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Asset Protection
Old 02-15-2013, 01:50 AM   #1
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Asset Protection

Which items are "protected" in a law suit against you ? I'm not sure, but it came up in a recent discussion. The following items (below) were mentioned. Does anyone know the answer to this question ?

IRA/401k
Personal Home
Social Security Benefits
Life Insurance Benefits
Disability Benefits
Personal Autotmobile
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Old 02-15-2013, 08:53 AM   #2
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IANAL, but AFAIK, it depends in part on who's suing you and for what, and laws may vary from state/province/country to state/province/country.

One starting point, for informational purposes only, might be Asset protection - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

For more definitive answers, one should consult an attorney.

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Old 02-15-2013, 09:55 AM   #3
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It very much differs by state and national laws.

There is a FAQ on the form regarding asset protection, and though it's for creditors and not lawsuits and it hasn't been updated since 2007, some of it should still be applicable:

(FAQ archive) Protecting Assets From Creditor Claims
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Old 02-15-2013, 05:36 PM   #4
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Retirement accounts are protected by federal law.

Primary residence is protected by a Homestead Exemption. The dollar amount of the exemption varies greatly by state.

One vehicle is protected, with the exemption dollar amount varying by state.

People at greatest risk are those with a lot of high dollar toys. Boats,motorcycles, airplanes, etc.

The average retiree with one home and one car, is basically judgment proof.

Having a lifestyle based on consumption of services, rather than the purchase of high-dollar goods, helps. Eg. vacations, concerts, sporting events. Rather than boats, motorcycles, airplanes, expensive jewelry.
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Old 02-15-2013, 06:31 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by BLS53 View Post
Retirement accounts are protected by federal law.

Primary residence is protected by a Homestead Exemption. The dollar amount of the exemption varies greatly by state.

One vehicle is protected, with the exemption dollar amount varying by state.

People at greatest risk are those with a lot of high dollar toys. Boats,motorcycles, airplanes, etc.

The average retiree with one home and one car, is basically judgment proof.

Having a lifestyle based on consumption of services, rather than the purchase of high-dollar goods, helps. Eg. vacations, concerts, sporting events. Rather than boats, motorcycles, airplanes, expensive jewelry.

This is a much more complex issue that what you say. There are federal laws that may apply, but there are also state laws that can vary from state to state. Also there can be a difference as to what applies when (for example, during bankruptcy versus collection of a lawsuit, etc.). People should consult a lawyer in their state who is knowledgeable about this area of law rather than relying on anything here.

Just for the CYA -- this is general information and not specific legal advice. I don't represent anyone who might read this. You should consult your own attorney.
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Old 02-15-2013, 07:14 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Katsmeow View Post
This is a much more complex issue that what you say. There are federal laws that may apply, but there are also state laws that can vary from state to state. Also there can be a difference as to what applies when (for example, during bankruptcy versus collection of a lawsuit, etc.). People should consult a lawyer in their state who is knowledgeable about this area of law rather than relying on anything here.

Just for the CYA -- this is general information and not specific legal advice. I don't represent anyone who might read this. You should consult your own attorney.
Yes, Despite what I consider street sense I wouldn't touch this with a ten foot pole.
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Old 02-15-2013, 09:01 PM   #7
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Retirement accounts are protected by federal law.
Aren't only qualified employer plans protected by ERISA? Are IRAs?

In a very recent thread, I think I remember someone saying that they were thinking of leaving their 401(k) with their employer's plan provider, rather than rolling it into an IRA, for this very reason.
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