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April 2013 Archives

Courts divided on creditor reach over retirement accounts

When individuals decide to file for bankruptcy, they may face a myriad of emotions as a result. Though bankruptcy can be a frustrating process and the prospect of a temporary credit score dip can be scary, filers also often find relief in knowing that certain assets are almost always protected during the process and will remain intact. Unfortunately, interpretation of bankruptcy law can vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. This inconsistency can make it difficult for bankruptcy filers to know just what to expect from the process.

A personal injury settlement is not disposable income in Chapter 13

In the case of Connor v. Carroll, Case No. 12-1139 (6th Cir., 1/15/13)(unreported), the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals based in Cincinnati, held that proceeds from a personal injury claim which was pending at the time of the filing of the debtors' chapter 13 bankruptcy could not be deemed disposable income under 11 USC ยง1325(b) because the funds were "neither known nor virtually certain at the time of the confirmation of the plan. . ."

Adjusted Ohio exemptions go into effect on April 1

This is no joke - the tri-annual adjustment of exemption amounts set forth in Ohio Revised Code section 2329.66 goes into effect on April 1, 2013. Exemptions are laws which allow people who file for bankruptcy to protect their assets. After this change, more of an individual's assets can be protected from judgments and creditors. The most notable change is the homestead exemption. An Ohio resident can now protect up to $132,900.00 in equity in his or her home, according to the Ohio Judicial Conference. Other exemptions have been increased too, including the exemptions for motor vehicles ($3,675), cash ($450), household items ($12,250 total), personal injury awards ($23,000), etc. Under the new law, people who file for bankruptcy in Ohio can have a greater degree of certainty that their assets will be protected.

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