The Homestead Exemption Explained
Posted In: Litigation   | Posted by: Arenstein & Anderson Co., LPA
One of the most common questions people have when discussing bankruptcy is “will I be able to keep my house?”
In most cases, the answer is “yes.”
When you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, all your assets and property are subject to being taken and sold by the trustee for the benefit of your creditors. However, the law provides for a number of exemptions that will, as the name implies, exempt your assets and property from the bankruptcy estate meaning the trustee cannot touch them. These exemptions cover such things as vehicles, retirement accounts, bank accounts, personal property and homesteads.
The homestead exemption allows you to protect the equity in your home up to a certain amount. Until recently, Ohio had one of the lowest homestead exemptions in the country, which only allowed $21,625 in equity to be exempted from the bankruptcy estate. In early 2013, the Ohio legislature voted to increase the homestead exemption to $132,900, and this became the law on April 1, 2013. Given the housing market collapse, most people considering filing bankruptcy do not have that much equity in their home. Additionally, a couple filing bankruptcy jointly can double up on all the exemptions meaning that the homestead exemption would total $265,800. Also, a recent ruling by the bankruptcy court in Ohio held that the exemption can be spread out over more than one home as long as it does not exceed the total amount available.
Taking advantage of the homestead exemption, or any of the many other available bankruptcy exemptions, requires skill and knowledge of how they work, so it is important to make sure you have and experienced bankruptcy attorney prepare your petition. At Arenstein & Andersen Co., LPA, we have guided many clients through the bankruptcy proceedings and helped them emerge debt free and still living in their home.
About Arenstein & Andersen Co., LPA
Arenstein & Andersen Co., LPA, located in Dublin, Ohio, provides comprehensive litigation representation services. Samplings of our bankruptcy services include: filing Chapter 7 bankruptcies for individuals and couples; filing Chapter 13 bankruptcies for individuals and couples; defending clients in post-bankruptcy challenges by creditors to the discharge of certain debts; assisting with creditors prior to, during, and after a bankruptcy is filed; and handling conversions from Chapter 7 to Chapter 13 bankruptcies and vice-versa.