Bankruptcy in Wisconsin is not unlike bankruptcy in many other states. Bankruptcy is for individuals who cannot find their way out of debt on their own in less than five years. The government has set up the means for helping individuals who have found themselves in debt without intention.
These circumstances can include an extend hospital stay due to severe illness, a divorce settlement, the loss of a major client, or the loss of employment. Bankruptcy is not for those searching to relieve debt when they have the income to otherwise do so.
The Bankruptcy Process
Wisconsin requires for individuals applying for bankruptcy to attend a financial management course at least six months prior to filing for bankruptcy. Once bankruptcy is complete, the individuals are again required to attend a follow up financial management course within months of completion.
All bankruptcy petitions are to be sent to the Wisconsin bankruptcy court where the petitions will be granted or denied. In recent years the requirements for bankruptcy have change and more details are necessary. It is advised to consult an attorney during the filing process to ensure that all the paperwork has been completed correctly. If the court finds that any part of the provided information is false or improperly filed, the case will be dismissed.
Kinds of Bankruptcy
Wisconsin has two different kinds of consumer bankruptcy. Chapter Thirteen bankruptcy allows individuals to relieve themselves of debt through a court assigned repayment plan. The payment plans will outline how much is required to be paid, using the individual’s own income, to pay off the debt in a maximum of five years.
Chapter Seven bankruptcy allows individuals to liquidate their property and use the obtained funds to pay off creditors. All non-exempt property will be liquidated. Any non-exempt property that an individual wishes to keep must be paid for at its current value.
Under Chapter Seven bankruptcy there are exemptions for what is not allowed to be liquidated. These kinds of assets and properties are categorized by the state of Wisconsin. Each category holds a different kind of asset with exemptions listed by their values.
Exemptions are properties that are under a certain value amount for that category. For instance jewelry can be an exemption if under five thousand dollars in total.
Wisconsin assets include insurance, homestead, wages, pensions, miscellaneous, personal property, tools of trade and public benefits. Insurance assets can include life insurance proceeds for varying entities, federal disability insurance, fraternal benefit society benefits, and different kinds of un-matured life insurance.
Homestead assets can include occupied property up to forty thousand dollars. Wages assets can include seventy-five percent of unpaid and earned wages. Pension assets can include military pensions, public employee pensions, firefighters pensions, and police officer pensions.
Miscellaneous assets include business partnerships property, child support, and alimony. Personal property assets can include burial plots, appliances, motor vehicles under twelve hundred dollars, deposit accounts up to one thousand dollars, and personal injury recoveries up to twenty-five thousand dollars.
Tools of trade assets include farming products, books, and equipment up to seventy-five hundred dollars. Public benefits assets include workers’ compensation, veterans benefits, crime victims’ compensation, unemployment compensation, and Social Services payments.