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Help with chapter 7 filing US trustee is trying to dismiss based on boyfriends income

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  • Help with chapter 7 filing US trustee is trying to dismiss based on boyfriends income

    I need help/advice I recently filed chapter 7 I pass the means test although my income is over the median I do have a live-in boyfriend but he has never contributed anything to my household as he makes very little money and can barely support himself that's why he had to move in with me I actually have to help him cover his bills. The US trustee has been scrutinizing my case quite a bit and made us redo the means test several times but it keeps coming out in my favor but she insists that we have to count my boyfriends income and even though the means test to pass and we shouldn't be counting his income anyway/ he does not contribute she wants to file a motion to dismiss my case based on the fact she thinks I'm lying about his contributions.

    does anybody have any experience with this or advice I simply don't know what to do next.

    I have a lawyer and we're talking about things I'm not sure if it's worth fighting or I just don't get how the US trustee can just decide on a whim that she doesn't like the case and she's going to decide I am lying even though everything passes that's what the test is for. The regular trustee was in our court all along and really never thought the US trustee would take it this far.

    I get that one thinks a man should be paying but he hasn't been and while embarrassing it is true. But can I fight her or not? Or do I just try to switch to a 13?

    If i do can she block me there?

  • #2
    It is worth fighting. The United States Trustee (UST) is not always right and are often overruled by the judge. It is likely that this just needs to go before the judge to make the decision. It's entirely the UST's job to question cases and to scrutinize cases where the household income is greater than the debtor's income, and the debtor is claiming that the other household members contribute absolutely nothing to the debtor.

    As such, I do not believe that the UST is deciding on a whim. There are many cases where people are not... entirely truthful about contributions to a household. While a non-spouse may not directly give you money, they may indirectly decrease your expenses through other contributions to the household; paying electric, utilities, food, gasoline for car, etc. Your regular Chapter 7 Panel Trustee is not the person who maintains the integrity of the bankruptcy program in the United States; that's the job of the UST. You even write that you did update the Schedules (and/or Means Test) to use different numbers with he result still in your favor; that shows that there may be things to poke at.

    The United States Trustee is good at poking at numbers. No one welcomes their scrutiny.

    This has nothing to do with thinking that a man should pay (in a relationship). This is how the bankruptcy program seeks to maintain the integrity.

    I would just have my attorney allow the UST to just file the complaint (adversary proceeding - AP) to dismiss under the totality of circumstances exception. Your attorney can then object to the AP and motion to dismiss and it will go to a hearing.

    You can always convert to a Chapter 13. I don't think you reached that point yet. First, you deal with the UST, who may actually back off after some time. If they do nothing before the 60 days expires between the 341 meeting and the last day to object, they are out of luck.
    Chapter 7 (No Asset/Non-Consumer) Filed (Pro Se) 7/08 (converted from Chapter 13 - 2/10)
    Status: (Auto) Discharged and Closed! 5/10
    Visit My BKForum Blog: justbroke's Blog

    I am not an attorney. Any advice provided is not legal advice.


    • #3
      I agree with justbroke. I've had the UST take "wrong" positions in several of my cases (all over-median debtors) and I always pushed back, and they backed off each time. You have no duty to list your boyfriend's income anywhere in your filing papers unless he contributes to household expenses. If he does that, there's a place on Schedule I (Income - #11. State all other regular contributions to the expenses that you list in Schedule J) for it. If he doesn't contribute to expenses, there's nothing to list.


      • #4
        I am glad to see I am not crazy/ did not do anything wrong. Initially my attorney told me we did not need to list my boyfriend on there as he provided nothing to my household (in fact I support him and am often helping him out financially).

        but at the 341 meeting the UST asked LOTS of questions just about him but several things including rental including rental income etc. I am filing due to being over extended from trying to keep rental properties that I had with an ex-husband.

        Bottom line she she came to the meeting after already hammering on us over lots of questions.

        i make a decent living but passed the means test.

        aftet the 341 she wanted the test redone due to a clarification with my ex husband and clarifications over the rental properties.. Still passed the means test.

        She he then wanted his income added. attorney pushed back she pushed.. we provided.. still passed. She will filed the objection.

        My my lawyer is giving me options but saying it could be costly to go to court as they are trying hard to put more people in 13 vs 7 and he does not want me to feel like I am out all this money if we lose.

        I am going to weigh it all but wanted some sage advice.

        In in the end I know I can convert to a 13 but I don’t qualify right now so that will be a whole different issue to make things work so that I can even file.. mean time my credit is already taken the hit!! 😬


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