How can I exempt my 401(k) in bankruptcy? 36 Answers as of August 17, 2011

Is there a special process for this type of account?

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Lehn Law, PA
Lehn Law, PA | Joseph W. Lehn
Florida exemptions allow for 100% exemption of a 401k. It should be listed on your Schedule B and Schedule C of your petition.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 8/17/2011
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC | Christopher J. Mercado
You would schedule the exemption in your filing.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 8/10/2011
Mankus & Marchan, LTD
Mankus & Marchan, LTD | Tony Mankus
Your 401(k) is exempt from the reach of creditors in bankruptcy. You have to declare it in your bankruptcy Schedule B, but claim it as an exemption on Schedule C.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 8/10/2011
The Law Offices of Kristy Qiu
The Law Offices of Kristy Qiu | Mengjun Qiu
No, you exempt it on schedule C like everything else, which can only be claimed up to $1000 or $4000 additional if you're not claiming homestead (also assuming that you're not claiming any other type of personal property as exempt). If your 401(k) is for retired police, fire fighter, ERISA, veteran benefits, or state officers, employees, then it's exempt completely. Either way you put that on schedule C.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 8/10/2011
Theodore N. Stapleton, PC
Theodore N. Stapleton, PC | Theodore N. Stapleton
All money in a 401K account is automatically exempted as long as the account is not over funded. I am happy to discuss the issue with you.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 8/10/2011
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis | Eric Lewis
    It depends on the exemptions available to you when and where you live. You would be well advised to seek counsel for a local attorney for guidance.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 8/10/2011
    Heupel Law
    Heupel Law | Kevin Heupel
    You simply add the exemption from the Colorado statutes on Schedule C in order to exempt the 401k account.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/10/2011
    Lewis Adams and Associates
    Lewis Adams and Associates | Lewis P. Adams
    The U.S. Supreme Court has indicated that the 401(k) (ERISA qualified retirement accounts) are 100% exempt. You simply have to indicate that it is not property of the estate under 29 U.S.C. 1056(d).
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Charles Schneider, P.C.
    Charles Schneider, P.C. | Charles J. Schneider
    401 K accounts do not have to be exempted as they are not property of the estate and cannot be taken by a Trustee for that reason alone unless you suddenly deposit a lot of cash in the account before filing which may be a fraudulent if it not the usual amounts.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
    A 401 (k) can be listed in schedule C of the bankruptcy petition to be claimed exempt.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Burnham & Associates
    Burnham & Associates | Stephanie K. Burnham
    Retirement accounts are exempt, your Petition should reflect all of the statutory exemptions. Bankruptcy is not simple and mistakes can cost you assets, time and money. Please contact a Bankruptcy attorney to assist you.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson | Lynnmarie Johnson
    Yes there is special exemption for 401(k) accounts in bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Edward Papa, Esq.
    Edward Papa, Esq. | Edward Papa
    Schedule it as exempt property under 11 U.S.C. 522. You really need to engage counsel or you risk leaving exempt assets unprotected. Contrary to the slick form only websites, this is not something you should do on your own especially if you have assets. If you are young and own absolutely nothing and just have credit cards then you probably could DIY. Other than that, you get what you pay for.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Jackson White, PC
    Jackson White, PC | Spencer Hale
    There is no special process you just list it on schedule b and list it on schedule c with the appropriate law that protects it.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    Most retirement accounts are exempt.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Judith A. Runyon, Esq. Attorney at Law
    Judith A. Runyon, Esq. Attorney at Law | Judith A. Runyon
    It has a special exemption. Talk to a bankruptcy attorney
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Ross Smith, Attorney at Law
    Ross Smith, Attorney at Law | Charles Ross Smith III
    You exempt the 401k the same way you claim all of your exemptions. List it on Schedule B as an asset and then list it on Schedule C as exempt. The correct statute for this exemption is ORC 2329.66. (A)(10)(C). You must repeat this listing procedure for each asset you own. You will need to get a list of exemptions off the internet. By the way, I really recommend an attorney for this work. It's easy for the attorney. Hard for you. Go to the library. Get Williamson's Consumer Bankruptcy Handbook. Exemptions for each state are in the back. And it has a great sample bankruptcy filled out for you. It's excellent. No, I don't work for them. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Bird & VanDyke, Inc.
