Helping You Understand Your Rights And Exemptions Under The Bankruptcy Code

The following information pertains to people who are considering filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy or Chapter 7 bankruptcy. At Debra Booher & Associates, we understand how complex the Bankruptcy Code is. Contact us now to speak with an experienced bankruptcy attorney who can help you understand the legalese as well as your rights.

§ 2329.66. Exempted Interests And Rights

(A) Every person who is domiciled in this state may hold property exempt from execution, garnishment, attachment, or sale to satisfy a judgment or order, as follows:

(1)

(a) In the case of a judgment or order regarding money owed for health care services rendered or health care supplies provided to the person or a dependent of the person, one parcel or item of real or personal property that the person or a dependent of the person uses as a residence. Division (A)(1)(a) of this section does not preclude, affect or invalidate the creation under this chapter of a judgment lien upon the exempted property but only delays the enforcement of the lien until the property is sold or otherwise transferred by the owner or in accordance with other applicable laws to a person or entity other than the surviving spouse or surviving minor children of the judgment debtor. Every person who is domiciled in this state may hold exempt from a judgment lien created pursuant to division (A)(1)(a) of this section the person's interest, not to exceed $125,000, in the exempted property.

(b) In the case of all other judgments and orders, the person's interest, not to exceed $125,000, in one parcel or item of real or personal property that the person or a dependent of the person uses as a residence.

(c) For purposes of divisions (A)(1)(a) and (b) of this section, "parcel" means a tract of real property as identified on the records of the auditor of the county in which the real property is located.


(2) The person's interest, not to exceed $3,225, in one motor vehicle;

(3) The person's interest, not to exceed $400, in cash on hand, money due and payable, money to become due within 90 days, tax refunds and money on deposit with a bank, savings and loan association, credit union, public utility, landlord or other person, other than personal earnings.

(4)

(a) The person's interest, not to exceed $525 in any particular item or $10,775 in aggregate value, in household furnishings, household goods, wearing apparel, appliances, books, animals, crops, musical instruments, firearms, and hunting and fishing equipment that are held primarily for the personal, family or household use of the person;

(b) The person's aggregate interest in one or more items of jewelry, not to exceed $1,350, held primarily for the personal, family or household use of the person or any of the person's dependents.


(5) The person's interest, not to exceed an aggregate of $2,025, in all implements, professional books or tools of the person's profession, trade or business, including agriculture;

(6)

(a) The person's interest in a beneficiary fund set apart, appropriated, or paid by a benevolent association or society, as exempted by Section 2329.63 of the Revised Code;

(b) The person's interest in contracts of life or endowment insurance or annuities, as exempted by Section 3911.10 of the Revised Code;

(c) The person's interest in a policy of group insurance or the proceeds of a policy of group insurance, as exempted by Section 3917.05 of the Revised Code;

(d) The person's interest in money, benefits, charity, relief or aid to be paid, provided or rendered by a fraternal benefit society, as exempted by Section 3921.18 of the Revised Code;

(e) The person's interest in the portion of benefits under policies of sickness and accident insurance and in lump sum payments for dismemberment and other losses insured under those policies, as exempted by Section 3923.19 of the Revised Code.


(7) The person's professionally prescribed or medically necessary health aids;

(8) The person's interest in a burial lot, including, but not limited to, exemptions under Section 517.09 or 1721.07 of the Revised Code;

(9) The person's interest in the following:

(a) Moneys paid or payable for living maintenance or rights, as exempted by Section 3304.19 of the Revised Code;

(b) Workers' compensation, as exempted by Section 4123.67 of the Revised Code;

(c) Unemployment compensation benefits, as exempted by Section 4141.32 of the Revised Code;

(d) Cash assistance payments under the Ohio works first program, as exempted by Section 5107.75 of the Revised Code;

(e) Benefits and services under the prevention, retention and contingency program, as exempted by Section 5108.08 of the Revised Code;

(f) Disability financial assistance payments, as exempted by Section 5115.06 of the Revised Code;

(g) Payments under Section 24 or 32 of the "Internal Revenue Code of 1986," 100 Stat. 2085, 26 U.S.C. 1, as amended.


