Practice Tips

The ABCs of Bankruptcy: A is for Annuities

28 September 2012


Letter Block A

As a bankruptcy debtor’s attorney, one of the least welcome surprises is a non-exempt asset. Recently, I had a client come to me to file a bankruptcy with, among other assets, a “retirement annuity”. The summary of terms was straight-forward. She can’t draw from the annuity until she has held the annuity for more than ten years and she has reached the age of sixty-five, at which point she receives a fixed payment for life. So far, so good. As she’s entitled to claim federal exemptions, 11 U.S.C. § 522(d)(10)(E) protects exactly this kind of annuity and should work, right? Well, except for that one little word “unless” and paragraph (iii).