People considering bankruptcy are usually concerned with whether they can still keep their houses, cars, furniture, clothing and the tools they use to make a living. The good news is that Ohio has generous exemptions protecting those and other assets. Exemptions work by creating a value that one gets to keep before a creditor or bankruptcy trustee could take anything. This is why a bank account garnishment does not include the first $475 in the account; that is the cash on hand exemption that the owner of the account gets to keep. Anything in the account above that amount and not subject to any other exemption can be garnished and sent to the court for disbursement to the creditor.
Bankruptcy works the same way, except there is no garnishment. The bankruptcy trustee determines if there are non-exempt assets and asks the bankruptcy filer to turn over those assets. If the bankruptcy filer refuses, the trustee files a motion with the court for turnover of the assets. The bankruptcy judge makes a decision as whether the trustee could take the items from the bankruptcy filer.
The most common Ohio bankruptcy exemptions for 2016 are as follows:
Cash on Hand $475
Household Goods and Clothing $12,625
Tools of trade $2,400
IRA/Pension/401(k) All of it (100%)
Burial Plot All of it (100%)
Medically necessary health aids All of it (100%)
Wildcard/any other property $1,250