Ohio Bankruptcy Exemptions

There are provisions for certain Ohio bankruptcy exemptions when someone files for bankruptcy under chapter 7. Following is a brief rundown on the provisions made by the state laws in this regard. The state of Ohio does not allow you to use the federal set of exemptions as a replacement for the state-specific exemptions. However, the state laws allow you to use the federal supplemental exemptions in addition to the basic exemptions.


Ohio is one of those few states that offer additional exemption under the wildcard category. As per the state laws, you can exempt just any property of your choice up to $1075. It is important to note that the wildcard exemption is used additionally. It means if you are already getting $3500 (just for example) of exemptions in motor vehicles, you can have additional exemptions of up to $1075, which makes the total exemptions for motor vehicles to $4575.


As per the laws regarding Ohio bankruptcy exemptions for wages, you can exempt either forty times the minimum hourly wage as set by the federal law or at least 3/4th of the disposable weekly wages, whichever is greater. Like many other states, the court gets the liberty to offer a higher exemption to those debtors who have very low monthly income.

Tools Of Trade

In this category, you can exempt up to $2025 of assets including books, implements, and other tools of trade.

Public Benefits

Public benefits that are exemptible in the state of Ohio include Workers’ compensation, Vocational rehabilitation benefits, Unemployment compensation, Public assistance, Disability assistance payments, and Crime victims’ compensation (received at least one year prior to filing).

Personal Property

Ohio bankruptcy exemptions can be availed for certain types of personal properties in the following manner.

- Wrongful death recoveries for an individual the bankrupt person was dependent on (received one year prior to filing) – up to an extent that is reasonably needed for support
- Tuition payment or credit
- Personal injury recoveries (if received one year prior to filing) – up to $20200
- Up to $3225 ion motor vehicles
- Up to an extent that is needed for support for lost future earnings (if received one year prior to filing)
- 100% of health aids
- Up to $300 for refrigerator
- Up to $300 for cooking unit
- Up to $400 in aggregate total for utility deposits, security, bank, tax refund, money due within three months, and cash (a married couple can get double exemption)
- 100% of burial plot
- Up to $200 for clothing
- Up to $200 for bedding
- Up to $200 for beds
- Up to $1,350 for jewelry (one or more items), up to $525 per item on hunting & fishing equipment, firearms, furnishings, household goods, appliances, musical instruments, books, crops, and animals – the aggregate total for all these assets must not exceed $10,775


Debtors can avail Ohio bankruptcy exemptions in full (with a couple of exceptions) for the following types of pensions.

- Volunteer firefighters’ dependents pensions
- State highway patrol employees pensions
- Public school employees pensions
- Public safety officers’ death benefit
- Public employees pensions
- IRAs & Keoghs (up to the extent needed for support)
- police officers pensions
- Firefighters pensions
- ERISA-qualified benefits (up[ to an extent reasonably needed for support)


In the miscellaneous category, you can get 100% exemption for any property used in a business partnership where debtor is one of the partners. Besides that, allowances, child support, and alimony payments are also exemptible up to an extent that is reasonably needed for support.


The Ohio bankruptcy exemptions can be availed for insurance benefits in the following manner.

- 100% of annuity, endowment, or life contract avails any dependent person, including children and spouse
- 100% of life insurance proceeds provided there is a specific provision in the policy contracts that prohibits the use of the proceeds to pay to the policyholder’s creditors in repayment of the debt.
- 100% of life insurance proceeds for a spouse
- 100% of Group life insurance policy or proceeds
- 10% of Fraternal benefit society benefits
- Disability benefits up to an extent that is reasonably needed for support
- Up to $5,000 in benevolent society benefits


Up to $20,200 of equity can be exempted in any personal or real property that you have been using as residence. Besides that, 100% of any property held as tenancy by the entirety can also be exempted to cover debts owed by only one spouse.

It is very important for you to keep in mind that the above mentioned details are just a general overview on what types of exemptions you can expect in the state of Ohio when you file for bankruptcy under chapter 7. In order to get a more accurate evaluation on what types of Ohio bankruptcy exemptions you qualify for, you are advised to consult a qualified and experienced Ohio bankruptcy attorney.

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One Response to “Ohio Bankruptcy Exemptions”

  1. Martin says:

    Very excellent article. State of Ohio is strict regarding its state specific exemptions, Ohio authorities do not give the opportunity to choose between federal set of exemptions and state specific exemptions. Residents of Ohio have to use state specific exemptions; you can use federal supplemental exemptions also as an addition. Ohio provides you to use additional exemption under the wild card category. Wages can also be exempted up to a certain limit but if the debtor is not able to live his/ her normal life due to very low income, the amount of wages can be increased. Some tools can also be exempted under the category of tools of trade. Disability assistance payments and some other type of compensation can also be exempted under the category of public benefits. There are also some other categories where some other exemptions can be taken under different categories. Category of personal property provides you to get the exemptions in the category of health aids, cooking unit etc. In the case of personal injuries the recoveries can be exempted, some other utility deposits, refund can also be exempted under this category.

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