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June 2011 Archives

Are Pension Loans Unsecured debts?

This is not the most fundamental issue in bankruptcy, but one of our local trustees continuously insists that pension loans that are being repaid by wage deductions should be listed on the second page of the Statistical Summary as a debt. I have not done so, but a recent discussion among my bankruptcy debtor colleagues has motivated me to research the issue.The Statistical Summary requires a debtor to list various non-dischargable debts, such as priority taxes, student loans, and support obligations. The purpose, I guess, is to compile the amount of debt that is being discharged in bankruptcies across the country. The last item on the list is "Obligations to pensions or profit-sharing, and other similar obligations (from schedule F)". Should pension loans being paid back through payroll deductions be listed here?My first reaction, and that of most of my colleagues is that, whatever these loans are, they are not unsecured, and should not be listed on Schedule F, the schedule of unsecured debts. As these loans would never be listed on schedule F, they would not be listed on the Summary.But exactly what are these loans, at least within the context of a bankruptcy case? Our court in Rochester is in the Second Circuit (New York, Vermont and Connecticut) so decisions from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals prevail here.

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