Q: Would a court typically grant permission to take out a 401k after a job loss?
A: Possibly, yes.
The working presumption in a Ch. 13 case is that the debtor will retain and manage his assets, and that is set when a Plan is confirmed (there are provisions to modify a plan after confirmation).
There is also a Bankruptcy Code provision that states that a debtor must first procure court approval to incur debt.
Most probably, if you are entitled to access your 401(k) funds under non-bankruptcy law, the bankruptcy court would permit you to access those funds, under applicable non-bankruptcy laws and rules.
Most commonly, the IRS will permit you to borrow against that fund, up to a certain percentage, for specific reasons, and you would be expected to comply with those laws and rules. If a borrowing is contemplated, comply with the Bankruptcy Code provision, and first procure bankruptcy court approval to incur that sort of debt.
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