Employment Law Questions? Ask an Employment Lawyer.
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Pensions and social security are exempt from garnishment for most kind of debts. The exception is monies owed to the federal government, alimony, and child support. The bank that has your mortgage will not be able to take your pension or social security if you fall behind on payments. They will be able to foreclose, but they won't have any ability to collect extra money from you. As part of foreclosure, they're entitled to their attorney's fees, so you still may not be able to keep the current equity in the home.
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In the event of a divorce, your spouse would be able to get a court order that requires the pension company to direct some portion of your pension to her, based on how long you're married and how long you worked for the company during the marriage. A trust wouldn't allow you to avoid that, because your pension is considered a marital asset, as is any pension or retirement accounts your spouse has.
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