(10)

(a) Except in cases in which the person was convicted of or pleaded guilty to a violation of Section 2921.41 of the Revised Code and in which an order for the withholding of restitution from payments was issued under division (C)(2)(b) of that Section, in cases in which an order for withholding was issued under Section 2907.15 of the Revised Code, in cases in which an order for forfeiture was issued under division (A) or (B) of Section 2929.192 of the Revised Code, and in cases in which an order was issued under Section 2929.193 or 2929.194 of the Revised Code, and only to the extent provided in the order, and except as provided in Sections 3105.171, 3105.63, 3119.80, 3119.81, 3121.02, 3121.03 and 3123.06 of the Revised Code, the person's rights to or interests in a pension, benefit, annuity, retirement allowance or accumulated contributions, the person's rights to or interests in a participant account in any deferred compensation program offered by the Ohio public employees deferred compensation board, a government unit or a municipal corporation, or the person's other accrued or accruing rights or interests, as exempted by Section 145.56, 146.13, 148.09, 742.47, 3307.41, 3309.66 or 5505.22 of the Revised Code, and the person's rights to or interests in benefits from the Ohio public safety officers death benefit fund;

(b) Except as provided in Sections 3119.80, 3119.81, 3121.02, 3121.03 and 3123.06 of the Revised Code, the person's rights to receive or interests in receiving a payment or other benefits under any pension, annuity or similar plan or contract, not including a payment or benefit from a stock bonus or profit-sharing plan or a payment included in division (A)(6)(b) or (10)(a) of this Section, on account of illness, disability, death, age or length of service, to the extent reasonably necessary for the support of the person and any of the person's dependents, except if all the following apply:

(i) The plan or contract was established by or under the auspices of an insider that employed the person at the time the person's rights or interests under the plan or contract arose.

(ii) The payment is on account of age or length of service.

(iii) The plan or contract is not qualified under the "Internal Revenue Code of 1986," 100 Stat. 2085, 26 U.S.C. 1, as amended.


(c) Except for any portion of the assets that were deposited for the purpose of evading the payment of any debt and except as provided in Sections 3119.80, 3119.81, 3121.02, 3121.03 and 3123.06 of the Revised Code, the person's rights or interests in the assets held in, or to directly or indirectly receive any payment or benefit under, any individual retirement account, individual retirement annuity, "Roth IRA," "529 plan" or education individual retirement account that provides payments or benefits by reason of illness, disability, death, retirement, or age or provides payments or benefits for purposes of education, to the extent that the assets, payments or benefits described in division (A)(10)(c) of this Section are attributable to or derived from any of the following or from any earnings, dividends, interest, appreciation, or gains on any of the following:

(i) Contributions of the person that were less than or equal to the applicable limits on deductible contributions to an individual retirement account or individual retirement annuity in the year that the contributions were made, whether or not the person was eligible to deduct the contributions on the person's federal tax return for the year in which the contributions were made;

(ii) Contributions of the person that were less than or equal to the applicable limits on contributions to a Roth IRA or education individual retirement account in the year that the contributions were made;

(iii) Contributions of the person that are within the applicable limits on rollover contributions under Subsections 219, 402(c), 403(a)(4), 403(b)(8), 408(b), 408(d)(3), 408A(c)(3)(B), 408A(d)(3) and 530(d)(5) of the "Internal Revenue Code of 1986," 100 Stat. 2085, 26 U.S.C.A. 1, as amended;

(iv) Contributions by any person into any plan, fund or account that is formed, created or administered pursuant to, or is otherwise subject to, Section 529 of the "Internal Revenue Code of 1986," 100 Stat. 2085, 26 U.S.C. 1, as amended.


(d) Except for any portion of the assets that were deposited for the purpose of evading the payment of any debt and except as provided in Sections 3119.80, 3119.81, 3121.02, 3121.03 and 3123.06 of the Revised Code, the person's rights or interests in the assets held in, or to receive any payment under, any Keogh or "H.R. 10" plan that provides benefits by reason of illness, disability, death, retirement or age, to the extent reasonably necessary for the support of the person and any of the person's dependents.

(e) The person's rights to or interests in any assets held in, or to directly or indirectly receive any payment or benefit under, any individual retirement account, individual retirement annuity, "Roth IRA," "529 plan" or education individual retirement account that a decedent, upon or by reason of the decedent's death, directly or indirectly left to or for the benefit of the person, either outright or in trust or otherwise, including, but not limited to, any of those rights or interests in assets or to receive payments or benefits that were transferred, conveyed or otherwise transmitted by the decedent by means of a will, trust, exercise of a power of appointment, beneficiary designation, transfer or payment on death designation, or any other method or procedure.

