Let Our 30 Years Of Experience Work For You

Photo of attorneys Shelley Slafkes and Bruce Levitt
Photo of attorneys Shelley Slafkes and Bruce Levitt
  1. Home
  2.  | 
  3. Bankruptcy Basics
  4.  | Should I Pay Off Debt With My Retirement?

Should I Pay Off Debt With My Retirement?

On Behalf of | Jul 10, 2018 | Bankruptcy Basics, Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, Seniors and Bankruptcy

Debt struggles can be an incredible burden on a person’s mental and emotional well being. The constant stress of a growing pile of unpaid bills, the ever-rising interest penalties, and your inability to make ends meet can result in a desire to turn off the lights and hide under your covers.

When attempting to pay off their debts, people look at every possible resource at their disposal, including:

· Getting a second or third job to supplement their income;

· Selling personal property, such as vehicles, collectibles, and jewelry;

· Selling investment property or business interests;

· Selling real estate;

· Refinancing loans; and

· Opening new credit cards to transfer debt-which only worsens the underlying problem.

In addition, it isn’t uncommon for people to take money out of their retirement or pension accounts to attempt to pay off bills. If you are considering raiding your retirement to satisfy debts, please stop and speak with an attorney before taking this ill-advised action.

Retirement Accounts are Exempt from Bankruptcy Proceedings

Retirement and pensions funds are generally exempt from bankruptcy proceedings. The primary purpose of bankruptcy is to offer you relief while satisfying as many creditors as possible. Looking at it from another angle, the purpose of bankruptcy is NOT to financially ruin you. Your retirement is designed to sustain you when you are no longer able to work. The government has recognized if they take that retirement cushion away from debtors, then those people will either have to work for the rest of their lives or will have to largely rely on government assistance in the twilight of their life. This defies public policy.

So, for your reference, under Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceedings, neither the bankruptcy court nor your creditors can touch the following retirement accounts:

· Pensions that fall under ERISA requirements;

· 401(k) accounts;

· IRA accounts (Tradition or Roth) up to $1,283,025; or

· Social Security payments.

Therefore, before cashing out your future, it is in your best interest to speak with a bankruptcy attorney. Bankruptcy may be a viable option if you are seeking debt relief without wanting to jeopardize your financial future.

You Need an Attorney

Your retirement is yours. Don’t throw away your financial future by paying off debts with your retirement or pension funds. If you are struggling with debt, it is well worth your while to speak with a bankruptcy and debt relief attorney. The attorneys at Levitt & Slafkes, P.C. have decades of legal experience and can help provide you with a customized debt relief plan that can meet your needs and protect your retirement. We pride ourselves in communicating with our clients and treating them with respect. Contact Levitt & Slafkes, P.C., at (973) 323-2953, or reach us online to schedule a free consultation.

We are proudly designated as a debt relief agency by an Act of Congress. We have proudly assisted consumers in filing for Bankruptcy Relief for over 30 years.