Ben Hill Co. woman loses in Georgia Supreme Court

Published: Nov. 21, 2016 at 12:46 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 21, 2016 at 12:50 PM EST
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ATLANTA, GA (WALB) - A woman who filed for bankruptcy wanted to keep her health savings account out of the reach of creditors, and appealed a federal court ruling in the Georgia Supreme Court.

In an opinion issued today, written by Presiding Justice P. Harris Hines, the Georgia Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that a Georgia statute does not exempt health savings accounts from the bankruptcy estate, and these accounts are not a substitute for wages.

Denise E. Mooney of Ben Hill County is a self-employed physical therapist and the sole owner of Rehab Specialists of the South GA, Inc.

In June 2013, Mooney filed for bankruptcy and listed as an asset a "Health Savings Account" containing $17,570.93.  She claimed the money should be out of reach of her creditors.

After Mooney filed for bankruptcy, Joy R. Webster, who was appointed Chapter 7 Trustee of her estate, filed an "Objection to Claim of Exemptions," arguing that the money shouldn't be out of reach of creditors.

Mooney's lawyers are Ward Stone, Jr., Matthew Cathey, and Thomas McClendon.

Webster's lawyer is Robert Matson.

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