Sunday, December 20, 2015

Bankruptcy - How can I file bankruptcy with $50,000 in my retirement account?

Image courtesy of Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee
Too many times people walk into my office to file bankruptcy after have spent down their entire retirement account. It is especially disheartening when it is someone who is fast approaching retirement age. It is unfortunate when people spend their retirement savings and find themselves filing for bankruptcy anyway. The truth is their account was probably protected under bankruptcy law.
The purpose of bankruptcy is to help people get back on track. The law recognizes that retirement savings is important to stay on track after everything is done. As a result, most retirement accounts that are funded by pre-tax dollars from an employer or hold tax exempt money deposited by the account owner are fully exempt from creditors in a bankruptcy case, That means 100% of the money in a retirement account may be protected and the debtor would be allowed to keep it.

Having money in a retirement account should not stop a person from filing bankruptcy. A retirement account may be a reason to file bankruptcy. Because the money may be protected, thinking about tapping into that account may be the warning sign people need to admit it is time to file for bankruptcy.

If you want assistance, legal representation, or just want to know more about Mark Medvesky or our firm of Wells, Hoffman, Holloway & Medvesky LLP, check out our website at

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  1. Despite what you may have heard about filing bankruptcy, it is not as bad as you might think. It actually saved me from losing my house. We were able to restructure all our debt and get control of the things that caused us to get behind in the first place. Now the stress in our home is gone as we move forward.

    Karoline Peak @ Ruffi Law Offices, S.C.

  2. I was sinking in debt and put off this decision for months. Looking back I am so glad I called an attorney and got it handled. The late fees and interest alone were growing each month that I decided to put off the pain of the bankruptcy. Now I look back and wonder why I waited so long when it really does help those in need.

    Terry Wagner @ Michael Jeffries Law

  3. I think with $50,000 in the retirement account, you should be on the phone with a lawyer first because there are many laws that protect those assets. Just because you have that money, it should not mean you have to drain the account to cover existing debts. That is what the bankruptcy laws are in place to protect others from anyway.