Can they touch her pension if she was to file bankruptcy or even let her home go? 25 Answers as of February 13, 2013

I have a family member that is upside down with her home. She has retired and has a pension.

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Frank Law Group, P.C.
Frank Law Group, P.C. | David E. Frank
Normally retirement funds are exempt, unless the account balance exceeds $1,000,000.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/13/2013
Diefer Law Group, P.C.
Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
Pensions are exempt in a bankruptcy court. Thus, if she filed a bankruptcy her pension should be exempt.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/12/2013
Durham Jones & Pinegar | Erven Nelson
In Nevada, there are a number of items that are exempt from collection meaning that she can keep them even in a bankruptcy or foreclosure. They are set forth in Nevada Revised Statues 21.090. She can up to $500,000 in a qualified pension plan. Qualified deals with IRS rules. It sounds like she can keep the pension if it is qualified. If she is on the brink of losing her home, she should consider doing a short sale first.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 2/12/2013
Law Office of Susan G. Taylor
Law Office of Susan G. Taylor | Susan G. Taylor
Her pension is an exempt asset under Texas & Federal Bankruptcy exemption schemes.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 2/12/2013
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
Most kinds of retirement income are exempt but most likely she will be fine to file bankruptcy. They will probably not touch her home or her pension, but a local attorney that she retains can give her more information based on her particular case.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 2/11/2013
    Troutman & Napier
    Troutman & Napier | Gregory A. Napier
    Unless she has a really huge pension, which would be unlikely given that she is in need of a bankruptcy, then no, the pension would be exempt in a bankruptcy under Federal law or Kentucky law.
    Answer Applies to: Kentucky
    Replied: 2/11/2013
    Hayward, Parker, O'Leary & Pinsky, Esqs.
    Hayward, Parker, O'Leary & Pinsky, Esqs. | Michael O'Leary
    A properly set up pension is exempt from a bankruptcy trustee's reach, so a bankruptcy filing will not put it in jeopardy.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 2/11/2013
    Reger Rizzo & Darnall LLP | Kathleen DeLacy
    Her pension is exempt.
    Answer Applies to: Delaware
    Replied: 2/11/2013
    Gateway Legal Group | Christian J. Albut
    Based on the limited information provided, there are ways to protect your friends pension and possibly assist with her home, although it would depend on circumstances. She can always exempt personal property from her bankruptcy although it depends on values.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/11/2013
    Law Office of Sean P Fleming
    Law Office of Sean P Fleming | Sean P Fleming
    In Illinois, pensions are fully exempt (100% protected) in a bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 2/10/2013
    Bird & VanDyke, Inc.
    Bird & VanDyke, Inc. | David VanDyke
    Qualified plan pensions are always exempt and UN-touchable by the bankruptcy court. Even unqualified plans are normally exempt if the debtor is relying on the income from such plan to live. If your family member has a pension it should be absolutely exempt. She should check with a qualified attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/10/2013
    A Fresh Start
    A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
    Pensions are complete exempt from being taken by a bankruptcy trustee, so if your family member needs to file bankruptcy, this asset will be protected. However, just because someone is upside down on their house doesn't necessarily mean that bankruptcy is the only solution to their problem. A short sale, or even a foreclosure could take place without any financial repercussions. A local ethical bankruptcy attorney can review your family member's situation and explain the options.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 2/10/2013
    J. Norman Stark, Attorney & Reg. Architect | J. NORMAN STARK, ATTORNEY
    Your question is not quite clear...who is "they" Pensions are generally beyond the reach of Trustees in Bankruptcy, and are protected from unsecured creditors. As to the delinquency on the home mortgage and note, the debtor (homeowner) may be entitled to a number of defenses and remedies against foreclosure, including mediation, modification, etc. under HAMP and other applicable Federal and State programs. I respectfully advise this person seek experienced legal counsel to protect all of his/her rights and interests, including the home.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 2/10/2013
    Stacy Joel Safion, Esq.
    Stacy Joel Safion, Esq. | Stacy Joel Safion
    No, pensions are exempt.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/8/2013
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    The real issue is whether or not there is equity in the home and if so, how much? It is not likely her pension is so big that it would create problems for her. She should see a lawyer
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/8/2013
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis | Todd Mannis
    I'm hesitant to say anything definitive without having seen it in front of me, but her pension should be 100% safe, as long as it qualifies as a pension, and I'm sure that it does.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/8/2013
    Ken Love Law | Kenneth Love
    In most states pensions are protected from collection.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 2/8/2013
    Debt Relief Law Center | Roger J. Bus
    ERISA qualified pensions are exempt under 11 U.S.C. 522 (d), so the bankruptcy trustee cannot grab it.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 2/8/2013
    Attorney at Law | David Holbrook
    Pension that pays monthly, that cannot be cashed in on demand, is protected.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 2/8/2013
    Granger Law Firm
    Granger Law Firm | Katharine Granger
    When filing bankruptcy, a pension is protected so the Court will not go after it.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 2/8/2013
    Thomas Vogele & Associates, APC | Thomas A. Vogele
    Someone who files for bankruptcy is allowed to keep certain "exempt" property. One type of exempt property is retirement and pension benefits. Such benefits are exempt and your friend is entitled to keep her pension, free from her creditors. The same is true if she doesn't file bankruptcy for that matter. If she "let's the house" go, the bank cannot seek to recover the deficiency from her so unless she has significant other debt, her best option might be to contact the bank and see if it will consider a "cash for keys" or deed in lieu of foreclosure.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/8/2013
    Law Office of D.L. Drain, P.A.
    Law Office of D.L. Drain, P.A. | Diane L. Drain
    It depends on where she lives. Please understand that bankruptcy is a very complicated process. It is wise to talk to an experienced bankruptcy attorney before deciding to take this important step. Most Arizona bankruptcy attorneys offer a free consultation about the basics of bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 2/8/2013
    Danville Law Group | Scott Jordan
    In California, the pension is safe from the trustee. Even though your family member is upside down on the house, is she unable to continue making the mortgage payments? I would be happy to speak to your family member regarding her options. Please feel free to call me for a no-obligation telephone consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/8/2013
    Deborah F Bowinski, Attorney & Counselor at Law | Debby Bowinski
    She should consult with a bankruptcy attorney. The assets and income that can be protected in a bankruptcy filing vary significantly from one state to the next. With what could be at stake, competent legal advice from a local attorney is what makes the most sense!
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 2/8/2013
    Guardian Law Group PLLC
    Guardian Law Group PLLC | C. David Hester
    Pension and retirement benefits are not considered assets of your estate and should have no effect on filing a bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 2/8/2013
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