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What to do if your income increases after filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy

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In a Nutshell

The first thing you should do is give yourself a high five. Whether you found a new job or got a raise in your old job, getting paid more this week than last week is always a good thing! If you’re a few months into your case, then you don’t have to do anything. If it changed shortly after your case was filed, wait for the creditors’ meeting and let the trustee know during the meeting that your income has changed. Depending on how much it changed, they may say don’t worry about it or request that you file updated forms. 

Written by Attorney Andrea Wimmer.  
Updated July 22, 2020


The first thing you should do is give yourself a high five. Whether you found a new job or got a raise in your old job, getting paid more this week than last week is always a good thing!

If you’re a few months into your case, then you don’t have to do anything. If it changed shortly after your case was filed, wait for the creditors’ meeting and let the trustee know during the meeting that your income has changed. Depending on how much it changed, they may say don’t worry about it or request that you file updated forms

  • Upsolve Users: If your trustee asks you to file an amended Schedule I showing your new income, please visit help.upsolve.org and use the "Submit a Request" feature in the top right corner to let us know and we’ll walk you through it/help you update your forms. 

Potential Pitfall - Surplus Income

If your new income is significantly higher than when your case was filed, you may end up with a large surplus of money every month after paying your expenses. The first thing you should do is review your Schedule J (Expenses) and make sure that the expenses listed are still accurate. Often times folks in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy are so used to pinching each penny that they’re not actually allowing themselves a reasonable amount for expenses each month. 

If you have more than a few hundred dollars left over at the end of the month even after updating your expenses, the trustee may raise this issue with the court. That’s because even though someone qualified under the means test, the court can refuse to allow the person to stay in a Chapter 7 case if they’re able to pay back at least some of their debts as part of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.



Written By:

Attorney Andrea Wimmer

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Andrea practiced exclusively as a bankruptcy attorney in consumer Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 cases for more than 10 years before joining Upsolve, first as a contributing writer and editor and ultimately joining the team as Managing Editor. While in private practice, Andrea handled... read more about Attorney Andrea Wimmer

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