This blog will be updated as the mood strikes me with trends, relevant news developments, misnomers, and useful tidbits as it pertains to debt relief and bankruptcy in Northeast Ohio.
For starters, let me share with you that Ohio has slowly become a more and more exemption-friendly state. In March 2013, the homestead exemption, or amount of equity in your residence that can be protected from capture in a Chapter 7, or inclusion as repayment in a Chapter 13, will raise dramatically. This exemption currently sits at $21,625.00 per homeowner, and the new amount will be $125,000.00 per homeowner. This applies to a residence only, and there is no exemption under the Ohio Revised Code for rental property.
This revision to Ohio Revised Code Section 2329.66 is as a result of the passage of Ohio House Bill 479, signed by the governor on December 20, 2012, and set to take effect in March 2013. The value of this to those who find themselves in need of bankruptcy relief cannot be understated. Now a single filer would have to have equity over and above this $125,000 amount in their residence in order to trigger any worries related to forfeiture (in a Chapter 7) or equity-based mandated repayment upon the unsecured debt load (in a Chapter 13). For a married couple who are both filing a bankruptcy case, and who co-own the property, there would need to be over $250,000 worth of equity in the residence to trigger these issues.
While this exemption protection does not extend to non-residential property such as rentals or vacation homes, people having properties of this nature with significant equity who are in need of bankruptcy relief is rare, in this humble practitioner's experience.
Stay tuned for more updates.