Are my retirement assets, college savings plans, and asset protection trusts protected under the new bankruptcy law?

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Are my retirement assets, college savings plans, and asset protection trusts protected under the new bankruptcy law?

Retirement funds: Retirement Retirement funds that are tax exempt under sections 401, 403, 408, 408A, 414, 457 and 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code are exempt from claims of the debtor’s creditors. Money rolled over from a pension into an IRA is also protected. However the law limits protection for funds in regular and Roth IRAs to $1,095,000 (after April 1, 2007), although this cap can be increased by the bankruptcy court. Repaying a 401(k) loan is now considered a valid deduction from income for purposes of the means test and for determining how much disposable income a debtor has.
529 college funds: Contributions placed in a section 529 college education savings plan or in a section 530 education IRA at least 2 years prior filing for bankruptcy are off limits to creditors. Contributions made between one and two years before filing are protected up to $5,475 (after April 1, 2007). Contributions made within a year of filing are not protected. The exemptions apply only when the beneficiary of the plan is a child, stepchild, grandchild, or stepgrandchild (including an adopted or foster child).
Asset protection trusts: An asset protection trust can be established under the laws of Alaska, Delaware, Nevada, Rhode Island and Utah. Under prior law, money stashed away in those state sponsored trusts was beyond the reach of creditors. Under BAPCPA, the case trustee may avoid transfers made to an asset protection trust within the past ten years with the actual intent to hinder, delay or defraud a creditor.

(Reviewed 11-08)

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