December 2, 2009Client Alert

Governor Signs Law Increasing Exemptions

On December 1, 2009, Governor Doyle signed a law significantly increasing certain exemptions for debtors. Under Wisconsin law, the value of a debtor’s interest in certain property is exempt from the reach of creditors. The new law increases the value of, or creates the following exemptions (which are only some of the exemptions afforded debtors under Wisconsin law):


Former Exemption Value

New Exemption Value


$ 40,000

$ 75,000 per spouse

Business equipment, inventory, farm products, and professional books


Any interest of the debtor in a closely held business

$ 7,500

None (new exemption)

$ 15,000

$ 15,000

Consumer goods, including household furnishing, appliances, clothes, jewelry, sporting goods, and firearms

$ 5,000

$ 12,000

Motor vehicles

$ 1,200

$ 4,000

Payments for personal injury

$ 25,000

$ 50,000

Depository accounts

$ 1,000

$ 5,000

The changes are effective December 16, 2009.

For more information, please contact the author of this alert or your Michael Best attorney.

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