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Irwin Law
Irwin Law, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 7150
Experience:  Lawyer & Real Estate Broker, 30+ years, foreclosure, land contracts, inheritance, probate.
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Why would the chapter 7 trustee insist that I provide my

Customer Question

Why would the chapter 7 trustee insist that I provide my most recently received pay stubs for a job started post petition? My understanding is that post petition income that is not associated in any way with work done before the petition date in Chapter 7 is off limits to the trustee.
To what extent are insolvent businesses I owned that have been in active 2 to 5 years prior to petition involved in my choater 7 bankruptcy? Most of my debt is a result of these failed businesses.
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Irwin Law replied 7 months ago.

You certainly have the right to ask the trustee that question directly. If I were the trustee, I would want that stub to establish you are not receiving income from those failed businesses. A pay stub from your new employer would establish that and it would be for my own protection.

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Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Thank you. Some clarification would be useful.
The right to ask a question of the trustee seems clear. (Not good to provoke her however) Your observation that it would be a way to demonstrate that I am not receiving income from prior businesses seems incluclusive as a current pay stub does not affect in any way the possibility of other income. A viable answer should include justification and reference to bankruptcy law outlining WHY I should or should not be required to provide the post petition pay stubs. This is a Pro Se case.
Expert:  Irwin Law replied 7 months ago.

Has the trustee declared to be an asset case yet? Requesting your current pay stub may be for verification of the means test information.

Expert:  Irwin Law replied 7 months ago.

I will be away from the computer for approximately an hour and a half.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Most of my debts are business related so the means test does not apply. I really have little if any assets remaining, lost home etc. So not declared yet but likely it will be a no asset case. If I fail to get a discharge, it will be very problematic due to my new employment.
Expert:  Irwin Law replied 7 months ago.

Sorry to hear that you had such a bad time. I can't tell you precisely what information the trustee does or does not have the power to request from the debtor. The trustee's discovery powers are very broad. It would be foolhardy to make an issue out of the paycheck on some obscure legal grounds obtained through online research. The trustee would just subpoena it from your employer. Plus it would be like waving a red flag which makes you look suspicious.

Please rate this answer 3,4 or 5, so that the question can be closed out.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Thank you again for your response. Your response is surprising to me and still vague. I am curious, and please do not be offended, have you actively practiced bankruptcy law? I ask because this is a very important question to me, one that could be critic let in my process as I have explained. I currently make > $200k/year. If my petition fails, it will be a big problem. At time of filing I was dead broke... have been for years... various reasons... now that I am back in the game, failure of this application will be very difficult in the future. As I understand the law, post potion income that is not related to work performed pre petition is NOT available to the BK estate. Can you confidently answer the question, Am I required to disclose my post petition income to the trustee?
Expert:  Irwin Law replied 7 months ago.

Yes I have practiced bankruptcy law over the years, but your situation is not something that a bankruptcy lawyer runs into every day, or every decade. The answer you are looking for will require extensive research of a very esoteric nature in order to find authority to deny the trustees request. That cannot be done by online attorneys who answer general legal questions. What you need is a highly specialized business bankruptcy attorney who has experience dealing with difficult trustee authority situations. With what is at stake, you cannot afford to be pro se, and you can afford very good legal counsel. If you are not satisfied with my answer, then you do not have to rate it, and we can both go our separate ways.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Thank you for your transparent response. I do not feel I received an answer to my original question and I understand your explanation why. Thank you again! Have a nice evening.
Expert:  Irwin Law replied 7 months ago.

This was your question: Why would the chapter 7 trustee insist that I provide my most recently received pay stubs for a job started post petition?

I had to second-guess what someone else was thinking, which I did. You did not request backup authority from the bankruptcy code or case law authority for the trustee to make such a request Had you done so, I would not have undertaken this question. I hope you will contact a competent bankruptcy lawyer. When you find out that what I have told you is exactly right, you can always come back and give me a five-star rating later. :-)