Will my IRA be used to pay creditors in Chapter 7?

I am age 64. Wife age 64. Combined Roth IRAs approximately $14,000; unsecured debt is approximately $63,000.

Asked on August 31, 2011 Wisconsin

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Whether a creditor can seize your retirement savings, or whether or not they can be used to pay creditors in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, will depend on the type of account in which you are holding your retirement savings and the creditor that is seeking repayment.

If your creditor is a government organization, such as the IRS, then none of your accounts, not even an IRA is protected.  Although the IRS is unlikely be able to force these funds directly out of your account, it will be able to take all or a portion of any distributions you take from these accounts. 

On the other hand, your IRA is protected from general creditors to whom you may owe outstanding debts.


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