"Equity" means the fair market value of the debtor's interest in property, less the valid liens on that property.
"Exempt" means free from any lien obtained by judicial proceedings and is not liable to seizure or sale on execution or on any provisional or final process issued from any court, or any proceedings in aid of court process.
"Life insurance" means a policy issued by a stock or mutual life insurance company or by any mutual beneficiary or fraternal corporation, society, order or association to insure the life of an individual.
"Motor vehicle" means a self-propelled vehicle. "Motor vehicle" does not include equipment.
"Net income" means gross receipts paid or payable for personal services or derived from rents, dividends or interest less federal and state tax deductions required by law to be withheld.
"Resident" means an individual who intends to maintain his or her principal dwelling in this state.
"To the extent reasonably necessary for the support of the debtor and the debtor's dependents" means what the court determines is required to meet the present and anticipated needs of the debtor and the debtor's dependents, after consideration of the debtor's responsibilities, and the debtor's present and anticipated income and property, including exempt property.
Provisions for burial.
Cemetery lots, aboveground burial facilities, burial monuments, tombstones, coffins or other articles for the burial of the dead owned by the debtor and intended for the burial of the debtor or the debtor's family.
Business and farm property.
Equipment, inventory, farm products and professional books used in the business of the debtor or the business of a dependent of the debtor, not to exceed $7,500 in aggregate value.
Child support, family support or maintenance payments.
Alimony, child support, family support, maintenance or separate maintenance payments to the extent reasonably necessary for the support of the debtor and the debtor's dependents.
Household goods and furnishings, wearing apparel, keepsakes, jewelry and other articles of personal adornment, appliances, books, musical instruments, firearms, sporting goods, animals or other tangible personal property held primarily for the personal, family or household use of the debtor or a dependent of the debtor, not to exceed $5,000 in aggregate value.
County fairs and agricultural societies.
All sums paid as state aid under s. 93.23 (1)
to county fairs and agricultural societies.
Federal disability insurance benefits.
All moneys received or receivable by a person as federal disability insurance benefits under 42 USC 401
Fire and casualty insurance.
For a period of 2 years after the date of receipt, insurance proceeds on exempt property payable to and received by the debtor, if the exempt property has been destroyed or damaged by fire or casualty of any nature.
Fire and police pension fund.
All money paid or ordered to be paid to any member of any fire or police department or to the surviving spouse or guardian of the minor child or children of a deceased or retired member of any such department, which money has been paid or ordered to be paid to any such person as a pension on account of the service of any person in any such department in any city in this state whose population exceeds 100,000.
Fire engines and equipment.
All fire engines, apparatus and equipment, including hose, hose carts and hooks and ladders, belonging to or which may hereafter belong to any town, city or village in this state, and which are or may be kept and used for the protection of property in such town, city or village from fire, together with the engine houses and hooks and ladder houses for the protection of the same, and the lot or lots on which such engine and hook and ladder houses may be situated, when owned by any such town, city or village; and any lot or lots owned, used and occupied by any such town, city or village for corporate purposes.
Any unmatured life insurance contract owned by the debtor and insuring the debtor, the debtor's dependent or an individual of whom the debtor is a dependent, other than a credit life insurance contract, and the debtor's aggregate interest, not to exceed $4,000 in value, in any accrued dividends, interest or loan value of all unmatured life insurance contracts owned by the debtor and insuring the debtor, the debtor's dependent or an individual of whom the debtor is a dependent.
Motor vehicles not to exceed $1,200 in aggregate value. Any unused amount of the aggregate value from par. (d)
may be added to this exemption to increase the aggregate exempt value of motor vehicles under this paragraph.
Seventy-five percent of the debtor's net income for each one week pay period. The benefits of this exemption are limited to the extent reasonably necessary for the support of the debtor and the debtor's dependents, but to not less than 30 times the greater of the state or federal minimum wage.
Life insurance claims, personal injury or wrongful death claims. 815.18(3)(i)1.a.
A payment to the debtor under a life insurance contract that insured the life of an individual of whom the debtor was a dependent on the date of that individual's death, to the extent reasonably necessary for the support of the debtor and the debtor's dependents.