(f) The exemptions under divisions (A)(10)(a) to (e) of this Section also shall apply or otherwise be available to an alternate payee under a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) or other similar court order.

(g) A person's interest in any plan, program, instrument or device described in divisions (A)(10)(a) to (e) of this Section shall be considered an exempt interest even if the plan, program, instrument or device in question, due to an error made in good faith, failed to satisfy any criteria applicable to that plan, program, instrument or device under the "Internal Revenue Code of 1986," 100 Stat. 2085, 26 U.S.C. 1, as amended.


(11) The person's right to receive spousal support, child support, an allowance or other maintenance to the extent reasonably necessary for the support of the person and any of the person's dependents;

(12) The person's right to receive, or moneys received during the preceding 12 calendar months from, any of the following:

(a) An award of reparations under Sections 2743.51 to 2743.72 of the Revised Code, to the extent exempted by division (D) of Section 2743.66 of the Revised Code;

(b) A payment on account of the wrongful death of an individual of whom the person was a dependent on the date of the individual's death, to the extent reasonably necessary for the support of the person and any of the person's dependents;

(c) Except in cases in which the person who receives the payment is an inmate, as defined in Section 2969.21 of the Revised Code, and in which the payment resulted from a civil action or appeal against a government entity or employee, as defined in Section 2969.21 of the Revised Code, a payment, not to exceed $20,200, on account of personal bodily injury, not including pain and suffering or compensation for actual pecuniary loss, of the person or an individual for whom the person is a dependent;

(d) A payment in compensation for loss of future earnings of the person or an individual of whom the person is or was a dependent, to the extent reasonably necessary for the support of the debtor and any of the debtor's dependents.


(13) Except as provided in Sections 3119.80, 3119.81, 3121.02, 3121.03 and 3123.06 of the Revised Code, personal earnings of the person owed to the person for services in an amount equal to the greater of the following amounts:

(a) If paid weekly, 30 times the current federal minimum hourly wage; if paid biweekly, 60 times the current federal minimum hourly wage; if paid semimonthly, 65 times the current federal minimum hourly wage; or if paid monthly, 130 times the current federal minimum hourly wage that is in effect at the time the earnings are payable, as prescribed by the "Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938," 52 Stat. 1060, 29 U.S.C. 206(a)(1), as amended;

(b) Seventy-five percent of the disposable earnings owed to the person.


(14) The person's right in specific partnership property, as exempted by the person's rights in a partnership pursuant to Section 1776.50 of the Revised Code, except as otherwise set forth in Section 1776.50 of the Revised Code;

(15) A seal and official register of a notary public, as exempted by Section 147.04 of the Revised Code;

(16) The person's interest in a tuition unit or a payment under Section 3334.09 of the Revised Code pursuant to a tuition payment contract, as exempted by Section 3334.15 of the Revised Code;

(17) Any other property that is specifically exempted from execution, attachment, garnishment or sale by federal statutes other than the "Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1978," 92 Stat. 2549, 11 U.S.C.A. 101, as amended;

(18) The person's aggregate interest in any property, not to exceed $1,075, except that division (A)(18) of this Section applies only in bankruptcy proceedings.


(B) [See Note] On April 1, 2010, and on the first day of April in each third calendar year after 2010, the Ohio judicial conference shall adjust each dollar amount set forth in this Section to reflect any increase in the consumer price index for all urban consumers, as published by the United States Department of Labor, or, if that index is no longer published, a generally available comparable index, for the three-year period ending on the 31st day of Dec. of the preceding year. Any adjustments required by this division shall be rounded to the nearest $25.

The Ohio judicial conference shall prepare a memorandum specifying the adjusted dollar amounts. The judicial conference shall transmit the memorandum to the director of the Legislative Service Commission, and the director shall publish the memorandum in the register of Ohio. (Publication of the memorandum in the register of Ohio shall continue until the next memorandum specifying an adjustment is so published.) The judicial conference also may publish the memorandum in any other manner it concludes will be reasonably likely to inform persons who are affected by its adjustment of the dollar amounts.


(C) As used in this Section:

(1) "Disposable earnings" means net earnings after the garnishee has made deductions required by law, excluding the deductions ordered pursuant to Section 3119.80, 3119.81, 3121.02, 3121.03 or 3123.06 of the Revised Code.

