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I'm thinking about bankruptcy. Will I lose my home?

One of the greatest fears people have about filing for bankruptcy is the mistaken belief that they will lose everything, including their homes. However, this belief could not be further from the truth as many people are able to protect most of their assets while simultaneously eliminating mountains of debt.

In fact, under Ohio law, you can protect some - if not all - of your property using the state's bankruptcy exemptions. Essentially, a bankruptcy exemption is a legal tool you can use to exclude certain assets from bankruptcy, meaning your creditors cannot touch them. Probably the most important exemption in Ohio is the homestead exemption, which you can use to safeguard your home.

Currently in Ohio, the homestead exemption is capped at $136,925, although this amount changes every three years based on inflation. Using this particular exemption, you can protect up to $136,925 of home equity from creditors should you ever file for bankruptcy. More importantly, if you are filing a joint bankruptcy with your spouse, this exemption doubles to $273,850.

However, given that bankruptcy exemptions work differently depending on whether you are seeking a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy - not to mention that exemption limits can change every few years - it is best to contact an experienced bankruptcy attorney as soon as possible if you have questions. A skilled lawyer can explain your options and help determine the best course of action for protecting your assets and safeguarding your financial future.

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