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Miami Bankruptcy & Retirement Lawyer

Bankruptcy Lawyer Helping Clients With Retirement Assets in Miami, Florida

When you are getting ready to retire or have recently retired, coming to the realization that you cannot pay your debts can be devastating. These are supposed to be some of the best years of your life, yet consumer debt is plaguing you on a daily basis. You might be wondering whether filing for bankruptcy could help. At Nowack & Olson, PLLC, we often hear from clients who have concerns about how their retirement assets will fare in a bankruptcy case. In short, most retirement assets are exempt in Florida bankruptcies, which can allow Miami residents to benefit from Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy without worrying about losing their retirement savings.

Bankruptcy law is very complicated, and you should not have to work through these legal complications on your own. If you need help filing for bankruptcy while protecting your retirement assets, a dedicated Miami bankruptcy & retirement lawyer at our firm can speak with you today.

Protecting Your Retirement Assets in a Miami Bankruptcy

When you file for bankruptcy in Florida, you will be eligible to benefit from exemptions. Miami residents who file for bankruptcy, like other Floridians, will have to use the Florida bankruptcy exemptions instead of the federal exemptions. Any property that is exempt cannot be liquidated as part of your bankruptcy case. This is property that you get to keep even if you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and have your estate liquidated.

In large part, the exemptions protect almost all types of retirement assets. This means that exempt retirement assets cannot be liquidated, and that consumers will get to retain those retirement accounts even if other property is liquidated. The following are all exempt retirement assets under Florida law:

  • ERISA-qualified retirement plans and pensions (which includes 401(k) accounts, 403(b) accounts, profit-sharing plans, money-purchase plans, Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) IRAs, Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees (SIMPLE) IRAs, most tax-deferred pension plans like a Keogh plan, and other types of defined-benefit plans;
  • Individual retirement accounts (IRAs) generally, including Roth IRAs up to the amount of $1,171,650;
  • Retirement benefits from the state or county for state or county employees;
  • Public employee retirement benefits;
  • Pensions for firefighters and municipal police; and
  • Retirement benefits for teachers in the state of Florida.

You should remember that a general savings account that you are using for retirement may not be exempt, and it certainly will not be exempt as a retirement asset. In order to exempt retirement assets, they need to be part of a qualified plan such as those listed above.

Will Filing for Bankruptcy in Miami Before Retirement Hurt My Credit?

 You might be worried that filing for bankruptcy so close to retirement (or during retirement) will make it difficult for you to obtain credit. While your credit will take a hit from bankruptcy, many consumers bounce back quickly and are able to begin rebuilding their credit in a short amount of time.

Contact a Miami Retirement & Bankruptcy Lawyer

Filing for bankruptcy while protecting your retirement assets can be complicated, but an experienced Miami retirement & bankruptcy lawyer can help. Contact Nowack & Olson, PLLC to get started on your case today.

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