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INFOLAWYER
INFOLAWYER, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 57687
Experience:  Licensed attorney helping individuals and businesses
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I am thinking about retirement and am trying to understand

Resolved Question:

I am thinking about retirement and am trying to understand any options I may have regarding settlement of a lawsuit.

I bought a business and after a year and a half of operation was sued by the bank that gave me the business loan. They were supposed to set up a line of credit during the loan application process, but failed to do so, so I didn't have enough money to run the business during the slow time. The court started taking the settlement from my wages at my current job. Shortly after that, the original owner sued me as well.

The question I have is if I retire, are my retirement Ira's and 401k at risk? I currently get retirement income from another company. Nothing is taken from that income. What about the Social Security income? Would they be able to come after that.

The next question concerns my house. My wife was not part of the lawsuits. Can I sign the house over to her? If so, how long would I have to wait before I could retire and not have to worry about them coming after the house? I assume it would be 3 years.

Thanks
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  INFOLAWYER replied 5 years ago.

INFOLAWYER :

Good morning

INFOLAWYER :

IRA and 401k are exempt from a creditor's claims

INFOLAWYER :

similarly would be social security

INFOLAWYER :

If the debt arose during marriage, the creditor can look to assets otherwise in your name and spouse name

INFOLAWYER :

so signing a house over to her would not be sufficient

INFOLAWYER :

you would need to engage local estates lawyer to consider further protections

INFOLAWYER :

such as an irrevocable trust

INFOLAWYER :

and consider working out a settlement which would be conditioned on no further enforcement attempts

Customer:

I don't understand - are you saying I would make some other kind of arrangement to pay the bank and original owner?

Customer:

Also, I don't really have any other assets - the house is it

INFOLAWYER :

if you dispute the debt, you should not make an arrangement

INFOLAWYER :

if you do not, you may want to work out a settlement

INFOLAWYER :

the house is at risk absent settlement, if the creditor gets a judgment

INFOLAWYER :

to protect it, an irrevocable trust is one option, and settlement is another

INFOLAWYER :

if the creditor has a payment plan for example, it cannot pursue the house

Customer:

well, I dispute the debt, but that was settled in court, so I assume there is nothing I can do about that

Customer:

thanks for your help

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