Lawless v. Newton (In re Lawless)

(6th Cir. Dec. 15, 2014)

The Sixth Circuit affirms the bankruptcy court’s order denying the chapter 7 debtor’s claimed exemption in a deferred-compensation retirement plan. The debtor claimed his deferred-compensation credits were exempt under Tennessee law. The trustee objected. While the plan fit the Tennessee statute’s general definition of exempt retirement accounts or plans, an exception to the statute applied. Because the debtor had the option to accelerate payment and take a lump sum distribution, the exemption did not apply. Thus, the deferred-compensation credits were correctly held to be property of the estate. Opinion below.

2014-12-15 – lawless v newton

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