Residents of Cuyahoga Falls or any other city in Ohio who are faced with overwhelming debt may want to consider filing for personal bankruptcy. Chapter 7, often referred to as liquidation bankruptcy, is often the best solution to stop creditor harassment, prevent foreclosure, eliminate debt and find a fresh financial start. What’s more, not all of your assets will be liquidated to pay creditors. Ohio law allows bankruptcy exemptions, including a homestead exemption.

This means that Ohioans who file for bankruptcy can typically keep the homes that they live in. The homestead exemption does not apply to rental properties, however. Earlier this year, changes were made to increase the maximum value of homes that qualify for the exemption. If the home is mortgaged, the value of the home must be less than what you owe to the lending institution. If the home is not mortgaged, the value of a home owned by a single person cannot exceed $132,000; the value of a jointly-owned home cannot exceed $264,000. Other bankruptcy exemptions include things such as retirement accounts, life insurance policies and household goods.

The laws surrounding bankruptcy exemptions in Ohio are complex. It might be beneficial to speak with a bankruptcy to determine how each type of exemption—especially the homestead exemption—will apply to your specific financial situation. While filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is often the best solution, it might be in your best interest to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy or take advantage of other debt relief strategies.

Source: West Side Leader, “Ohio law allows property exemptions in bankruptcy,” August 8, 2013