What to do if we filed bankruptcy about 4 months ago but we found out yesterday that my husband has a vested pension he did not know about?

It is from a job he was at over fifteen years ago and it is about $30,000. What do we do? Can they take the money? I have an attorney but he is rude and will not answer my questions. We don’t know what to do? Our bankruptcy hearing is next week.

Asked on January 15, 2013 under Bankruptcy Law, Texas


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Most qualified pension plans are protected from attachment or garnishment, even in bankruptcy.  Here is a link to a DOL site that address what is a qualified plan and its affect in bankruptcy (down toward the end):  http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/faqs/faq_consumer_pension.html    .  Even though they should not be able to take it, you should still disclose its existence in good faith at your hearing.  You do not want the bankruptcy judge or trustee to think that you are hiding assets.  You may need to amend some of the documents filed with the court-- even though it won't have an effect on the eventual outcome.

As a side note, your attorney by law is required to keep you updated on your case.  Your question is important and related to the success of your bankruptcy.  Just because you started with this attorney, you are not required to keep him if you are not comfortable.  There are many good bankruptcy attorneys that treat their people with respect.  So you may want to consider a new attorney.  If the issues continue, you may need to file a complaint with the state bar.

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