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In you are filing chapter 7 in New York can they take your tax refund even if you are putting it all toward paying for school?

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This may not be helpful at all, but for what its worth... I have no idea what the exemptions are like in New York, but in Indiana, trustee's couldn't care less what the debtor intended to do with the refund check. Indiana law says you get to keep $100.00 of cash per debtor, period. Anything above that the trustee will keep and distribute to creditors. It is not an issue of what the debtor had planned for the money, or how bad the debtor needed the money, it is simply math: the law says you keep $100.00 and the trustee gets the rest, and that's the end of the analysis. Assuming New York is like Indiana, I would say the trustee will be unmoved by what your plans are for the refund. But, like I said, I don't practice law in New York so maybe there's some exemption over there that is different that what happens in Indiana.
Please note that nothing in this posting or in any other posting constitutes legal advice; this is simply my understanding of the facts, which I do not warrant, and I am not suggesting any course of action or inaction to any person.
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