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Question
Mr. Shear:

I have a credit card with a $14,500 balance.  I was paying on it until just recently when I lost my job.  I was thinking about borrowing money from my 401K to pay off the card.  However, I would have to pay taxes and penalties if I did that.  Since I am not working now I do not have the money to pay the penalties.

What should I do?  Thank you.  I live in New York State.

Answer
Mary:

You never want to borrow money from your 401K to pay off credit card debt.  Since you are not working you can file bankruptcy and your 401K would be safe.  If you take money from your 401K, you would owe income taxes to the IRS and a 10% penalty to the IRS.

Even if you do not file bankruptcy, your 401K can not be touched by creditors.  You should never borrow money from a 401K plan to do anything!  

Please call me directly if you require any further assistance.

Jason Shear, Esq.
Attorney at Law
Law Offices of Jason A. Shear
Admitted in NY & NJ
Phone: (716) 566-8988
Website: www.jasonshearlaw.com

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Jason Shear, Esq.

Expertise

I can answer questions for residents of New York and New Jersey regarding creditor harassment claims under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA); credit reporting errors under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA); debt collection defense/credit card defense; student loan law; and consumer class actions. I can also answer questions relating to consumer debt defense/collection agency defense, specifically pertaining to consumers being sued or harassed by collection agencies or NY collection attorneys. If you live in New York and have been contacted or sued by firms such as: Mel Harris & Associates, Forster & Garbus, Rubin & Rothman, Choi Law Office, Lacy Katzen, Malen & Associates, Solomon & Solomon, Daniels & Norelli, Cohen & Slamowitz, Pressler & Pressler or others; give us a call at (716) 566-8988.

Experience

I have obtained settlements for consumers in NY and NJ under the FDCPA and FCRA. I have successfully defended consumers who were sued by collection agencies/debt purchasers in the New York State courts.

Organizations
National Association of Consumer Advocates (NACA) Law Offices of Jason Shear Consumer Attorneys 3957 Main Street, Second Floor Buffalo, New York 14226 (716) 566-8988

Education/Credentials
BA/BS, Accounting & Political Science, Hunter College. Juris Doctor, Univ. at Buffalo Law School. LLM (Criminal Law), University at Buffalo.

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