Can I just ignore my trustee’s requests for tax income and etc., the case will be dismissed and I can keep all of my refund? 20 Answers as of July 10, 2014

I filed a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy per se on 6.25.14. I had never filed my tax return as I was afraid the DES would offset it all for unemployment overpayment. I filed my income taxes on 7.1.14 and now wonder if the IRS will automatically provide my assigned trustee all of this return. The return is made up of primarily all EIC I receive for having a child and tax credits that apply to low income and etc. It addition to that, I was eligible for a 1,000 American Government tax credit for attending undergraduate school. Is it automatically going to the trustee just for me filing chapter 7 prior to filing the income tax return? Also I never included any information pertaining to unpaid tax refunds from the IRS in my initial filing of Chapters to the Bankruptcy court. I did this because I honestly wasn't even thinking about the refund and was going to file it next year, after my bankruptcy and unemployment debt would be discharged if it in fact would be. So due to that, the bankruptcy petition contains errors, and I wonder if I should motion the court to dismiss it due to this. Please someone help, me as I am very stressed out about this.

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Ronald K. Nims LLC | Ronald K. Nims
First, there is no provision in the bankruptcy law that allows the debtor to file a motion to have their case dismissed. Your trustee has probably gone online at the IRS website, pretended to be you and checked if you filed your return. Filing a bankruptcy petition with false information can get you charged with bankruptcy fraud, my advice (other than to get an attorney because you've screwed the pooch on this going pro se) is to file an amendment to correct all the information that is untrue in your petition, there are exemptions that can apply to tax refunds due to the Earned Income Credit and the Child Tax Credit, but it's a very complex area.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 7/10/2014
Law Office of Peter M. Lively
Law Office of Peter M. Lively | Peter M. Lively
Your case will not necessarily be dismissed and you could lose your discharge for not cooperating with the Chapter 7 Trustee. You should consult with a bankruptcy attorney regarding your options.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/9/2014
John Ceci PLLC
John Ceci PLLC | John Ceci
You need to hire an attorney to fix this. It is possible to amend a petition and that may (or may not) be your best choice. Also, an attorney can talk to the trustee and try to reach a resolution if there are issues that could potentially stop you from getting a discharge. You want to be careful about dismissing the case without having your situation analyzed by an attorney.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 7/9/2014
Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
You ignore the trustee at your own risk. If you do not provide tax returns as the trustee requests, he or she can move the court to revoke your discharge and hold you in contempt. Either of which is a bad result.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 7/8/2014
Arany & Associates
Arany & Associates | Lawrence C. Arany
Excuse me, but don't you have a BK attorney right now? Your BK attorney should be the one to whom you go for legal advice. If you don't have an attorney, and you have filed your case pro se, then tread carefully before you decide to ignore the BK trustee. You may well be on the right path; but you need to consult with an experienced BK attorney before deciding what course of action to take.
Answer Applies to: Indiana
Replied: 7/8/2014
    R. Steven Chambers PLLC | R. Steven Chambers PLLC
    You MIGHT be lucky and get the case dismissed. You might also find that the trustee will object to your discharge for failure to cooperate with him, which would be the worst possible scenario. The trustee would keep your tax refund (they can do that - had you used a lawyer he would undoubtedly have told you this and advised as to how to avoid it) and you will not receive a discharge. Any bankruptcy you file in the future will not discharge any debts that were once declared non-dischargeable. The second possibility is the more likely.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 7/7/2014
    The Orantes Law Firm
    The Orantes Law Firm | Giovanni Orantes
    It is seldom a good idea to ignore a Chapter 7 Trustee's request for information. For one thing, when you filed for bankruptcy protection, you bound yourself to follow the law, one of which says that you must cooperate with the trustee. If you do not cooperate, the Trustee can file a lawsuit to deny forever your discharge for all your debts up to the date of the petition. In other words, you could never file a Chapter 7 case and get a discharge for such debts and the creditors can pursue you to collect. As to your refunds, you may be able to exempt some or all of them when you exempt property, it means that you get to keep it. Ultimately, however, your situation is at a stage and involves a level of complexity that requires the help of an attorney to sort it out with as few negative consequences to you as possible.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/7/2014
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    Failure to cooperate with the trustee will NOT result in dismissal. That will result in additional trustee fees fees that you will have to pay. You need to consult with and retain local counsel immediately. You might be worrying for nothing as the refunds might be exempt. You must also amend your Schedule B to include those other refunds. (and by the way after 2 years you can loses them). Undisclosed property remains property of the bankruptcy estate forever AND failure to list assets is bankruptcy fraud for which you could face criminal prosecution.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/7/2014
    A Fresh Start
    A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
    You are taking a big risk with this strategy. Instead of dismissing your case, the bankruptcy trustee could ask the court to impose monetary sanctions or an order preventing you from being able to ever discharge your debts listed in this case in any later bankruptcy case. You are dealing with the US Department of Justice, not some ineffectual bozo!
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 7/7/2014
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson | Lynnmarie Johnson
    Amend your bankruptcy petition and exempt it under the wild card exemption (d)(5), assuming the you have room. And yes you have to give a copy of your tax return to the trustee.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/7/2014
    Scott Goldstein | Scott Goldstein
    You should have hired a lawyer to assist you in filing a case. Ignoring the trustee is NEVER a good idea. Get a lawyer, because making false statements on a bankruptcy petition is a federal crime.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 7/7/2014
    Law Offices of Daniel J Winter
    Law Offices of Daniel J Winter | Daniel J Winter
    You can fix this by filing your returns, but you need a lawyer to help you. Call a lawyer now.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 7/7/2014
    EDWARD P RUSSELL | EDWARD P RUSSELL
    You are stressed out because you do not have an attorney. You would not do your own heart operation so why do you think you can be your own attorney? The Earned Income Credit should not be taken by the Chapter 7 Trustee but you will have to amend your bankruptcy schedules to include any anticipated tax refunds you?will receive.? It will do you no good to ignore the Chapter 7 Trustee's request for tax information as you must make a motion to the court to terminate a Chapter 7 bankruptcy which will probably be difficult to do. ? You need professional assistance.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 7/7/2014
    Idaho Bankruptcy Law | Paul Ross
    No. If you ignore the Trustee's requests you could end up losing your discharge and the bankruptcy still completes. Therefore, whatever is not paid you will still owe after the bankruptcy and you cannot file bankruptcy on those debts in the future. In Idaho, the refund must be turned over to the Trustee if s/he does not intercept it. There are some portions you can get back but only if it is exempt. Visit with an attorney to make the necessary corrections.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 7/7/2014
    David Andersen & Associates PC | Jeremy Shephard
    You will want to amend your schedules to include the assets (tax refund). If you have enough exemption then you should be able to keep your refunds. You may want to contact an attorney to assist you if you do not know how to do the amendment.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/4/2014
    Danville Law Group | Scott Jordan
    Do you still have exemption money left? Perhaps you can exempt the refund.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/4/2014
    Garner Law Office
    Garner Law Office | Daniel Garner
    You should seek legal counsel right away to help you fix the mistakes, because you can't voluntarily dismiss a chapter 7, especially if the trustee thinks you have assets. You could probably exempt everything and get your discharge.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/4/2014
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