Can I switch jobs during Chapter 7 bankruptcy? 18 Answers as of August 04, 2014

I am in the process of filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy. I haven't done my credit counseling or gone to court yet but I have met with and paid the attorney. I am looking into a new job, in the same field that I currently work in. I get paid on commission mostly so I am not 100% sure on how my income may change. Will this mess with my bankruptcy at all? What if I make more money? I really want this job but I do not want to mess with my bankruptcy either because I really need to get this done with. My lawyer had already gone through my pay and everything. Thank you in advance for all help!

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Law Office of Susan G. Taylor
Law Office of Susan G. Taylor | Susan G. Taylor
Your lawyer should inform you that, if you obtain a higher paying job before the creditors' meeting, you are expected to tell the trustee & amend your schedules I, Income, & J, Budget, to reflect the new salary. If a reasonable budget no longer consumes your income the US Trustee will attempt to force you into a Ch. 13 repayment plan for at least 3 years.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 8/4/2014
A Fresh Start
A Fresh Start | Dorothy G Bunce
There are two ways to determine whether you qualify to file bankruptcy, the "means test" which is your earnings during the past 6 months, and the current budget, which is the here & now. I appreciate the fact that you don't know what you might earn with your new job, but I can't answer your question without knowing what you will earn currently and what amount you will have left over in your budget to put towards paying debt. So complete your credit counseling & it should help to provide you with the answer. I can't spin gold out of no information at all.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 7/30/2014
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
The bankruptcy looks at your income for the 6 months preceding the filing. If your income goes up after you file you need to report that on an amended Schedule I. Talk to your lawyer.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/29/2014
Tokarska Law Center
Tokarska Law Center | Kathryn U. Tokarska
It really depends on how much the income increase is expected to be. I understand that commissions are tough to calculate because you do not know how much sales you would be able to make but there should be a rough idea of what a typical employee makes in the new position, like what your co-workers are making and your own abilities/experience etc. Form B22 looks at the average income in the past previous 6 months. If there is no anticipated change, we put the same income number on Schedule I. Schedule I is a forward looking schedule so it is always an estimate. If there is some change, like a new job, or in the other direction anticipated layoff or wage reduction, or increases in the expenses of benefits like insurance then Schedule I should account for those changes in the listing of gross income and deductions from income. If the changes make it so that there is sufficient disposable income after deducting reasonable and necessary living expenses in Schedule J to make some payments toward the debts the case could be converted to chapter 13. Your Trustee will review the schedules and if he/she thinks that the estimated income numbers or the living expenses aren't reasonable or accurate they can do further investigations and object to the numbers in court. I advise you to discuss this development with your attorney. They are in the best position to advise you because they have the facts of your case. Don't take the job and fail to inform your attorney as this will mean that your schedules would be inaccurate and you would commit perjury. While signing the documents and in the follow up hearing that you must attend you swear under penalty of perjury that the information in your schedules is true and accurate. I don't know what district you are in but in Southern California District almost all of the Trustees at the hearing ask the debtors whether they are still employed at the same place or whether their income has changed since their bankruptcy case was filed.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/28/2014
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
Your income is the last 6 months so you should file asap before the 6 month average changes substantially.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 7/28/2014
    Law Office of William Stoddard | William Stoddard
    Of course. If, however, a change of job would triple your income, you might have to disclose this. While you get a discharge, the court can look forward 3 to 6 months to see if your situation has changed which would make a discharge unfair to your creditors. In other words, if you had the capacity to make a 100 grand a year, but fell on hard times for nine months, but in three more months you are again earning 100 grand, well the discharge would be patently unfair. However, I seriously doubt this is triggered but once or twice a year. So go for the new job.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/28/2014
    EDWARD P RUSSELL | EDWARD P RUSSELL
    Changing jobs should not prevent you form filing bankruptcy but you would have to give your attorney the payslips and income information?as the dollar amounts will have be on the schedules.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 7/25/2014
    Barnes Law Firm, LLC | Aunna Peoples
    It is best that you discuss this with your present counsel. Since he has gone over your finances, he is best suited to advise you on this matter. However, generally speaking, in a Chapter 7, the Trustee administering your case is looking at your finances and assets as of the date of filing. Only in certain circumstances (i.e. inheritance), does the court or trustee look at post-petition assets and/or income.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 7/25/2014
    Eranthe Law Firm
    Eranthe Law Firm | Cate Eranthe
    Assuming you'll be filing soon there should be little or no impact. Why don't you discuss this with your lawyer? You should be taking all questions to them. They need to be informed and are the best suited to advise you because they know all the facts of your situation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/25/2014
    Law Office of Peter M. Lively
    Law Office of Peter M. Lively | Peter M. Lively
    The answer depends upon how much you are making and whether your debts are primarily consumer in nature. The UST can object to discharge under the totality of circumstances section of 11 UST Section 707 when your debts are primarily consumer debts and your schedules show the ability to pay some of your debt over the next five years. You should be discussing these issues with the attorney you paid for your case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/25/2014
    Deborah F Bowinski, Attorney & Counselor at Law | Debby Bowinski
    Since you already have a lawyer who is quite familiar with your situation you should address your questions to him or her.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 7/25/2014
    The Orantes Law Firm
    The Orantes Law Firm | Giovanni Orantes
    Your eligibility for relief under Chapter 7 usually depends on your income over the 6 months prior to the month when you file the petition. However, if you are eligible based only on the amount of your income and you get a job making substantially more after you file the petition, the U.S. Trustee may ask that your case be converted to one under Chapter 13, which requires you to turn over what you have left over at the end of the month after paying all your reasonable expenses. If you file soon (that is, before you start your new job or at least before you get a big commission in your new job) and since you have a commission based job, the scenario that would require you to convert to a 13 is not likely.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/25/2014
    Steele, George, Schofield & Ramos, LLP
    Steele, George, Schofield & Ramos, LLP | Alan E. Ramos
    You need to discuss this issue with your attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/25/2014
    LAW OFFICE OF RALPH L. WILLIAMS
    LAW OFFICE OF RALPH L. WILLIAMS | RALPH L. WILLIAMS
    The bankruptcy trustee usually requires proof of current income to be provided either prior to the creditors meeting or at the meeting. Also the trustee will ask if you expect your income to increase significantly in the near future. The effect of a significant increase in income might cause either not passing the means test or if you have excess money over your reasonable living expense the trustee may force you to convert to a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/25/2014
    Barnhart Law Office
    Barnhart Law Office | Bruce C Barnhart
    Yes, you can switch jobs during a bankruptcy. Your schedules should be revised or amended to accurately reflect your anticipated or estimated income. Your attorney should advise you.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 7/25/2014
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    Speak with YOUR lawyer and get his counsel. It is poor practice to second guess an attorney who clearly knows more of the details over the internet, and it would be a even poorer decision for you to rely upon it.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/25/2014
    Patrick W. Currin, Attorney at Law | Patrick Currin
    Your filing will be a snap shot of your life at the time of filing. If your pay greatly increases it could affect your BK. It sounds like you're not expecting a big change at first, so you are probably OK.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/25/2014
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