In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court ruled that creditors cannot seize individual retirement accounts in a bankruptcy filing, thereby classing them with pensions, 401(k)s and Social Security, which are afforded protection under bankruptcy law. The case before the court involved a bankrupt couple from Arkansas who were fighting to keep more than $55,000 in retirement savings. Last year, more than 1.6 million people filed for personal bankruptcy, versus 875,000 a decade earlier. Experts say that much of that is being driven by people 55 and older who lose their jobs and can't pay off debts.

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