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Will filing bankruptcy affect my PSERS pension in PA?

Levittown, PA |

After getting divorced in 2010 and purchasing a new home in 2011, I find myself mounting a huge amount of unsecured debt = 42K - which is growing each month as I cannot meet my expenses. I have sole custody of my 3 children that live at home. I plan to retire from the PA public school system in 4 or 5 years. If I have to file bankruptcy could it affect my PSERS pension? Will I be able to keep my home? I have about 20K in equity. Please help. And if you specialize in bankruptcy please leave contact info. Thank you.

Attorney Answers 3


The economy has crushed many Americans. Add divorce or unexpected medical expenses or reductions in income and you have a recipe for financial catastrophe. Fortunately, the US Bankruptcy Code can provide relief. Depending on circumstances, bankruptcy may allow one to keep his or her home especially if he or she is current on any mortgages. Bankruptcy does allow for the protection of most retirement accounts and pensions. Moreover, bankruptcy allows for a Fresh Start and a clean, orderly break from past debts that cannot be repaid in this unforgiving economy.

Disclaimer: Nothing stated herein is legal advice. For legal advice, consult an attorney; I am not your attorney at this time. This response may constitute ATTORNEY ADVERTISING which has not been approved by the Supreme Courts of New Jersey or Pennsylvania or the Court of Appeals of Maryland. I am a federally-designated “debt relief agency” that provides, where appropriate, relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

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Mr. mullaney is 100% correct. If he cannot help you, I would use the attorney search function at the website for the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys:

Only an attorney license in your state can fully explain what proper you could keep in a bankruptcy .

First, the firm is a debt relief agency according to the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. We help people file for bankruptcy. We also do other stuff and we do it well, but Congress wants me to post this notice. Second, nothing on this site is legal advice. You are not my client unless you enter into a written agreement signed by you and me.

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I agree with Mr. Mullaney. PSERS pensions are exempt in bankruptcy. In addition, because you appear to have no nonexempt equity in your home, you should have the option of keeping the house in Chapter 7 (assuming you are current and can afford the payments). Chapter 13 may be an option if you have more equity than you estimate or are behind on your payments.

You mentioned that you are still using your credit cards. Significant purchases on your credit cards for non-necessities immediately prior to bankruptcy (particularly within 90 days of filing) may not be dischargeable. Cash advances and very large purchases can be problematic even further back. Small purchases for necessities close to filing are not generally an issue, but you will need to let your bankruptcy attorney know about any recent purchases or cash advances.

Feel free to contact me with any questions.

To reach me call 215-248-0989. Harborstone Law Group serves Philadelphia, Montgomery, Delaware, and Bucks Counties in Pennsylvania. Answers to any question on this forum are for general information purposes only and do not constitute legal advice or establish an attorney-client relationship between Harborstone Law Group or its attorneys and you. This type of forum cannot substitute for a consultation with an attorney.

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