Limits by State

The bankruptcy means test determines whether a debtor qualifies for a Chapter 7 discharge based upon a comparison of the individual's current monthly income to the median income level for the state he or she is filing in. As a result, a debtor's state of residence can play a major role in determining whether or not there is a presumption of abuse should the individual attempt to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Ohio and Kentucky are both ranked in the lower half of the nation in terms of median family income, with Ohio being ranked 36th and Kentucky 48th in the most recent 2017 Census Bureau data. Income limits are also impacted by the number of people in a debtor's household.

Bankruptcy Attorney in Cincinnati, OH Discusses Limits by State

If you are preparing to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Ohio or Kentucky, it is in your best interest to make sure that you have legal representation. Steiden Law Offices helps people in communities all over Kenton County and Boone County in Northern Kentucky as well as Hamilton County in Southern Ohio.

Our Cincinnati bankruptcy lawyers will determine your most advantageous filing options so you can get a fresh start. They can review your case and answer all of your legal questions as soon as you call to take advantage of a free, confidential consultation.

Overview of Limits by State in Northern Kentucky

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Income Limits in Ohio and Kentucky

The Census Bureau has established the following median family incomes by family size for cases filed on or after May 1, 2017:


Family Size


1 Earner

2 People

3 People

4 People











Debtors can add $8,400 for each individual in excess of four, such that median family incomes would be as following for cases filed on or after May 1, 2017:


Family Size


5 People

6 People

7 People

8 People

9 People

10 People















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Moving Between Ohio and Kentucky

As the median family incomes above indicate, there can be profound differences between filing in Ohio and Kentucky for debtors with large families. Many people who commute to Cincinnati for work move from one state to another without considering how the new residency might impact a potential bankruptcy filing.

The bankruptcy exemptions that a debtor is allowed to claim depend on the state in which the debtor has been domiciled for the past 730 days immediately preceding the date of the filing of the petition. A domicile is a principal place of residence. If the debtor has not be domiciled a single state for a consecutive 730-day period, then the place in which the debtor was domiciled for 180 days immediately preceding the 730-day period or for a longer portion of such 180-day period than in any other place will be the state exemptions that the debtor is allowed to use.

Both Kentucky and Ohio allow nonresidents to use federal exemptions, but Ohio allows nonresidents to use only the federal exemptions while Kentucky allows nonresidents to use state or federal exemptions.

Ohio does not allow nonresidents to use its state exemptions, and many of Kentucky's personal property exemptions are limited exclusively to residents. Kentucky Revised Statute § 427.060 states that the homestead exemption only applies to "real or personal property that such debtor or a dependent of such debtor uses as a permanent residence in this state."

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Ohio Limits by State Resources

UST - Region 9 | Department of Justice - US Department of Justice — The United States Trustee for Region 9 serves the federal judicial districts established for Michigan and Ohio. The regional office is located in Cleveland. The Cincinnati office of the United States Trustee serves the Western Division in Cincinnati of the Southern District of Ohio.

Office of The United States Trustee
36 East Seventh Street
Suite 2030
Cincinnati, OH 45202
(513) 684-6988

UST - Region 8 | Department of Justice - US Department of Justice — The United States Trustee for Region 8 serves the federal judicial districts established for the Districts of Tennessee and Kentucky. The regional office is located in Memphis. Field offices are also located in Nashville, Chattanooga, Lexington, and Louisville.

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Steiden Law Offices | Cincinnati Bankruptcy Limits Lawyer

Do you want to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Ohio or Kentucky? You should contact Steiden Law Offices to make sure that your case is handled properly.

Our experienced Cincinnati bankruptcy attorneys represent individuals throughout Southern Ohio and Northern Kentucky. Call or submit an online contact form to receive a free initial consultation that will allow our lawyers to provide a complete evaluation of your case.

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Convienient Office Locations
Cincinnati, OH
830 Main St #401 Cincinnati, OH 45202
260 Northland Blvd #129 Cincinnati, OH 45246
Covington, KY
411 Madison Avenue Covington, KY 41011
Florence, KY
6900 Houston Rd #21 Florence, KY 41042
Maineville, OH
2263 W US 22 and 3 Maineville, OH 45039
4030 Mt Carmel Tobasco Rd #327E Cincinnati, OH 45255
West Chester, OH
8050 Becket Center Dr #131 West Chester, OH 45069