Protection for some IRAs came in 2005 through the Bankruptcy Abuse Protection Act. The law provides debtors in bankruptcy with an exemption for retirement assets in qualified plans, qualified annuities, tax sheltered annuities, and self-employed plans.
In addition, the law exempts all assets in an IRA that are attributable to rollovers from a retirement plan described above. If you happen to have a traditional IRA or Roth IRA containing assets that are not attributable to a rollover from some other type of retirement plan (i.e. the assets are from amounts you contributed directly to the IRA), then you will also be allowed an exemption of up to $1 million total for the assets in those contributory IRAs.