Hi Attorney Phillips- one last question; can you clarify what you mean by exempt?
Response 1: Exempt means, that your creditors cannot touch it, or in case of bankruptcy filing, the Trustee cannot touch it, your creditors in the bankruptcy case cannot touch it. It is excluded from execution to satisfy any judgment against you.
Exempt as income or an asset?
Response 2: Exempt it as an asset
And would I have to spend the 10K before filing in order to protect it from claims?
Response 3: Usually, that is the best course. However, you do not have to as long as you are able to exempt it on your bankruptcy case. Although, some Trustee will require that you still exempt it even though that you have already spent it.
Also, if my creditors begin to file suits against me before 91 days, can they request a lien on my payout?
Response 4: That is highly unlikely. Before they can put a lien on the payout, they must have the knowledge that the payout exists in the first place. In any event, generally, before they put a lien on any of your assets, they must file a lawsuit, prevail on the lawsuit--obtain a Judgment against you before they can put a lien on your assets. Again, if they do not know about the assets, they cannot put a lien on them.
It is strongly suggested that your contact a local bankruptcy attorney for further explanation of your rights and responsibilities.