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Your money might be held up while the bankruptcy court determines whether it's actually yours or not. If there aren't enough assets to pay off both the investors and the creditors, the SIPC insurance is supposed to kick in and make you whole, but in practice it doesn't work quite that smoothly.

So in general, if you suspect any financial problems with your broker (for either a taxable account or IRA), it is in your best interest to transfer out of there as soon as possible so you don't get put in this situation.
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