In Bankruptcy Questions, todays question

This question is really a sad one.

Question Detail: My wife and I lost our jobs. We called the bank for help and they referred us to a company that was supposed to be a credit counselor to help us work through our mortgage payments and other debt. The advice they gave was to make payments to them that forced us to liquidate our 401ks in order to keep a roof over our heads. Eventually, we ran out of money and were forced to file chapter 13. We were hit with a giant tax bill for our 401Ks, have no retirement, are paying a trustee for the bankruptcy and have destroyed our credit. Recently, I learned that if we were instructed to contact an attorney originally we may have been able to keep our 401Ks (a couple hundred thousand or more).
This is a series of events that lead up to a tragedy. Whether anyone is at fault or not is a separate question, but the tragedy is that these people have lost their 401Ks, which were exempt in bankruptcy, and may end up losing their house. It might be that they would have had to choose between keeping their house or keeping their 401K accounts but now, having invaded the retirement accounts and used them completely, that choice no longer exists.

The moral of this story is to understand all your legal options before doing anything. In short, talk to an attorney.

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