If 90% of my pay is considered commission, will I have to surrender 90% of my income to the trustee until my bankruptcy is complete?

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If 90% of my pay is considered commission, will I have to surrender 90% of my income to the trustee until my bankruptcy is complete?

I drive a truck for a living and make “commission” while on the road and am paid hourly when in the office (which is around 10-15 hours every 2 weeks). Without the 90% of my income, I would be homeless and not be able to pay any of my bills. I was told by a lawyer’s assistant, that commission is fair game to the trustee after Chapter 7 has been filed.

Asked on April 17, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Illinois

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Exemptions from the bankruptcy code can run through the federal bankruptcy law or your state's law, dependent upon if your state opted to go its own way on these laws. You should have a bankruptcy attorney help you through this process in Illinois, as he or she would know what if any exemptions you could qualify for and whether it would be worth the effort to file a motion to make all or some of your commission exempt. Otherwise, the trustee is pretty much dead on. Have you considered a reorganization of your debts rather than a full discharge? That may help!

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I suggest that you speak with your bankruptcy attorney as opposed to his or her assistant.

If you are in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and assuming you get a discharge, all income that you are receiving after the filing through discharge (if such happens) and afterwards is yours regardless if it is deemed commissions or salary.

From what you have written, the lawyer's assistant seems to have given you bad advice. The whole purpose of a bankruptcy is to give a person a fresh start on life.


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