We understand your concern. In fact, if you are fearful of losing your house, car, retirement accounts, and personal items if you file bankruptcy, you are not alone. But, please rest assured, thanks to exemptions, you likely won’t lose any assets during bankruptcy.
What are Exemptions?
Exemptions determine the property you can keep if you file Chapter 7 bankruptcy and the amount of debt you must pay back if you file Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Some states allow filers to choose between federal and state bankruptcy exemptions. Ohio does not; you must use the state exemptions. However, as we discuss below, you are entitled to additional federal non-bankruptcy exemptions in addition to the Ohio bankruptcy exemptions.
What are the Ohio Bankruptcy Exemptions?
To provide immediate peace of mind, we’ll outline the exemptions that most clients ask about. There are additional exemptions; and, be sure to consult with a qualified bankruptcy attorney to protect the maximum assets allowable by law.
Here are the exemptions for an individual Ohio bankruptcy filer. You can double each of these exemptions if you are married and filing bankruptcy jointly.
- $21,625 of equity in your home
- $3,450 in equity in your motor vehicle
- $550 per item in any household goods up to a total of $11,525
- $2,175 in things you need for your job (e.g. computers, tools, books)
- $1,150 wild card to protect the property of your choice
In addition, be sure that you ask your bankruptcy lawyer about protecting jewelry, burial plots, life insurance, wages, alimony, child support, public benefits, public pensions, and tuition credits or payments.
What are Federal Non-Bankruptcy Exemptions?
Federal non-bankruptcy exemptions are those assets that are protected from any creditor such as a lawsuit (or bankruptcy) creditor….not just a bankruptcy creditor.
Significantly, retirement plans are protected by federal law.
- Tax exempt retirement accounts (including 401(k)s, 403(b)s, money purchase and profit-sharing plans, SIMPLE and SEP IRAs, and defined benefit plans).
- Traditional IRAS and Roth IRAs up to $1,171,150.
Planning ahead and consulting with a qualified bankruptcy attorney usually provides more asset protection opportunities and may save your home, car, jewelry, personal possessions, and other assets.
Bankruptcy is a very specialized area of law; be sure your attorney focuses his or her practice on bankruptcy law and helping people like you. We focus our practice on bankruptcy law and helping people save their assets. You can reach us at 513-793-6555 or Thomasjr@geygan.com. Your next step in saving your assets is to contact us.