A payment resulting from the wrongful death of an individual of whom the debtor was a dependent, in an amount reasonably necessary for the support of the debtor and the debtor's dependents.
A payment, not to exceed $25,000, resulting from personal bodily injury, including pain and suffering or compensation for actual pecuniary loss, of the debtor or an individual of whom the debtor is a dependent.
A payment in compensation of loss of future earnings of the debtor or an individual of whom the debtor is or was a dependent in an amount reasonably necessary for the support of the debtor and the debtor's dependents.
Assets held or amounts payable under any retirement, pension, disability, death benefit, stock bonus, profit sharing plan, annuity, individual retirement account, individual retirement annuity, Keogh, 401-K or similar plan or contract providing benefits by reason of age, illness, disability, death or length of service and payments made to the debtor therefrom.
The plan or contract must meet one of the following requirements:
The plan or contract complies with the provisions of the internal revenue code.
The employer created the plan or contract for the exclusive benefit of the employer, if self-employed, or of some or all of the employes, or their dependents or beneficiaries and that plan or contract requires the employer or employes or both to make contributions for the purpose of distributing to the employer, if self-employed, the employes, or their dependents or beneficiaries, the earnings or the principal or both of a trust, annuity, insurance or other benefit created under the plan or contract and makes it impossible, at any time prior to the satisfaction of all liabilities with respect to beneficiaries under a trust created by the plan or contract, for any part of the principal or income of the trust to be used for or diverted to purposes other than for the exclusive benefit of those beneficiaries.
The plan or contract may permit the income created from personal property held in a trust created under the plan or contract to accumulate in accordance with the terms of the trust. The trust may continue until it accomplishes its purposes. The trust is not invalid as violating the rule against perpetuities or any law against perpetuities or the suspension of the power of alienation of title to property.
The benefits of this exemption with respect to the assets held or amounts payable under or traceable to an owner-dominated plan for or on behalf of a debtor who is an owner-employe shall be limited to the extent reasonably necessary for the support of the debtor and the debtor's dependents.
This exemption does not apply to an order of a court concerning child support, family support or maintenance payments, or to any judgment of annulment, divorce or legal separation.
"Employer" includes a group of employers creating a combined plan or contract for the benefit of their employes or the beneficiaries of those employes.
"Owner-dominated plan" means any plan or contract that meets the requirements of subd. 2.
and under which 90% or more of the present value of the accrued benefits or 90% or more of the aggregate of the account is for the benefit of one or more individuals who are owner-employes. For purposes of this definition, the accrued benefits or account of an owner-employe under a plan or contract shall include the accrued benefits or account of the spouse and any ancestor, lineal descendant or spouse of a lineal descendant of the owner-employe under the same plan or contract.
"Owner-employe" means any individual who owns, directly or indirectly, the entire interest in an unincorporated trade or business, or 50% or more of the combined voting of all classes of stock entitled to vote or the total value of shares of all classes of stock of a corporation, or 50% or more of the capital interest or profits interest of a partnership or limited liability company.
Depository accounts in the aggregate value of $1,000.
Private property from execution against municipalities.
All private property shall be exempt from seizure and sale upon any execution or other process issued to enforce any judgment or decree of any court that has been rendered against any county, town, city, village, technical college district or school district in this state.
All money received by a person, a resident of this state, as pension, compensation, government insurance, or adjusted compensation, back pension, compensation or insurance from the U.S. government on account of military or naval service, and all other money received by a person on account of military or naval service from the U.S. government administered by the U.S. department of veterans affairs, whether the same is in the actual possession of such person, on deposit, or loaned.
Property traceable to property that would be exempt under this section in the form of cash proceeds or otherwise is not exempt unless expressly provided for in this section.
A resident is entitled to the exemptions provided by this section. A nonresident is entitled to the exemptions provided by the law of the jurisdiction of his or her residence.