    Bird & VanDyke, Inc. | David VanDyke
    A 401k is a qualified retirement and is exempt. You must disclose it in schedule b and exempt it in schedule c.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    It sounds like you are making the mistake of filing pro se. DON'T. That can be a financial catastrophe. 401K plans can be exempted in most situations and that protects them from bankruptcy. The failure to do it correctly could mean loss of the money. Additionally, if you were unable to determine that, odds are you may incorrectly exempt and lose other assets you could have kept. See a lawyer. It may save you far more than you spend.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    It is exempt. List it on Schedule B and exempt it on Schedule C.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Melinda Murphy Dionne, PC
    Melinda Murphy Dionne, PC | Melinda Murphy Dionne
    Your 401(k) plan is excluded from your estate pursuant to Section 541 of the Bankruptcy Code. If you have an IRS lien, you may want to include the 401(k) in your case and claim it as exempt under Alabama law. By including and then exemption the pension plan, you will cut off any secret liens of the IRS. Regardless of how you decide to treat the asset, it must be listed on Schedule B.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Marjorie Guymon
    NRS 21.090 allows the exemption.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Law Office of Maureen O' Malley
    Law Office of Maureen O' Malley | Maureen O'Malley
    It's exempt under federal law.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    The Schreiber Law Firm
    The Schreiber Law Firm | Jeffrey D. Schreiber
    By claiming the appropriate exemption for your circumstances and for your state. If you do not know this, your may be in jeopardy of losing property to the trustee. You may wish to consult an attorney to make sure you are properly protected.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Colorado Legal Solutions
    Colorado Legal Solutions | Stephen Harkess
    You claim exemptions on Schedule C. A 401(k) account is exxempt in bankruptcy. You just need to claim the exemption. Ask your attorney if you have any questions about the process.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Law Office of Michael Johnson
    Law Office of Michael Johnson | Michael Johnson
    You can. You may need the assistance of an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    The Port Law Firm
    The Port Law Firm | Edward Port
    A 401(k) account is an exempt asset in Florida. If the account was set up within the Internal Revenue Guidelines than it will be exempt. When filing a bankruptcy you must choose the correct exemption on schedule "C" in order to protect the account from liquidation by the Bankruptcy Trustee.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Dan Shay Law
    Dan Shay Law | Daniel Shay
    See CCP 703 and 704 for Exemptions on Schedule C. Retirement funds are exempt.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis
    Law Offices of Joseph A. Mannis | Todd Mannis
    You claim the appropriate exemption as it applies to you. The fact that you are asking this question makes it clear you should not be doing this by yourself. Why not seek the help of a bankruptcy attorney so that you will be sure it is done correctly?
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Ursula G. Barrios Law
    Ursula G. Barrios Law | Guillermo Machado
    If 401 is ERISA qualified, its not part of the Bankruptcy estate and fully exempt. You list for disclosure only and exempt as added protection under CA code.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Symmes Law Group, PLLC
    Symmes Law Group, PLLC | Richard James Symmes
    Your 401K is most likely exempt when filing bankruptcy and you will just need to apply the proper bankruptcy exemption to the account on your bankruptcy petition.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Braunstein Law, PC
    Braunstein Law, PC | Jacob Braunstein
    Retirement accounts, such as a 401(k) accounts, are often exempt in bankruptcy. There are certain limitations so you will want to consult with an attorney regarding your specific situation. But generally speaking, if the retirement account is one of the types of accounts that is fully exempt, it is simply listed in the bankruptcy schedules and the full value of the account is listed as exempt.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Law Offices of Alexzander C. J. Adams, P.C.
    Law Offices of Alexzander C. J. Adams, P.C. | Alexzander Adams
    In Oregon, 401(k) funds are 100% exempt. You must claim the exemption on the exemption schedule. (Schedule C).
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Selleck Legal, PLLC
    Selleck Legal, PLLC | Stacey Selleck
    There is a statute that will exempt a 401(k) or any retirement account. This statute is 11 USC Sec. 522(d)(12). You must list this as an asset on Schedule B and exempt the asset (using the USC) on Schedule
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/9/2011
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