Those Pesky Trustee Documents

All Chapter 7 debtors must provide the following documentation in support of their bankruptcy schedules and statements.

1.  TAX RETURNS

Pursuant to §521(e)(2)(A)(i) of the Bankruptcy Code, a debtor is required to provide to the Trustee a copy of his or her most recently filed federal income tax return no later than 7 days before the §341(a) Meeting of Creditors.  Pursuant to  §521(e)(2)(B), if the debtor fails to deliver the tax return to the Trustee, the Bankruptcy Court may dismiss the case.

2.  PAY STUBS

Pursuant to §521(a)(1)(B)(iv) of the Bankruptcy Code and pursuant to the Standing Order Regarding Filing of Payment Advices Pursuant to 11 U.S.C §521(a)(1)(B)(iv) and Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 1007(b) (“Standing Order”) effective January 1, 2009, a debtor is required to provide to the Trustee copies of all payment advices (pay stubs) or other evidence of payment from employment  received 60 days prior to the date of the filing of the Bankruptcy Petition.  A debtor is required to file a certificate with the Court evidencing compliance with the Standing Order.  If the payment advices are unavailable, the debtor must file a certificate with the Court setting forth the reasons why the information is unavailable.  The deadline for providing the pay advices is 45 days after the Bankruptcy Petition date.  If the debtor fails to provide the pay advices, the case will  be dismissed by the Bankruptcy Court.

3.  BANK STATEMENTS

Pursuant to §521(a)(4), I request that debtors provide bank statements for all depository accounts maintained by the debtors for the 3 month period prior to the bankruptcy filing date.

METHOD OF DELIVERY OF DOCUMENTS

The documentation must be mailed to my office or provided by electronic upload to EPIQ Systems’ secure server. I do not accept documents by e-mail or by fax.  Please contact my office if you want to register for the electronic delivery option.

2 thoughts on “Those Pesky Trustee Documents

  1. In the case of those who have not filed a tax return in recent years, what sort of evidence is required of the Trustee that no federal tax returns have been filed?

    • The Bankruptcy Code requires the debtor to produce the most recent income tax return without regard to the timing. However, I evaluate each situation on a case by case basis and determine whether it would be helpful to review the older returns. In cases involving persons of working age, I usually want to review the most recent returns even if they were filed several years ago. In cases involving retired persons living solely on social security, I usually do not find it helpful to review the older returns. A statement by the debtor under oath at the 341 meeting that he or she has been living solely on social security for more than 5 years is generally acceptable.

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