Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Saving IRA Accounts from Bankruptcy

Capitalism without bankruptcy is like Christianity without hell.
Frank Borman, astronaut and business executive.

The Supreme Court affirmed protections for the retirement savings of debt-strapped older workers yesterday, ruling unanimously that a bankrupt debtor's individual retirement account must generally be kept off-limits to his creditors.

Who is benefiting from this ruling? Not the working stiff who is buried in bills and can’t even keep up with the interest only payments on his credit cards. This law is for crooks who risk others’ money. The poor palooka who cannot pay his bills is certainly not going to have much stashed away in his Individual Retirement Account.

In an opinion written by Justice Clarence Thomas, the court ruled that IRA assets are shielded by the same provision of the bankruptcy code that says debtors may keep a reasonable amount of the money they would be entitled to have under a pension, annuity or other age-based income scheme.

Is this an opinion that will help Thomas become Chief Justice of the court?

1 comment:

Chandira said...

I dunno, I have to say, I'd rather have my IRA funds in tact if I ever became bankrupt!
I think there should be set reasonable limits though, these laws all seem to be made with no provisions for the 'means tested' idea, which happens a lot in England. If you have a shit-load of money, then you just don't qualify for help. Simple.