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Filing for bankruptcy is not an easy choice to make, but those who do are able to keep much of their property when filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection. Ohio does not follow federal bankruptcy code for exempt property, but state exemptions match federal amounts.

Exemption amounts are adjusted for inflation

Bankruptcy exemptions are important when filing for Chapter 7 because they allow you to keep property such as your home, car and other personal possessions. The amounts are adjusted for inflation with the 2019 amounts for major items set at these levels:

  • Home: $145,425
  • Car: $4,000
  • Cash: $500
  • Household property: $625 per item, $13,400 in total
  • Jewelry: $1,700
  • Tools of trade: $2,550
  • Personal injury awards: $25,175
  • Wildcard item(s): $1,325

Non-bankruptcy exemptions available

While you must follow Ohio code for bankruptcy exemptions, you are entitled to use other so-called non-bankruptcy exemptions under U.S. law that are not part of the federal bankruptcy code. These include:

  • Social Security benefits
  • Civil, federal and military service retirement benefits
  • Government employees’ death and disability benefits
  • Survivor’s benefits for military and some judicial employees

Know your rights when considering bankruptcy protection

A common misconception about people who file for bankruptcy is that they are poor money-managers and spend more than they earn. However, studies show most people who file for bankruptcy do so for reasons beyond their control, such as incurring massive medical debt.

If you face extreme debt caused by medical expenses or other reasons, consulting an experienced bankruptcy attorney here in Ohio can help you find the best plan to deal with your financial struggles, which can include filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection.