The number of people driving for Uber and Lyft these days is increasing rapidly. I have noticed many bankruptcy filers in my office reporting that they are working, at least part time, for Uber and Lyft. What does this have to do with bankruptcy? Let me tell you!
You Must Disclose All Income in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Failing to disclose a source of income to the bankruptcy court can create some issues. Not everyone considers driving for Uber or Lyft to be a source of income, especially if they are just driving sporadically. However, all sources of income, even minor ones, must be disclosed.
Because there are income limits to Chapter 7 bankruptcy, extra income from Uber or Lyft can create issues. If you’re already close to the Chapter 7 Means Test limits, extra income can push you over the edge and into a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. There are some strategies to deal with this issue, but it is important to disclose all of your income sources to your attorney when you first meet.
Driving for Uber during the middle of your Chapter 7 case can also create some issues. In some cases, the bankruptcy trustee assigned to your case won’t want you running a business during your bankruptcy. This is because the bankruptcy trustee owns your liability during the pendency of your case. If you drive for Uber and file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your attorney needs to check with your assigned Trustee to determine whether that will be a problem for them.
Extra Income in a Chapter 13 Can Increase Your Monthly Repayment
The goal of a Chapter 13 is to repay at least a portion of your debts over time under the supervision of the bankruptcy court. The court averages your monthly income over the preceding six months to determine what they think you should be able to afford to repay to your creditors.
If you are reporting extra income from Uber or Lyft during this six month look back period, your Chapter 13 payment might have to increase. But not everyone drives for Uber on a regular schedule. If you have sporadic side income from a Uber or Lyft, you should make sure that your attorney understands how often (or not) that you are out there driving.
Details really matter in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case. You don’t want to be stuck in a Chapter 13 plan that you cannot afford. Make sure you discuss any extra income or side jobs with your attorney before you file your bankruptcy case.
I help consumers and business owners deal with debt and their finances in Sacramento. Please call me at (916) 333-2222 to discuss your bankruptcy options today.