Dayton Bankruptcy Laws and Exemptions
Bankruptcy laws in Ohio are largely determined by federal statutes. However, exemptions concerning what is available for claims by creditors are determined on a state level. This is one important area of many that a Dayton bankruptcy lawyer can help you understand when considering a bankruptcy filing.
Why are the exemptions important? Depending on the type of bankruptcy filing you choose–chapters 7, 11 or 13—your personal property may or may not be considered for liquidation (sell-off) to reimburse creditors.
For example, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is typically used by individuals whose personal income is not likely to cover debts from medical bills, credit cards, payday loans, other types of loans (including car loans), utility charges and back rent or unpaid taxes. The court usually requires you to surrender certain assets for liquidation. The court can also garnish your paycheck to pay back some or all of what you owe to creditors.
But certain items are considered essential to survival, such as a car used to go to work. This principle is how Ohio law determines what should be eligible for exemption. Here then is a quick (though not complete) list of exemptions under bankruptcy laws in Dayton, relative to a Chapter 7 filing:
- Automobiles: The individual filing for bankruptcy is allowed to retain ownership of one vehicle worth up to $3225.
- Homestead: You are allowed to retain up to $20,200 worth of real estate or personal property.
- Personal property: You may hold individual items under $525 in value (such as books, animals, musical instruments, firearms, crops, art, antiques), cumulatively under $10,725 in value.
- Jewelry: Separately from personal property, you may hold $1,350 in precious metals and stones.
- Trade tools: You may retain ownership of $2,025 of tools and instruments associated with your means of income.
- Pensions and death benefits: ERISA-qualified benefits, as well as IRA and Keogh plans, and certain public employee benefits (such as those due to public school teachers and state highway patrol officers), firefighter and police death benefits and volunteer firefighter dependent benefits are left intact when filing under Dayton bankruptcy law.
- Other income: Alimony and child support and property of a business partnership are exempt.
If you determine that a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is your better option, you are allowed by bankruptcy law in Dayton to devise a three- to five-year plan for debt repayment. In such a plan, your debts would be consolidated and some debts may also be reduced. You would pay the bankruptcy trustee one payment each month until your debt is paid in full.
Dayton Bankruptcy Lawyer
The advantage of a Chapter 13 plan is that it enables you to avoid certain fees and fines. An automatic stay is placed on outstanding debts, which means your creditors are no longer allowed to contact you for payment. This is one of many advantages to proactively working with an attorney. It enables you to manage financial difficulty in an orderly fashion. Ultimately, it is about taking control and planning for the future.
The lawyers at Thompson and DeVeny Co., L.P.A. provide practical, cost-effective legal representation. To set up an appointment with any of our attorneys you can call us at 937-684-9347. For more detailed information about our attorneys, visit the Our Attorneys page, or contact us online. We have over 100 years combined experience in the legal profession.