Saturday, March 11, 2017

Bankruptcy Exemptions in Ohio

What property can I keep in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

Millions of Americans will elect to pursue a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the coming year in order to free themselves from crushing debt.  The good news for potential Chapter 7 filers is that some or all of your property may be protected from liquidation during bankruptcy under Ohio’s exemption laws.    Exemptions allow you to shield certain property from your creditors, such as your personal home and car.  Our Ohio Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyers offer an overview of bankruptcy exemptions in our state below.

Ohio Bankruptcy Exemptions

Ohio offers its own exemptions that can protect Chapter 7 filers.  While some states allow filers to choose between federal and state exemptions, Ohio does not allow the use of federal exemptions.  Married couples filing jointly for bankruptcy can double the exemption.  Under Ohio law, some of the most commonly used exemptions include:

  1. Homestead:  Homeowners in Ohio can now exempt up to $132,900 of equity in their home or other real property in which they and their dependents reside.  Married couples can double the exemption, meaning that $265,800 of equity within your home cannot be claimed by creditors.
  2. Wages:  A portion of your wages will be protected from creditors in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.  Ohio law exempts 75% of your disposable earnings or up to 65 times the current federal minimum hourly wage, if paid semimonthly.  
  3. Personal property:  Creditors will not be able to touch up to $475 of your cash in hand or deposit.  Further, up to $3,775 of value in your car is protected (or $7,550 if you are married and the car is owned jointly).  Furnishings and household goods valued at up to $12,625 are exempt, as is jewelry worth up to $1,600.
  4. Benefits:  Certain benefits that you may receive are protected from creditors under Ohio law.  These include workers’ compensation benefits, disability assistance payments, unemployment compensation benefits, and more.

These are just a few of the numerous exemptions found under Ohio law.  For individualized assistance with your Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, contact our bankruptcy attorneys at Miami Valley Bankruptcy for a free consultation.


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