Do I Really Need to File 60 Days of Pay Stubs When I File Bankruptcy?

23 Dec Do I Really Need to File 60 Days of Pay Stubs When I File Bankruptcy?

It seems as though the requirement in the current bankruptcy law that a debtor must file all of their pay advices (pay stubs) with their bankruptcy petition is overly rigid.  Surely if you omit one pay advice, the bankruptcy judge will understand and overlook your omission, wouldn’t s/he?

The answer is a resounding NO.  Even the omission of one pay stub in the 60 days prior to your filing a bankruptcy petition will result in the dismissal of your case.

Judge Stephen D. Gerling, chief bankruptcy judge for the Northern District of New York, recently dismissed a case where the debtor filed all but one of his pay advices.  In the Chapter 7 case of Anthony J. Scalise, the debtor’s pay was the exactly the same for each pay period.  Mr. Scalise was not able to find the one pay stub he received immediately before he filed his petition, but he filed all of the others, which were all the same.

Judge Gerling found that Mr. Scalise made a reasonable effort to comply with the requirement that he file 60 days of pay advices.  Nonetheless, he found that he had no discretion under the current bankruptcy law to accept anything less than complete compliance, and he dismissed the case.  “While dismissal of this case may seem to be a harsh result, it is one that is mandated by the statute”.

Perhaps when Congress begins again in January, they will look to change this, and other unjust provisions in the current bankruptcy law.

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Peter Orville is a bankruptcy lawyer in Binghamton, located in the Southern Tier of New York. He is a member and New York co-chair of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys.
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