The bankruptcy laws have gotten more complex as of late. However, this is not necessarily going to stop a person from filing bankruptcy through a Palos Park bankruptcy attorney. It is only going to put an extra burden on the debtor and an extra burden on the trustee. At the time of this writing, the trustee in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case is paid $60 from the bankruptcy filing fee. This is the same $60 fee that has been around for probably the last 10 to 15 years. Almost as long as I can remember, it’s been a $60 fee to the trustee. The trustees have taken on so much more burdensome work since the law changed. The trustees now have to look at pay advices. They have to look at the tax return and they are still making the same $60. The bankruptcy process has not changed all that much for the trustees.
What I have found in my experience is many of the Chapter 7 panel trustees are accepting the tax returns and the pay advices but they are not looking at them with any scrutiny. If this is the case, and I believe it is, now we have three things in the new law that have very little effect; the credit counseling I already mentioned. It’s just a prerequisite. People are taking it to get it done so they can file bankruptcy. The pay advices and the tax returns are also prerequisites that have to be sent to the panel trustee who was glancing at these items and is not taking it serious because he or she is still paid the same $60 to administer the case so they are not going to do any additional work if they don’t have to.
The Office of the US Trustee is the office that can look at the tax returns and look at the pay advices and scrutinize the petition. That is where a debtor can get hung up if he or she is committing some sort of fraud. It’s not going to be the panel trustee who raises the issue. More likely than not, it’s going to be the US trustee who has the resources and the time and the effort and the willingness to prevent people from committing bankruptcy fraud.
And that was the rush up to the new law change that this new Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act was going to knock out the bankruptcy fraud that was running rampant through the system. The truth is, bankruptcy fraud was not running rampant through the system. There is always going to be fraud, no matter what type of case, no matter what type of law, no matter what type of industry. Human beings are going to commit fraud. Human beings are going to be dishonest. Make sure that you find a local bankruptcy lawyer who is not dishonest.