Updated: April 5, 2019
You won't lose everything when filing for bankruptcy in Ohio. You'll be able to use Ohio's bankruptcy exemptions to protect property you'll need to work and live, like your home, personal items, and a retirement account.
Find out more about filing an Ohio bankruptcy case.
Some states allow residents to choose between the state and the federal bankruptcy exemptions, but that option isn't available in Ohio. You'll use Ohio's state exemptions and, if helpful, the federal nonbankruptcy exemptions.
Here are some of the more common exemptions in Ohio. When reviewing them, you'll want to keep these things in mind:
2329.66(A)(1) – Equity in real or personal property used as a residence up to $145,425. Tenancies by the entirety might be exempt as to debts of one spouse.
2329.66(A)(2) – Equity in a motor vehicle up to $4,000.
2329.66(A)(18) – Up to $1,325 of any personal property (not real estate) of the filer's choice.
517.09 & 2329.66 - Burial plot.
2329.66 - Cash, bank, and security deposits, tax refund and money due within 90 days up to $500 total; clothing, household goods and furnishings $625 per item up to a total value of $13,400; jewelry up to $1,700; health aids; wrongful death recoveries for person you depended upon for support; compensation for lost future earnings needed for support; personal injury recoveries up to $25,175; and tuition credit or payment.
2329.66 - Greater of the following: 30 times the federal minimum hourly wage or minimum of 75% of disposable weekly earnings or other court order.
11 U.S.C. § 522 - 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).
11 U.S.C. § 522(b)(3)(C)(n) - IRAS and Roth IRAs to maximum (amount changes).
145.56; 148.09 - Public employees.
146.13 - Volunteer firefighters' dependents.
742.47 - Police officers and firefighters.
2329.66 - Public safety officers' death benefits; ERISA-qualified benefits, IRAs Roth IRAs and Keoghs needed for support.
3309.66 - Public school employees.
5505.22 - State highway patrol employees.
3307.41 - State teacher retirement system.
2329.66 & 2743.66 - Crime victims' compensation received within one year of filing for bankruptcy.
2329.66(A)(9)(g) - Earned income tax credit and child tax credit.
2329.66 & 3304.19 - Vocational rehabilitation benefits.
2329.66 & 4123.67 - Workers' compensation.
2329.66 & 4141.32 - Unemployment compensation.
2329.66 & 5107.12 - Public assistance.
2329.66 & 5115.06 - Disability assistance.
Tools of the Trade
2329.66 - Tools, books, and implements of trade up to $2,550.
Alimony and Child Support
2329.66 - Alimony and child support needed for support.
2329.66 - Benevolent society benefits to $5,000.
2329.66 & 3917.05 - Group life insurance policy or proceeds.
2329.66 & 3921.18 - Fraternal benefit society benefits.
2329.66 & 3923.19 - Disability benefits needed for support.
3911.10 - Life, endowment or annuity contract dividends, interest, loan, cash, or surrender value for your spouse, child or another dependent.
3911.12 - Life insurance proceeds for a spouse.
3911.14 - Life insurance proceeds if policy prohibits use to pay creditors.
1775.24 & 2329.66 - Business partnership property.
2329.66 - 529 savings plans.
Add any applicable federal nonbankruptcy exemptions.
Some people can keep all assets, but that isn't always true. Here's what will happen to nonexempt property:
You'll learn more about Chapter 7 and 13 in Which Type of Bankruptcy is Right for Me?
This list includes the majority of bankruptcy exemptions available in Ohio. However, doesn't include all exemptions. Also, states often create qualification requirements for specific exemptions. Check the Ohio Revised Codes or with a local bankruptcy lawyer. The next exemption amount update will occur on April 1, 2022.
To learn more about bankruptcy exemptions, the state exemption system, and the homestead exemption rules, read Bankruptcy Exemptions – What Can I Keep When I File for Bankruptcy?