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Individual Retirement Account (IRA) Creditor Protections, Garnishments/Execution

You go to court and win a monetary judgment, sometimes after several years and expending a significant amount of time and money. This does not mean, though, that you automatically get the money. If you have a judgment, it is your responsibility to collect it through judgment executions and garnishments. 

What most do not appreciate is that this process often becomes a case itself. Furthermore, there are numerous assets and income streams that are exempt from executions/garnishments. Section 513.430, RSMo: enumerates a host of exempt property that cannot generally be seized by a creditor: social security benefits, certain disability benefits, unemployment benefits, certain amounts of equity in a motor vehicle or primary residence, etc. Importantly, many types of retirements accounts (eg, IRAs, 401(k)(s)) are generally exempt from execution/garnishment. This is significant because for many individuals retirement accounts and assets constitute a large portion of their net worth. 

It is important, then, to continue to consult with legal counsel about the viability of collecting assets owed under a judgment. Contact with questions.