Did you know that your health savings account can be affected in a Minnesota bankruptcy case? A federal Bankruptcy Appellate Panel upheld Minnesota Bankruptcy Judge Kathleen Sandberg’s original ruling that health saving accounts (HSA’s) are property of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy estate.
The case that brought this issue to the forefront is Leitch v. Christians. The debtor argued that HSA’s were excluded from the bankruptcy estate because of exemptions that allow a debtor to keep “disability benefits” and “payments on account of personal bodily injury.” The courts disagreed since HSA’s can be withdrawn for any purpose, according to Minnesota law.
Debtors could potentially protect their HSA’s under the federal “wildcard” exemption, which allows for an exemption of $12,725 worth of liquid cash assets. HSA’s in Chapter 13 bankruptcies will generally remain unaffected by this ruling.
If you are considering bankruptcy in Minnesota and are concerned about your HSA funds, save yourself a lot of misery and do it before matters reach this point. When you file a bankruptcy petition, you are protected by the automatic bankruptcy stay against collection efforts and you don’t need to worry about being held in contempt of court.
Gregory J. Wald, Attorney at Law
1500 Northland Plaza
3800 American Boulevard West
Bloomington, MN 55431
Toll Free: 1-866-747-1130