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Which federal exemption code do I list for a Chapter 7 tax refund exemption? Can I list my household/clothing together or each 1

Madison, WI |

I cannot afford to pay an attorney for my Chapter 7 bankruptcy so I have to do it myself. I am now trying to list all of my exemptions. I have an amended tax return that may not be ready until June and I am not sure if I will get anything back. I need to know how to list this as an exemption and the code I need to include on Sched. C. I also need to know if I have to list each individual household item such as: tvs, beds, computer,etc. or can I list these things as an aggregated group? How do I list it and code it? I also have a 99 suv and need to list the NADA value is $800.00. Please tell me how to list these codes and values on Schedule C. and how to use and list the wildcard for my tax return if needed.

I could do a small monthly payment plan, but cannot afford to pay the filing fee right away. I need to have this bankruptcy filed immediately. This is so overwhelming!

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Attorney answers 4


I agree with atty Harness, but I'll answer your questions anyway.

You want to exempt any tax refunds you haven't received using (d)(5) - the wildcard exemption. You need to use federal exemptions b/c you can't exempt tax refunds if you elect WI exemptions. List it on schedule B as "Anticipated 2012 tax refund" and exempt the amount on schedule C.

For household goods, you can aggregate everything. In the description, list each item and value but you need to only list one amount for everything and exempt that amount. Remember to list the items on schedule B and exempt them on schedule C using (d)(3).

For the car, list it on schedule B as: 1999 Ford Explorer (or whatever it is) with XXXX amount of miles in good/fair/poor condition. Then explain your valuation: fair market value is nada average value. If there is a lien, make sure to list the lien holder and amount. Then exempt whatever the value is on schedule C You should use (d)(2) - the motor vehicle exemption.

I also recommend that you get an attorney.



I am so grateful to you for taking the risk to answer my questions. I believe this is what I needed to proceed. I will definitely recommend your services to anyone else seeking to file for bankruptcy.

Joseph Ryan

Joseph Ryan


Thanks, good luck with your case!


As you are experiencing as you are trying to fill out and get a handle on the bankruptcy petition and schedules, the laws are complicated and the nuances are overwhelming. I know you want the answers, but the best advice I can give is for you to contact a local bankruptcy attorney. Many offer free consultations; reach out to one. There is a good chance that you will find that the fee that you pay to get the bankruptcy filed will be a huge bargain compared to what you might end up paying to the Ch 7 trustee when your assets are not properly listed and protected through the exemptions. A bankruptcy attorney can lead you through this and get the results that you are looking for: discharge of debt and protection of assets. There is too much at stake for you to risk doing this on your own.



Thank you for the advice, but if there was an option to pay an attorney I would have done that. I do understand how risky this is doing it on my own, but there is no other choice.


Before you file please consult with an attorney in your area to make sure it is necessary for you to file. You may be in a financial situation in which you are judgment proof. It would be tragic for you to file now then face a financial crisis but not be able to file a Chapter 7 for eight years.

If you do file the Western District has a guide for you at its website:

Disclaimer We are a debt relief agency. We counsel people regarding their debt. When appropriate we help protect our client's rights by filing under federal bankruptcy codes or state amortization statutes. The information contained herein is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to convey a legal opinion nor legal advice for any particular case or situation. This information does not represent a complete discussion of all the issues relating to the area of consumer debt. Since every individual's factual situation is different, independent legal advice regarding specific situations from a licensed attorney is advisable. Do not rely solely on the information contained in this web site. I am licensed to practice law only in Wisconsin; therefore the information contained in this site may not be accurate for persons located outside of Wisconsin. The material and statements in this web site do not create, and are not intended to create, an attorney-client relationship, and no one in this firm is agreeing to represent you in any legal matter. If you are already represented by an attorney, then no attorney or employee of this law office can speak with you nor provide legal advice to you without the consent of your attorney. Accordingly, if you are already represented by an attorney, please do not contact our office without your lawyer's consent.


Before you file your bankruptcy petition, at the least, take the petition to a BK attorney to make sure you have done everything correctly. Fixing an error is a nightmare. Good luck.

Be sure to designate "best answer." If you live in Oregon, you may call me for more detailed advice, 503-650-9662. Please be aware that each answer on this website is based upon the facts, or lack thereof, provided in the question. To be sure you get complete and comprehensive answers, based upon the totality of your situation, contact a local attorney who specializes in the area of law that involves your legal problem. Diane L. Gruber has been practicing law in Oregon for 26 years, specializing in family law, bankruptcy, estate planning and probate. Note: Diane L. Gruber does not represent you until a written fee agreement has been signed by you and Diane L. Gruber, and the fee listed in the agreement has been paid.



I do not believe there are any attorneys that are willing or able to see if everything is done correctly, but I will look into that. Thank you.

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