Call Now!
Call Us 414-326-9231 608-260-7133 Text Us 414-326-4709

What can I keep in Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is also known as “liquidation” bankruptcy because the filer’s assets are liquidated, or sold, in order to pay off as many debts as possible. However, it’s important to point out that not all assets are liquidated as the bankruptcy code considers some property to be “exempt” from the liquidation.

The bankruptcy code considers exempt property to be "necessities of modern life," and it is agreed that taking everything away from bankruptcy filers would be counterproductive. By working with an experienced bankruptcy attorney, many people find that they lose very few assets during the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process thanks to the exemption allowances.

Here are the types of property that are often considered exempt from bankruptcy liquidation, as explained in an article from

  • Motor vehicles
  • Clothing
  • Household goods and furnishings
  • Household appliances
  • Jewelry
  • Retirement savings
  • A limited amount of home equity
  • Trade or professional tools
  • Some unpaid but earned wages
  • Public benefits
  • Damages from personal injury claims

Only motor vehicles, household goods and furnishings, jewelry and tools worth a limited value can be considered exempt. Therefore, it would be difficult to keep luxury items or an excessive number of items. The purpose of the bankruptcy exemption is to allow filers to keep assets that are necessary for life and work.

Therefore, the exemption usually does not apply to second homes, second vehicles, valuable collections, family heirlooms or expensive musical instruments (unless the filer is a professional musician).

States also have their own set of laws for exemptions. In Wisconsin, filers have a choice of either using the state’s exemptions or the federal exemptions.

For more information about Chapter 7 bankruptcy -- or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which does not involve liquidation -- talk to an experienced bankruptcy attorney in your area.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

Free Case Evaluation

* indicates required field

Miller & Miller Law, LLC
  • VISA
  • Master Cards
  • Discover
Milwaukee Office map Madison Office map Kenosha Office map

633 W Wisconsin Ave, Suite 500
Milwaukee, WI 53203

Toll Free: 866-678-9352
Phone: 414-326-9231
Phone: 414-312-6581
Fax: 414-277-1303
Milwaukee Office

2810 Crossroads Drive
Suite 4001
Madison, WI 53718

Toll Free: 866-678-9352
Phone: 414-326-9231
Phone: 608-260-7133
Madison Office

6123 Green Bay Road
Suite 210
Kenosha, WI 53142

Toll Free: 866-678-9352
Phone: 414-326-9231
Phone: 262-326-1669
Kenosha Office

Appleton Office
4321 W. College Ave.
Suite 200
Appleton, WI 54914

Toll Free: 866-678-9352
Phone: 414-326-9231
Phone: 920-280-3838
Appleton Office

Brookfield Office
200 S. Executive Drive
Suite 101
Brookfield, WI 53005

Toll Free: 866-678-9352
Phone: 414-326-9231
Phone: 262-261-0665
Brookfield Office

Glendale Office
6333 N. Green Bay Avenue
Glendale, WI 53209

Toll Free: 866-678-9352
Phone: 414-326-9231
Phone: 414-973-8662
Glendale Office

Fax: 414-277-1303 - We also have offices in Appleton, Glendale and Brookfield to better serve you.