Can my retirement account be garnished by a creditor?

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Can my retirement account be garnished by a creditor?

I do not want to go bankrupt because I own a home with no mortgage. However, I cannot afford to pay off my credit card debt of approximately $75,000. Can my retirement account be taken?

Asked on September 27, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Florida

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Florida has one of the best set of asset protection laws in the Country.  There is a homestead exemption and here is the law on retirement funds:

In Florida, retirement money not only defers income taxation, but is protected from creditors as well. Florida Statute 222.21(2)(a) provides that any money or other assets payable to participant or beneficiary in a qualified retirement or profit sharing plan is exempt from all claims from creditors of the beneficiary or participant.  Florida Statutes specifically include under the protection umbrella pension plans designated for teachers, county officers and employees, state officers and employees, police officers, and firefighters. The debtor's IRAs are exempt from creditors. A 2011 Florida statute expanded the definition of an IRA to include both rollover and inherited IRA accounts but the IRA accounts must be maintained in a Florida financial institution or branch to be covered by Florida's exemption law.  Seek help with this debt.  You can not live your retirement worrying about it.


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