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Ohio Bankruptcy Exemptions

What Exemptions are allowed when filing bankruptcy in Ohio?

Below is a list of some of the available Ohio bankruptcy exemptions . This list only identifies a small fraction of the exemptions available in Ohio and there are many exemptions (such as retirement accounts, life insurance, and trade tools) that are not listed and may be beneficial to you. Talk to a qualified Ohio bankruptcy attorney in your area to have all the available exemptions explained to you. Only a Ohio bankruptcy attorney can properly list and explain all of the applicable exemptions offered in Ohio.

Ohio Bankruptcy Exemptions

Federal bankruptcy exemptions are not available in the State of Ohio. When you file for bankruptcy in Ohio, state law allows for certain of your possessions and assets to be exempted from the bankruptcy estate that will be liquidated to settle your debts.

All property of the debtor and certain other property received in the future becomes the property of the bankruptcy estate once bankruptcy is filed. A bankruptcy trustee will take control of this property to satisfy the creditors. Depending on your specific situation, property or asset exemption is determined by your personal income and the individual laws of Ohio.

For couples filing for bankruptcy protection, each person can claim a full set of exemptions unless otherwise noted.

There are some limits on certain exemptions such as equity that you have in a home or in a vehicle. The difference between the cost of the item and the amount owed on the item is the definition of equity. If the item, such as home or vehicle, is secured by a loan and payments made on time, the equity is protected by your exemptions. If you choose to keep the property, continual timely payments ensure that the property is protected through the bankruptcy.

This is a list of some of the available exemption in the State of Ohio. You can obtain a more detailed list of exemptions by contacting a qualified Ohio bankruptcy attorney in your area. Contact an attorney today.


  1. Homestead: Real or personal property used as residence up to $5,000 Property held as tenancy by the entirety may be exempt against debts owed by only one spouse
  2. Pensions:
    1. Tax-exempt retirement accounts, including 401(k)s, 403(b)s, profit sharing and money purchase plans, SEP and SIMPLE IRAs and defined-benefit plans
    2. Traditional and Roth IRAs to $1,095,000
    3. IRAs, Roth IRAs and Keoghs needed for support
    4. ERISA qualified benefits needed for support
    5. Public employees
    6. Public safety officers' death benefit
    7. Firefighters, police officers
    8. Public school employees
    9. State highway patrol employees
    10. Volunteer firefighters' dependents
  3. Insurance:
    1. Life insurance proceeds for a spouse
    2. Group life insurance policy or proceeds
    3. Life, endowment or annuity contract avails for your spouse, child or dependent
    4. Life insurance proceeds if clause prohibits proceeds from being used to pay beneficiary's creditors
    5. Disability benefits up to $600 per month
    6. Benevolent society benefits up to $5,000
    7. Fraternal benefit society benefits
  4. Miscellaneous:
    1. Property of business partnership
    2. Alimony and/or child support needed for support
  5. Personal Property:
    1. Beds, bedding, clothing up to $200 per item
    2. Burial plot
    3. Crops, books, animals, appliances, musical instruments, furnishings, household goods, hunting and fishing equipment and firearms up to $200 per item; jewelry to $400 for one item, $200 for all others; $1,500 total (if no homestead exemption, $2,000 total)
    4. Cooking unit and refrigerator up to $300 each
    5. Health aids
    6. Motor vehicle up to $1,000
    7. Tax refund, money due within 90 days, cash, bank, security and utility deposits to $400 total
    8. Compensation for lost future earnings needed for support, received during 12 months before filing bankruptcy
    9. Tuition credit or payment
    10. Personal injury recoveries to $5,000, received during 12 months before filing bankruptcy
    11. Wrongful death recoveries for person debtor depended on, needed for support, received during 12 months before filing
  6. Public Benefits:
    1. Workers' compensation
    2. Unemployment compensation
    3. Vocational rehabilitation benefit
    4. Crime victims' compensation, received during 12 months before filing
    5. Disability assistance payments
  7. Tools of Trade: Books, implements, and tools of trade to $750
  8. Wages: Minimum 75% of disposable weekly earnings or 30 times the federal hourly minimum wage, whichever is higher; bankruptcy judge may authorize more for low-income debtors
  9. Wildcard: $400 of any property

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