My Husband (or Wife) is Filing a Bankruptcy…How Will It Affect My Retirement Contributions and Loans?

20 Mar My Husband (or Wife) is Filing a Bankruptcy…How Will It Affect My Retirement Contributions and Loans?

There are many ways a bankruptcy trustee can try to increase the amount your spouse’s creditors will get paid in the bankruptcy.  The trustee can look at any single expense of the household and try to attack it as being unreasonable.  If s/he tries to take the position that you, the non-filing spouse, should not be paying back your retirement loan, or that you should not be allowed to contribute to your retirement from your paycheck, s/he will very likely be told by the bankruptcy court judge to mind his/own business.

The trustee can certainly challenge your spouse’s non-mandatory retirement contribution or loan repayment as being “disposable income” and not a reasonable expense.  But he is not likely to succeed in challenging your contribution or loan repayment.

Of course that could be different if you already have a huge amount put away into your retirement plan.  In that case, the trustee’s position that you don’t need to contribute more may get more sympathy from the judge.

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Peter Orville is a bankruptcy lawyer in Binghamton, located in the Southern Tier of New York. He is a member and New York co-chair of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys.
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