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socrateaser, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 37846
Experience:  Attorney and Real Estate Broker -- Retired (mostly)
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I live in Michigan. I have all of my retirement money in an

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I live in Michigan. I have all of my retirement money in an IRA. I am being sued by a bank in California that claims I owe them $300,000. I do not. The case is in federal court in California. I know that Michigan protects my assets in the event of bankruptcy. But, what type of protection do I have outside of bankruptcy? I don't want to file for bankruptcy if I don't have to.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  socrateaser replied 7 years ago.

Exemptions against creditor attack are effectively the same, inside and outside of bankruptcy. The principal advantage of bankruptcy is that it discharges the ability of the creditor to reach any asset that you may acquire which does not fall within any exempt group. For example, if you were to inherit money or property, the creditor could reach that inheritance, unless you file for bankruptcy.


For a list of exemptions, see:


Hope this helps.


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Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I've seen the chart of exemptions. Are you saying that I am protected under Michigan Law in bankruptcy, and, because of Federal exemptions, I'm protected outside of bankruptcy?
Expert:  socrateaser replied 7 years ago.
No. There are two sets of bankruptcy exemptions: federal and state. The State set is available to a debtor whether or not he/she is in bankruptcy. The federal is only available in bankruptcy. If you're not in bankruptcy, you can only use the state exemptions. And, if you're in bankruptcy, then you can choose one set or the other, but not both.
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