How to file a trusteeship

Trusteeship was established by the Ohio Legislature to prevent garnishment. It is a system where a person pays a percentage of their earnings into the court to be prorated among their creditors. Garnishments will not be allowed by any creditor as long as the debtor makes regular payments into the trusteeship account.

Trusteeship Requirements

  1. You must be a resident of the City of Cleveland or the Village of Bratenahl.
  2. Bring a list of your creditors, including names , addresses, account numbers, balances due, and enough money to make your first payment. (Cash or money orders only).
  3. Your payment is twenty percent (20%) of your disposable earnings. To determine your disposable earnings, deduct the following from your gross pay. (FEDERAL INCOME TAX, SOCIAL SECURITY, P.E.R.S., STATE TAX, CITY TAX, MEDICARE, CHILD SUPPORT).
  4. There is a thirty dollar ($30.00) filing fee which includes up to ten creditors at the time of filing. There is a fee of $5.00 each for each additional creditor.
  5. Trusteeship is voluntary on the part of both the debtor (the person who owes money) and the creditor (the person to whom money is owed). However, if a creditor refuses to participate, they CANNOT GARNISHEE YOU. Trusteeship is one of the items listed that will stop a garnishment.
  6. Co-Signers are not protected from garnishment.
  7.  You must make a payment to the court each time you get paid; payment MUST be accompanied by your most recent pay stub or photocopy of most recent pay stub. NO PERSONAL CHECKS. After applying for trusteeship, subsequent payments may be mailed. MAKE ALL OFFICIAL BANK CHECKS PAYABLE TO:
    EARLE B. TURNER, CLERK OF COURT
    Cleveland Municipal Court
    1200 Ontario Street, Level Two, Cashier Dept.
    Cleveland, OH 44113
  8. Payments are sent to your creditors every sixty days, on a prorated basis, less two percent court costs.
  9. Filing trusteeship does NOT prevent a creditor from filing a lawsuit against you and obtaining a judgment. Although you cannot be garnisheed while in trusteeship, a creditor with a judgment against you MAY attach your savings or checking account.
  10. Debts less than fifty dollars ($50) and money owed to the Federal Government (income taxes) CANNOT be included in trusteeship.
  11.  If your trusteeship account is dissolved for nonpayment, you may not reapply for six months from the date of dismissal; unless upon motion supported by affidavit, the debtor proves to the satisfaction of the court that the failure to maintain the trusteeship agreement was not due to willful neglect. 


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