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Can I Keep My Home if I File Bankruptcy?

Your home is likely your most significant asset, and you do not want to lose your property. When you file bankruptcy, you may be able to save your home, even if you are headed toward foreclosure. Filing bankruptcy can give you a fresh financial start, but you need to understand the limitations of the process. In general, bankruptcy is designed for those who are suffering from extreme financial difficulties and have no other alternative for relief.

Types of Bankruptcy

There are two main types of bankruptcy for consumers. These include Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. The type of bankruptcy that you qualify for depends on factors such as your current income, employment status, and outstanding debt. Chapter 13 gives you the opportunity to consolidate your debt into an affordable monthly payment. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy generally allows you to keep your possessions, including your home if you can afford payments.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is also known as liquidation. You must sell your assets in order to repay as much of your outstanding debt as possible. There are some exemptions to bankruptcy rules that allow you to keep some of your possessions, including sometimes your home and vehicle. Your home and vehicle are often secured debts. You must continue to repay secured debts or the lender could repossess them.

Wisconsin Bankruptcy Exemptions

Some types of debts are non-dischargeable in Wisconsin bankruptcy. When you file Chapter 13, you will still be responsible for repayment. If you file Chapter 7, you must include these debts in your repayment plan.

Alimony and child supportStudent loansFines or penalties meant as restitution for criminal actsIncome tax debtDebts you did not list in the bankruptcy case

It is important to remember that a judge can declare a debt non-dischargeable if the creditor successfully challenges your request for a discharge. There are some additional exemptions that are allowed under Wisconsin bankruptcy law.

  • Homestead
  • Exemption
  • Automobiles
  • Household property

The Wisconsin homestead exemption allows you to protect up to $40,000 of equity in your real estate. You may protect up to $1,200 of equity in one vehicle. Some of your household items such as furnishings may be protected as long as the total does not exceed $5,000.

Help from an Experienced Bankruptcy Attorney

The decision to file bankruptcy is a big one and one that you cannot take lightly. While bankruptcy can ease your financial stress, it can also have a long-term impact.

It is best to speak to a professional with experience before you make a decision. Your attorney will review your situation, answer your questions, and provide you options so you can make an informed decision. When you are ready to move forward, make sure that you fill out and submit the forms and provide documentation that will ensure that the process is as fast and stress-free as possible. You can get the legal help you need from Moen Sheehan Meyer, Ltd. Contact our legal team today to schedule a consultation to discuss your needs.

Published January 3, 2020
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