(2) "Insider" means:

(a) If the person who claims an exemption is an individual, a relative of the individual, a relative of a general partner of the individual, a partnership in which the individual is a general partner, a general partner of the individual, or a corporation of which the individual is a director, officer or in control;

(b) If the person who claims an exemption is a corporation, a director or officer of the corporation; a person in control of the corporation; a partnership in which the corporation is a general partner; a general partner of the corporation; or a relative of a general partner, director, officer or person in control of the corporation;

(c) If the person who claims an exemption is a partnership, a general partner in the partnership; a general partner of the partnership; a person in control of the partnership; a partnership in which the partnership is a general partner; or a relative in, a general partner of, or a person in control of the partnership;

(d) An entity or person to which or whom any of the following applies:

(i) The entity directly or indirectly owns, controls or holds with power to vote, 20 percent or more of the outstanding voting securities of the person who claims an exemption, unless the entity holds the securities in a fiduciary or agency capacity without sole discretionary power to vote the securities or holds the securities solely to secure to debt and the entity has not in fact exercised the power to vote.

(ii) The entity is a corporation, 20 percent or more of whose outstanding voting securities are directly or indirectly owned, controlled or held with power to vote, by the person who claims an exemption or by an entity to which division (C)(2)(d)(i) of this Section applies.

(iii) A person whose business is operated under a lease or operating agreement by the person who claims an exemption, or a person substantially all of whose business is operated under an operating agreement with the person who claims an exemption.

(iv) The entity operates the business or all or substantially all of the property of the person who claims an exemption under a lease or operating agreement.


(e) An insider, as otherwise defined in this Section, of a person or entity to which division (C)(2)(d)(i), (ii), (iii) or (iv) of this Section applies, as if the person or entity was a person who claims an exemption;

(f) A managing agent of the person who claims an exemption.


(3) "Participant account" has the same meaning as in Section 148.01 of the Revised Code.

(4) "Government unit" has the same meaning as in Section 148.06 of the Revised Code.


(D) For purposes of this Section, "interest" shall be determined as follows:

(1) In bankruptcy proceedings, as of the date a petition is filed with the bankruptcy court commencing a case under Title 11 of the United States Code;

(2) In all cases other than bankruptcy proceedings, as of the date of an appraisal, if necessary under Section 2329.68 of the Revised Code, or the issuance of a writ of execution.

An interest, as determined under division (D)(1) or (2) of this Section, shall not include the amount of any lien otherwise valid pursuant to Section 2329.661 of the Revised Code.

§ 2329.63. Beneficiary funds exempt
A beneficiary fund, not exceeding $5,000, set apart, appropriated or paid by a benevolent association or society, according to its rules, regulations or bylaws, to the family of a deceased member, or to a member of such family, is not liable to be taken by process or proceedings, legal or equitable, to pay any debt of such deceased member.

§ 3911.10. Proceeds exempt from claims of creditors
All contracts of life or endowment insurance or annuities upon the life of any person, or any interest therein, which may hereafter mature and which have been taken out for the benefit of, or made payable by change of beneficiary, transfer or assignment to, the spouse or children, or any persons dependent upon such person, or an institution or entity described in division (B)(1) of Section 3911.09 of the Revised Code, or any creditor, or to a trustee for the benefit of such spouse, children, dependent persons, institution or entity, or creditor, shall be held, together with the proceeds or avails of such contracts, subject to a change of beneficiary if desired, free from all claims of the creditors of such insured person or annuitant. Subject to the statute of limitations, the amount of any premium upon such contracts, endowments or annuities, paid in fraud of creditors, with interest thereon, shall inure to their benefit from the proceeds of the contracts, but the company issuing any such contract is discharged of all liability thereon by the payment of its proceeds in accordance with its terms, unless, before such payment, written notice is given to it by a creditor, specifying the amount of the claim and the premiums which the creditor alleges have been fraudulently paid.

§ 3917.05. Exemption of policy proceeds from attachment
No policy of group insurance, nor the proceeds thereof, when paid to any employee thereunder, is liable to attachment, garnishment or other process, or to be seized, taken, appropriated or applied by any legal or equitable process or operation of law, to pay any liability of such employee, his beneficiary or any other person who may have a right thereunder, either before or after payment.

§ 3921.18. Exemption of benefits
No money or other benefit, charity, relief or aid to be paid, provided or rendered by any fraternal benefit society, shall be liable to attachment, garnishment or other process, or shall be seized, taken, appropriated or applied by any legal or equitable process or operation of law to pay any debt or liability of a member or beneficiary, or any other person who may have a right, either before or after payment by the society.

