Submitted on Briefs: May 10, 2017
FROM: Certified Question from the United States Bankruptcy
Court for the District of Montana, Cause No. 16-60032-7
Honorable Ralph B. Kirscher, Bankruptcy Judge
Appellant: Joseph V. Womack, Waller & Womack, P.C.,
Appellee: James A. Patten, Patten, Peterman, Bekkedahl &
Green, Billings, Montana
McGrath Chief Justice
This is an original proceeding on a certified question from
the United States Bankruptcy Court, the Honorable Ralph B.
Kirscher, Bankruptcy Judge. The certified question is:
Whether, under Montana's liberal construction of
exemptions, Debtor may claim an exemption in a health savings
account (HSA) pursuant to § 25-13-608(1)(d) or (f), MCA.
answer that question "yes," the Debtor may claim an
exemption for a health savings account under Montana law
within the constraints imposed by the statute.
The undisputed facts of this matter, supplied by the
Bankruptcy Court, are as follows:
1. The Debtor filed his Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition on
January 22, 2016.
2. The case was converted to a Chapter 7 on July 22, 2016,
and Joseph V. Womack was appointed Trustee.
3. The Debtor filed an Amended Schedule A/B on August 23,
2016, detailing the property owned at the time that the
Debtor filed his bankruptcy case.
4. The Debtor answered Question No. 17 on Form 106A/B by
checking "Yes" indicating that he owned checking,
savings, and other financial accounts. On Line 17.2 the
Debtor listed "other financial account" "BANK
OF AMERICA HEALTH SAVINGS ACCOUNT." The Debtor stated
that the balance of the account was $14,319.61.
5. The Debtor completed Form 106C and claimed the Bank of
America Health Savings Account exempt in the amount of
$14,319.61 pursuant to ...