One of the most serious concerns that many debtors have before filing is what in the world is going to happen to their retirement accounts. Fortunately there are pretty strong protections in place that allow most consumers to protect the contents of these accounts.

The federal exemptions, which are available to most Oregon and Washington bankruptcy filers, exempt most retirement accounts, including IRAs, 401ks, PERS and even many stock bonus plans. What this means is that these assets are not available for distribution to your creditors in a bankruptcy.

If you are going to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection and you have a 401(k) account that you are regularly contributing to, it is essential that you discuss with us what effect your filing might have on your ongoing ability to contribute to that account. It is also imperative that you contact us if you are considering borrowing money from your 401(k) to pay your debts. This is almost always a terrible option that we cannot undo after you have taken the money out.

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