A debtor shall affirmatively claim an exemption or select specific property in which to claim an exemption. The debtor may make the claim at the time of seizure of property or within a reasonable time after the seizure, but shall make the claim prior to the disposition of the property by sale or by court order. Exempt property is not exempt unless affirmatively claimed as exempt. With respect to property partially exempt under this section, the claiming of an exemption includes the process of selection required of the debtor. The debtor or a person acting on the debtor's behalf shall make any required affirmative claim, either orally or in writing, to the creditor, the creditor's attorney or the officer seeking to impose a lien by court action upon the property in which the exemption is claimed. A debtor waives his or her exemption rights by failing to follow the procedure under this paragraph. A contractual waiver of exemption rights by any debtor before judgment on the claim is void. The court, in making a determination as to the extent property is reasonably necessary for the support of the debtor and the debtor's dependents, is not limited to the standard of living to which the debtor and the debtor's dependents have become accustomed. The court shall consider the amount and use of any income of any person claimed as a dependent when determining if that person is a dependent of a debtor.
Notwithstanding sub. (13)
, this subsection does not apply to any of the following:
Retirement benefits and allowances from retirement systems of 1st class cities exempt under s. 66.81
(7) Valuation of property.
The value of any property subject to exemption under this section shall be determined by agreement of the parties or by a commercially reasonable manner.
(8) Marital property rights.
Each spouse is entitled to and may claim the exemptions under this section. If the property exempt under this section is limited to a specified maximum dollar amount, each spouse is entitled to one exemption. That exemption is limited to the specified maximum dollar amount, which may be combined with the other spouse's exemption in the same property or applied to different property included under the same exemption. The exemption under sub. (3) (h)
may not be combined with the other spouse's exemption under sub. (3) (h)
and applied to the same property.
(9) Partially exempt property.
In the case of property that is partially exempt, the debtor or any person acting on the debtor's behalf is entitled to claim the exempt portion of property. The exempt portion claimed shall be set apart for the debtor, or for the debtor's dependents, and the nonexempt portion shall be subject to a creditor's claim. If partially exempt property is indivisible, the property may be sold and the exempt value of the property paid to the debtor or the debtor's dependents. Any proceeds paid to the debtor or to the debtor's dependents shall be exempt while held by the debtor or the debtor's dependents as cash or in a depository account.
(10) Fraudulent transfers.
A conveyance or transfer of wholly exempt property shall not be considered a fraudulent conveyance or transfer. Property that is not totally exempt in value under this section may be subject to a fraudulent transfer action under ch. 242
to set aside that transfer to the extent that the property's value is not exempt under this section. If a court is required to satisfy the claim of a creditor and if that relief is demanded, the court may determine the manner of dividing fraudulently transferred property into exempt and nonexempt portions, or may order the sale of the whole property and an accounting of the exempt portion. Any or all of the exemptions granted by this section may be denied if, in the discretion of the court having jurisdiction, the debtor procured, concealed or transferred assets with the intention of defrauding creditors.
(11) Consumer credit transaction exemptions.
The debtor may claim either the exemptions listed in s. 425.106
or the exemptions under this section for an obligation arising from a consumer credit transaction.
(12) Limitations on exemptions.
No property otherwise exempt may be claimed as exempt in any proceeding brought by any person to recover the whole or part of the purchase price of the property or against the claim or interest of a holder of a security interest, land contract, condominium or homeowners association assessment or maintenance lien or both, mortgage or any consensual or statutory lien.
(13) Applicability to other property. Subsections (2)
apply to the following exempt property except as otherwise provided by law:
Retirement benefits and allowances from retirement systems of 1st class cities exempt under s. 66.81
History: 1971 c. 154
; 1971 c. 211
; 1971 c. 229
; Sup. Ct. Order, 67 W (2d) 585, 761 (1975); 1975 c. 94
s. 91 (3)
, (5); 1975 c. 199
; 1975 c. 359
; Stats. 1975 s. 815.18; 1979 c. 110
s. 60 (4)
; 1979 c. 191
; 1985 a. 37
; 1989 a. 56
; 1991 a. 39
; 1993 a. 112
; 1995 a. 27
Sub. (31), 1987 stats. [now sub. (3) (j)] does not violate Art. I, sec. 17. North Side Bank v. Gentile, 129 W (2d) 208, 385 NW (2d) 133 (1986).
