How to File Bankruptcy in Ohio – Step 1


This document explains the key elements of the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process, including the requirements of the bankruptcy laws enacted by the federal government in 2011. Even before declaring bankruptcy, there are several steps that must be taken. Some steps are optional, but others, such as credit counseling, are required

Likewise, after the Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition is filed, the debtor has several obligations to fulfill Attending the Section 341 meeting of creditors and a pre-discharge bankruptcy education course are two of those requirements After a person receives his or her discharge, the case may remain open for several months, and in some circumstances, even years, as the case trustee works to liquidate Chapter 7 bankruptcy assets and distribute payment to creditors Although the bankruptcy process is different from case to case, the purpose of this document is to explain the main events that will happen in a normal Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding

Ohio Bankruptcy Courts – Location and Contact Information

Ohio bankruptcy courts are divided into two districts, which are further divided into several divisions.  Generally, the debtors county of residence will determine which district and division the bankruptcy petition is filed.  It may also be determined by the location of the debtor’s principal place of business or principal assets.


Counties of Jurisdiction: 

Akron Location – Medina, Summit and Portage Counties

Canton Location – Ashland, Carroll, Crawford, Holmes, Richland, Stark, Tuscarawas and Wayne Counties

Cleveland Location – Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake and Lorain Counties

Youngstown Location
– Ashtabula, Columbiana, Mahoning and Trumbull Counties

Toledo Location – Allen, Auglaize, Defiance, Erie, Fulton, Hancock, Hardin, Henry, Huron, Lucas, Marion, Mercer, Ottawa, Paulding, Putnam, Sandusky, Seneca, Van Wert, Williams, Wood and Wyandot Counties

Eastern Div.
@ Akron
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
John F. Seiberling Federal Building & U.S. Courthouse
2 South Main Street
Akron, OH 44308
Same (330) 252-6100
Eastern Div.
@ Canton
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Frank T. Bow Federal Building
201 Cleveland Avenue, SW
Canton, OH 44702
Same (330) 458-2120
Eastern Div.
@ Cleveland
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Howard M. Metzenbaum U.S. Courthouse
201 Superior Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44114
Same (216) 615-4300
Eastern Div.
@ Youngstown
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Nathaniel R. Jones Federal Building & U.S. Courthouse
10 East Commerce Street
Youngstown, OH 44503-1621
Same (330) 742-0900
Western Div.
@ Toledo
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
U.S. Courthouse and Custom House
1716 Spielbusch Avenue
Toledo, OH 43624
Same (419) 213-5600


Counties of Jurisdiction:

Columbus Location – Athens, Belmont, Coshocton, Delaware, Fairfield, Fayette, Franklin, Gallia, Guernsey, Harrison, Hocking, Jackson, Jefferson, Knox, Licking, Logan, Madison, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Morrow, Muskingum, Noble, Perry, Pickaway, Pike, Ross, Union, Vinton and Washington Counties

Cincinnati Location – Adams, Brown, Butler, Clermont, Hamilton, Highland, Lawrence and Scioto Counties

Dayton Location – Champaign, Clark, Clinton, Darke, Greene, Miami, Montgomery, Preble, Shelby and Warren Counties

Eastern Div.
@ Columbus
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
170 North High Street
Columbus, OH 43215
Same (614) 469-6638
Western Div.
@ Cincinnati
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
221 E. Fourth Street
Atrium Two Suite 800
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Same (513) 684-2572
Western Div.
@ Dayton
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
120 West Third Street
Dayton, OH 45402
Same (937) 225-2516

Chapter 7 has a lasting, long-term effect on a person’s creditworthiness It remains on a person’s credit record for up to ten years After a Chapter 7 petition is filed, a person’s credit score, commonly referred to as a FICO score, may initially drop as much as 2 points. Obtaining loans or other credit at reasonable rates will be very difficult, if not impossible. For these reasons alone, the following bankruptcy alternatives should be considered

Create a Budget

  • Creating a budget is a simple way to explore bankruptcy alternatives. A well-prepared budget can help point out unnecessary expenses. To create a budget, track every expense, no matter how minor, for one to two months. At the end of this time period, take some time to analyze the results.
  • If expenses are greater than income, identify expenses that can be eliminated or reduced. In addition, think of ways to bring in additional income, such as asking your current employer for a raise or taking on a second job.

Negotiate with Lenders        

  • If you are experiencing a temporary setback, such as a layoff or medical illness, and normally pay bills on time, negotiating with creditors is an effective bankruptcy alternative Many creditors are willing to lower monthly payments or extend payment time, as long as they are notified of the situation and reassured that you will be able to meet the terms of the new credit arrangement

Debt Consolidation

  • Although debt consolidation is another way to avoid bankruptcy, it should be carefully considered. When debt is consolidated, credit card balances and other loans are combined into one bill. Many times the creditor will require the person receiving a consolidated loan to use his or her house or other assets as collateral. This may jeopardize your ability to keep your house or other assets if a bankruptcy petition is filed at a later date.

Credit Counseling

  • Reputable creditor counseling organizations offer free money management advice and budgeting assistance. After reviewing your situation, a good credit counselor can provide specific bankruptcy alternatives for your individual situation. Although credit counseling can be provided online or by phone, the best type of credit counseling is in person.


While the information presented is accurate as of the date of publication, it should not be cited or relied upon as legal authority. It should not be used as a substitute for reference to the United States Bankruptcy Code (title 11, United States Code) and the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, both of which may be reviewed at local law libraries, or to local rules of practice adopted by each bankruptcy court. Finally, this publication should not substitute for the advice of competent legal counsel.

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