§ 3923.19. Benefits exempt from legal process; exception
The portion of any benefits under all policies of sickness and accident insurance as does not exceed $600 for each month during any period of disability covered by the policies, is not liable to attachment or other process, or to be taken, appropriated or applied by any legal or equitable process or by operation of law, either before or after payment of the benefits, to pay any liabilities of the person insured under any such policy. This exemption does not apply if an action is brought to recover for necessaries contracted for during the period of disability, and if the complaint contains a statement to that effect.

When a policy provides for a lump sum payment because of a dismemberment or other loss insured, the payment is exempt from execution by the insured's creditors.

§ 1721.10. Exemptions of burial grounds
Lands appropriated and set apart as burial grounds, either for public or for private use, and recorded or filed as such in the office of the county recorder of the county where they are situated, and any burial ground that has been used as such for 15 years are exempt from sale on execution on a judgment, taxation, dower and compulsory partition; but land appropriated and set apart as a private burial ground is not so exempt if it exceeds in value the sum of $50.

§ 517.09. No levy on lots
No lot held by any individual in a cemetery, shall, in any case, be levied on or sold on execution.

§ 3304.19. Rights not transferable; not subject to execution
The right of a handicapped person to living maintenance under Sections 3304.11 to 3304.27, inclusive, of the Revised Code, is not transferable or assignable at law or in equity, and none of the money paid or payable or rights existing under this act are subject to execution, levy, attachment, garnishment or other legal process, or to the operation of any bankruptcy or insolvency law.

§ 4123.67. Compensation exempt from attachment or execution
Except as otherwise provided in Sections 3119.80, 3119.81, 3121.02, 3121.03 and 3123.06 of the Revised Code, compensation before payment shall be exempt from all claims of creditors and from any attachment or execution, and shall be paid only to the employees or their dependents. In all cases where property of an employer is placed in the hands of an assignee, receiver or trustee, claims arising under any award or finding of the industrial commission or bureau of workers' compensation, pursuant to this chapter, including claims for premiums, and any judgment recovered thereon shall first be paid out of the trust fund in preference to all other claims, except claims for taxes and the cost of administration, and with the same preference given to claims for taxes.

§ 4141.32. Benefits may not be waived or assigned; exempt from execution
Except as permitted by Chapter 4141. of the Revised Code:

(A) No agreement by an employee to waive his right to benefits is valid, nor shall benefits be assigned, released or commuted; and

(B) Such benefits are exempt from all claims of creditors and from levy, execution, garnishment, attachment, and all other process or remedy for recovery or collection of a debt, which exemption may not be waived.

§ 1775.24. Co-ownership of specific partnership property; incidents of tenancy
(A) A partner is co-owner with his partners of specific partnership property holding as a tenant in partnership.

(B) The incidents of this tenancy are such that:

(1) A partner, subject to this chapter, and to any agreement between the partners, has an equal right with his partners to possess specific partnership property for partnership purposes; but he has no right to possess the property for any other purpose without the consent of his partners.

(2) A partner's right in specific partnership property is not assignable except in connection with the assignment of rights of all the partners in the same property.

(3) A partner's right in specific partnership property is not subject to attachment or execution, except on a claim against the partnership. When partnership property is attached for a partnership debt, the partners, or any of them, or the representatives of a deceased partner, cannot claim any right under exemption laws.

(4) On the death of a partner, his right in specific partnership property vests in the surviving partners, unless he was the last surviving partner, in which case his right in the property vests in his legal representative. The surviving partners have, or the legal representative of the last surviving partner has, no right to possess the partnership property for any but a partnership purpose. This division is subject to the procedures set forth in Chapter 1779. of the Revised Code.

(5) A partner's right in specific partnership property is not subject to dower, any statutory interest of a surviving spouse, heirs or next of kin, or any allowance to a surviving spouse, minor children, or both a surviving spouse and minor children, including, but not limited to, the allowance for support under Section 2106.13 of the Revised Code.

§ 3334.15. Exemption from execution; use of interest as security or collateral for loan
(A) The right of a person to a tuition credit or a payment under Section 3334.09 of the Revised Code pursuant to a tuition credit contract, a scholarship program or a variable college savings program account shall not be subject to execution, garnishment, attachment, the operation of bankruptcy or the insolvency laws, or other process of law.

(B) The right of a person to a tuition credit or a payment under Section 3334.09 of the Revised Code pursuant to a tuition credit contract, a scholarship program or a variable college savings program account shall not be used as security or collateral for a loan.

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