So long as a debtor initially files claimed exemptions within a reasonable time after seizure and prior to disposition, nothing prohibits a debtor from amending the claim. Tralmer Sales & Service, Inc. v. Erickson, 186 W (2d) 549, 521 NW (2d) 182 (Ct. App. 1994).
Court did not abuse discretion under s. 272.18 (30) (a), 1969 stats. [now s. 815.18 (10)]in ruling that bankrupt, by fraudulently concealing and transferring assets, forfeited any right to exemptions, only with respect to collection of trustee's judgment. In Re Schroeder, 356 F Supp. 417 (E.D. Wis. 1973).
Updating Wisconsin's exemption law. Ludwig and Pouros. Wis. Law. Aug. 1990.
Levy on personal property; appraisal. 815.19(1)
Personal property shall be bound from the time it is seized. Whenever personal property is seized on attachment or execution and any part of the property is exempt therefrom and the exemption is claimed by the debtor or the debtor's spouse, the officer making the seizure shall, upon request by either of them, or may upon the officer's motion, cause the exempt property to be appraised by 2 disinterested freeholders of the county, who shall first be sworn by the officer to make a true appraisement thereof, which appraisement shall be in writing, be signed by the appraisers and be prima facie evidence of the value of the property appraised. The appraisement, together with the true inventory of all the property seized, shall be returned with the writ. The fees of the appraisers are prescribed in s. 814.72
If the property seized is an automobile which is appraised and can be sold for more than $1,000 or if the property seized is a tractor used in farming operations which is appraised and can be sold for more than $1,500, the officer may sell such automobile or tractor and out of the proceeds of such sale the officer shall pay to the debtor or the debtor's spouse the exempted value of such automobile or tractor. The balance of the proceeds of such sale shall be applied on the execution or attachment.
Sup. Ct. Order, 67 W (2d) 585, 761 (1975); 1975 c. 94
s. 91 (3)
; 1975 c. 199
; Stats. 1975 s. 815.19; 1979 c. 355
; 1981 c. 317
; 1983 a. 186
Levy on real property; how made.
Levy of execution on real property is made by endorsing on the execution a description of the property on which the levy was made, and recording the execution, so endorsed, in the office of the register of deeds.
History: 1973 c. 189
; Sup. Ct. Order, 67 W (2d) 585, 761 (1975); Stats. 1975 s. 815.195; 1993 a. 301
Homestead exemption definition. 815.20(1)
An exempt homestead as defined in s. 990.01 (14)
selected by a resident owner and occupied by him or her shall be exempt from execution, from the lien of every judgment and from liability for the debts of the owner to the amount of $40,000, except mortgages, laborers', mechanics' and purchase money liens and taxes and except as otherwise provided. The exemption shall not be impaired by temporary removal with the intention to reoccupy the premises as a homestead nor by the sale of the homestead, but shall extend to the proceeds derived from the sale to an amount not exceeding $40,000, while held, with the intention to procure another homestead with the proceeds, for 2 years. The exemption extends to land owned by husband and wife jointly or in common or as marital property, and when they reside in the same household may be claimed by either or may be divided in any proportion between them, but the exemption may not exceed $40,000 for the household. If the husband and wife fail to agree on the division of exemption, the exemption shall be divided between them by the court in which the first judgment was taken. The exemption extends to the interest therein of tenants in common, having a homestead thereon with the consent of the cotenants, and to any estate less than a fee.
Any owner of an exempt homestead against whom a judgment has been rendered and entered in the judgment and lien docket, and any heir, devisee or grantee of the owner, or any mortgagee of the homestead, may proceed under s. 806.04
for declaratory relief if the homestead is less than $40,000 in value and the owner of the judgment shall fail, for 10 days after demand, to execute a recordable release of the homestead from the judgment owner's judgment lien.
History: 1973 c. 168
; Sup. Ct. Order, 67 W (2d) 585, 761, 781 (1975); Stats. 1975 s. 815.20; 1983 a. 186
; 1985 a. 153
; 1993 a. 486
; 1995 a. 224
A defendant who has moved to Michigan intending to stay there loses his Wisconsin homestead exemption. He cannot have an exemption in 2 states. Plan Credit Corp. v. Swinging Singles, Inc. 54 W (2d) 146, 194 NW (2d) 822.