My parents are gifting me 9000 dollars to buy a house. The HUD office wants me to have this in my checking account, to accept my offer. Can I safely put this in my acount? My case is not closed yet because the trustee is waiting for my tax refund check from the IRS. I filed 10-19-2010 and was discharged 1-6-2011. Thank you for any help.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney
It would be unusual for a Bankruptcy Trustee to monitor a bank account after the discharge. But even if your account were monitored, as long as you are able to explain the source of any money going into the account, you won't have any problem.
Hope this perspective helps!
Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Attorney
I would agree that it would be unusual for the Trustee to monitor the account after discharge. Oftentimes, Trustees don't even monitor accounts after the filing of the case. However, each Trustee may be different. Even so, I'm not sure how a Trustee would "monitor" an account. The Trustee would have to ask you for your account statements. It's not as if the Trustee can just go look at your bank accounts on his or her own.
If you had an attorney in your case, you should ask him or her as well.
This correspondence does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is not meant to provide legal advice in that capacity. You may wish to consult an attorney in your area.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorney
If your case is still open, the trustee is allowed to look at your account. You should discuss this with a local attorney who knows your trustee and your court. It's possible that they wouldn't care. It's also possible that they would try to assert an interest in the proceeds.
As a reminder, the above communication does not constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. You should always check with a local attorney, familiar with your court and trustees, to determine whether a local rule or case affects your situation.
I have seen trustees, on occasion, monitor bank accounts of a debtor, sending the bank a letter for duplicate statements without giving a debtor notice. I have also seen trustees clean out an account without a court order if there is no claimed exemption. This is probably not the usual practice, but to be on the safe side, make copies of all checks you deposit into the account and keep all documents, get a letter from the HUD office about the purpose of the $9000 and that it is their request. I don't believe a trustee can prevent you from making this purchase. Is there any way you can exempt all or part of your tax refund? Just checking.
This answer assumes you filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The Bankruptcy Code empowers a Chapter 7 Trustee to liquidate (i.e., take) non-exempt property of your "bankrupty estate." Per Section 541 of the Bankruptcy Code, "property of the bankrupty estate" includes certain property you receive within 180 days of the date your petition was filed by gift or inheritance (11 USC (a)(5)(A)) as well as "any interest in property that the estate acquires after the commencement of the case (11 USC 541(a)(7)). Accepting a gift of that size while your bankruptcy estate is still open is not advisable. Many attorneys who practice in the Bankruptcy Court only handle very simple cases and never see these sorts of issues. Before you take any further action, you need to consult with an attorney who specializes in bankrptcy law.
The above comment is meant as general advice. More information would be needed at a confidential consultation in order to provide an accurate evaluation of your legal options.