Wisconsin Laws on Wage Garnishments, Statute of Limitations on Debt, and Bankruptcy Property Exemptions

WAGE GARNISHMENT EXEMPTION: 80 percent of net earnings

MAXIMUM INTEREST RATE:  Legal: 5%   Judgment: 12%


Open Account (credit card):  6 years
Written Contract: 6 years
Domestic Judgment: 20 years
Foreign Judgment: 20 years

BAD CHECK LAW DAMAGES:  Amount of check plus actual damages and exemplary damages up to three times value of check, but not to exceed $300


Can use either the state exemptions below or the federal exemptions

The State of Wisconsin has exempted the property and income below from seizure by the bankruptcy court to pay creditors

Real Property:  Real property including condo, house trailer, mobile home or cooperative up to $40,000; property size must be at least 1/4 acre but not more than 40 acres; proceeds from sale are exempt for two years [815.20]; lease or interest in housing co-op, up to real estate exemption amount [182.004(6)]
Personal Property:  Burial plot, unlimited amount [815.18(3)(a)]; inventory, equipment, farm products, books and tools of trade up to $7,500 [815.18(3)(b)]; appliances, furnishings and household goods, animals, books, clothing, firearms, jewelry, sporting goods, keepsakes and musical instruments and any other personal property held for personal use, up to $5,000 total [815.18(3)(d)]; motor vehicle to $1,200 [815.18(3)(g)]; wrongful death recoveries, amount needed for support [815.18(3)(i)(1)(b)]; personal injury recoveries up to $25,000 [815.18(3)(i)(1)(c)]; lost future earnings recoveries, amount needed for support [815.18(3)(i)(1)(d)]; bank accounts up to $1,000 [815.18(3)(k)]; plus any unused consumer goods exemption; food and fuel; bank deposits to $1,000; beds, clothing, books, pictures, radio, TV, burial place, church pew, jewelry, patents, cooking utensils and furniture to $5,000; alimony and child support; wrongful death or personal injury recoveries needed for support
Insurance / Annuities:  Fraternal society benefits, unlimited amount [614.96]; life insurance proceeds if held in trust by insurer and if policy prohibits proceeds from being used to pay creditors [632.42]; federal disability insurance, unlimited amount [815.18(3)(d)]; insurance proceeds for exempt property destroyed within two years of filing bankruptcy, up to amount of exemption [815.18(3)(e)]; unmatured life insurance contract, unlimited amount, but up to $4,000 if debtor is the insured or a debtor is dependent upon [815.18(3)(f)]; life insurance proceeds if beneficiary is a dependent of insured, amount needed for support [815.18(3)(i)(1)(a)]
Debt Statutes  > Wisconsin
Pensions / Retirement Plans:  Public employees, unlimited amount [40.08(1)]; qualifying municipal employees, unlimited amount [66.81]; firefighters and police officers who work in cities with 100,000 or more in population, unlimited amount [815.18(3)(e) and (f)]; private and public retirement benefits, amount needed for support [815.18(3)(j)]; military pension, unlimited amount [815.18(3)(n)]
Public Benefits / Entitlements:  Workers' compensation, unlimited amt [102.27]; veterans' benefits, unlimited amount [45.35(8)(b)]; aid to families with dependent children and other social service payments, unlimited amt [49.96]; other social services payments; unemployment compensation, unlimited amt [108.13]; crime victims compensation, unlimited amt [949.07]
Wages:  75% of earned but unpaid wages [815.18(3)(h)]
Miscellaneous:  Alimony and child support, amount needed for support [815.18(3)(c)]; business partnership property, unlimited amount [178.21]