is allowed to exempt either thirty times the federal minimum hourly wage or seventy five percent of weekly net wages, whichever is greater
- Low-income debtors usually qualify for a much higher exemptions for wages if the court orders the same.

Tools of trade

You can avail Wisconsin bankruptcy exemptions of up to $15,000 (aggregate total) in tools of trade, books, farm products, inventory, and equipment.

Public Benefits

Like the majority of other states, Wisconsin also allows you to exempt certain types of public benefits that include Workers’ compensation, Veterans’ benefits, Unemployment compensation, Social services payments, and Crime victims’ compensation.

Personal Properties

Wisconsin bankruptcy exemptions can be availed for the following types of personal properties.

- Up to $5,000 in Deposit accounts
- Up to $50,000 in Personal injury recoveries
- Up to $4,000 of equity value in motor vehicles (double exemptions for married couples)
- Up to $12,000 (aggregate total) in tangible personal properties, including animals, sporting goods, firearms, musical instruments, books, appliances, jewelry, keepsakes, clothing, and household goods and furnishings. (Double exemptions for married couple).
- Wrongful death recoveries (as much as is needed for support)
- Wages used to purchase savings bonds
- stock interest or Tenant’s lease in housing co-op
- Lost future earnings recoveries
- Any casualty or fire proceeds for destroyed exempt properties for a period of twenty months from receiving
- Tuition trust fund or college savings account
- Coffin, tombstone, and burial plot

Retirement Savings And Pensions

You can avail Wisconsin bankruptcy exemptions in full for the following types of retirement savings accounts and pensions.

- Public employees pensions
- Military pensions
- Police officers pensions and firefighters pensions for those who worked in cities that have a population of over 100,000
- Pensions for certain municipal employees
- 401(k), KEOGHs, IRAs, disability benefits, and public or private retirement benefits – there can be certain limitations and exceptions depending upon the court judgment.


The exemptions in the miscellaneous category are available for Property of business partnership and for child support and alimony payments.


The following are the provisions for Wisconsin bankruptcy exemptions when it comes to exempting insurance benefits.

- Up to $4,000 (aggregate total) in loan value and accrued dividends and interest from an un-matured life insurance contract provided either you or someone you are dependent on is the insured.
- Un-matured life insurance policy (excluding credit insurance policy)
- Life insurance proceeds provided you depended on the policy holder
- Fraternal benefit society benefits
- Federal disability insurance benefits


In the homestead category, you can exempt up to $75,000 of equity value in any property that you either occupy or intend to occupy. Besides that, Wisconsin bankruptcy laws also allow you to exempt the sales proceeds for a period of twenty four months provided you are intending to buy another home. A married who file for the petition jointly may qualify for double exemptions for homestead properties.

The exact details of the exemptions depend on an array of factors. Therefore, you must consult with an experienced Wisconsin bankruptcy attorney if you want to get a more detailed and accurate description on what kind of Wisconsin bankruptcy exemptions you actually qualify for.

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