Burns & Jain have represented clients in the Federal Bankruptcy Court since 1985. What we enjoy about this area of law is that all of our clients get a “fresh start” in their financial life. Indeed, the law allows you to keep your assets and “discharge” your debts!
In the 34 years I have been practicing bankruptcy law in Massachusetts, we have been informing clients that their Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) are generally exempt from creditors in bankruptcy. As are 401ks, Keogh plans, and so forth. You simply declare on your Petition and Schedules what your retirement accounts are, provide documentation as to the balances, and the bankruptcy trustee considers them exempt from your creditors.
The number of seniors coming to our office for consultations for Chapter 7 personal bankruptcies is rising. After 33 years of practicing bankruptcy law in Massachusetts, I have antidotal evidence of trends in filings. After the 2008 recession, we had a huge rise of middle age and middle-income folks who came in and just could not afford their mortgage payments. They defaulted on home loans, were forced to move out, but got a Fresh Start, under federal bankruptcy law.
Personal bankruptcy lawyers in Massachusetts are entrusted with their clients’ personal information and access to their financial assets. Some attorneys also have clients’ monies in their Massachusetts IOLTA (Interest On Lawyers Trust Account) accounts. We must have the absolute highest integrity when working for our clients in this capacity. We have a fiduciary responsibility.