Ohio bankruptcy: Attorneys, Statistics, Exemptions and Courts.

Ohio Bankruptcy Statistics: In 2009, 70,789 bankruptcies were filed in Ohio. Business bankruptcies accounted for 2,039 of the total bankruptcies and personal bankruptcies accounted for 68,748 or more than 97.12% of Ohio’s bankruptcies.

Ohio State Bankruptcy Exemptions:


The home of the debtor or the dependents of the debtor is exempt for up to $20,200.

When the property is owned by a married couple as tenancy by the entirety, the entire property may be exempt, if the debt belongs to only one of the spouses.

Personal Property

The following exemptions are unlimited:

  1. Burial plot
  2. Health aids – medically prescribed

The following items are exempt at a sum not exceeding $525 per item or $10,750 in total:

  1. Animals
  2. Crops
  3. Books
  4. Music instruments
  5. Appliances
  6. Household goods
  7. Furnishings
  8. Firearms
  9. Hunting & fishing equipment

The following exemptions are subject to a variety of restrictions:

  1. Jewelry at a sum not exceeding $1,350 for one or more items
  2. Beds, bedding and clothing at a sum not exceeding $200 per item
  3. Any funds due to arrive within 90 days, not exceeding $400 for a single person and $800 for a married couple
  4. Cooking unit and refrigerator at a sum not exceeding $300 for both items
  5. A motor vehicle at a sum not exceeding $3,225
  6. Damages recovered in a personal injury action at a sum not exceeding $5000, when received within 12 months of filing for bankruptcy (pain and suffering or actual financial loss “pecuniary” damages are not included)
  7. Damages recovered in a wrongful death claim for a person the debtor depended on, when received at least 12 months before filing


When filing bankruptcy in Ohio, life insurance is exempt in the following three scenarios:

  1. Beneficiary is a spouse of the debtor
  2. The policy contains a valid clause prohibiting payment to beneficiaries’ creditors
  3. Group policy or proceeds

The following insurance plans are also exempt:

  1. Benevolent society benefits not exceeding $5,000
  2. Disability benefits necessary for support
  3. Fraternal benefit society benefits


The following pension plans are exempt to the extent that they are needed for support:

  1. ERISA-qualified plans
  2. IRAs
  3. Keoghs

The following individuals and their survivor’s benefits are wholly exempt when filing bankruptcy in Ohio:

  1. Firefighters & Volunteer firefighters’ dependents
  2. Police officers
  3. Public employees
  4. Public school employees
  5. State highway patrol employees

Public benefits

The following public benefits are exempt when filing bankruptcy in Ohio:

  1. Crime victim’s compensation, when received during 12 months before filing
  2. General assistance payments
  3. Tuition credit
  4. Unemployment compensation
  5. Vocational rehabilitation benefits
  6. Workers’ compensation

Tools of the trade

The exemption for tools of the trade in an Ohio Bankruptcy may not exceed $2,025.


Recovery for lost future earnings received during 12 months before filings for bankruptcy is wholly exempt.

Wages earned, but not paid, are exempt at either 75% of the earnings or 40 times the minimum wage (state or federal), whichever is higher. A judge may authorize a higher exemption for low income debtors.

Wild card

In Ohio, when filing for bankruptcy, a debtor can exempt an additional sum not exceeding $1,075.

Federal Bankruptcy Exemptions: No

Ohio Bankruptcy Courts:

United States Bankruptcy Court in the Northern District Court of Ohio has jurisdiction in the following counties: Allen, Ashland, Ashtabula, Auglaize, Carroll, Columbiana, Crawford, Cuyahoga, Defiance, Erie, Fulton, Geauga, Hanckock, Hardin, Henry, Holmes, Huron, Lake, Lorain, Lucas, Mahoning, Marion, Medina, Mercer, Ottawa, Paulding, Portage, Putnam, Richland, Sandusky, Seneca, Stark, Summit, Trumbull, Tuscarawas, Van Wert, Wayne, Williams, Woods, Wyandot.

United States Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District Court of Ohio has jurisdiction in the following counties: Adams, Athens, Belmont, Brown, Butler, Champaign, Clark, Clermont, Clinton, Coschocton, Darke, Delaware, Fairfield, Fayette, Franklin, Gallia, Greene, Guernsy, Hamilton, Harrison, Highland, Hocking, Jackson, Jefferson, Knox, Lawrence, Licking, Logan, Madison, Meigs, Miami, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Morrow, Muskingum, Noble, Perry, Pickaway, Pike, Preble, Ross, Scioto, Shelby, Union, Vinton, Warren, Washington.

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