Salary of the bankrupt as a component of the bankruptcy estate
If the bankruptcy court issues a decision on declaring bankruptcy, the debtor’s assets become a mass of bankruptcy. This mass is the property of the bankrupt not only on the day of declaring bankruptcy, but also acquired by him in the course of bankruptcy proceedings. In simpler terms, as a rule, all movables (e.g. vehicles or cash), real estate, receivables and property rights that have collapsed on the day of declaring bankruptcy and acquired later, will serve to satisfy creditors.
Falling down until the liquidation of the asset concerned, the bankruptcy estate remains its owner. However, it is not free to manage and dispose of it. The administrator of the bankruptcy estate is the receiver.
In order to mitigate the effect of bankruptcy on the assets of the insolvent party, the legislator provided for a number of exceptions. From the point of view of the failed consumer and the entrepreneur running a sole trader, Article 63 (1) (c) of the Bankruptcy Law is of key importance. 2 of the Bankruptcy Act, which provides that the remuneration for the work of the bankrupt in the part not subject to seizure is not included in the bankruptcy estate. It is, of course, a question of remuneration for work paid on the basis of a contract of employment. This means that a fallen person can freely dispose of the part that is not subject to seizure. The determination of what part of the remuneration will not constitute a component of the bankruptcy estate, and therefore will go to the bankrupt, follows from Articles 87 and 87(1) of the Labour Code.
Remuneration free of charge
As a rule, therefore, half of the remuneration for work will remain at the disposal of the bankrupt, but not less than the minimum remuneration for work. It is worth noting that the net remuneration paid to the employee after deduction of social security contributions and advances on personal income tax is not subject to deductions. Currently, from 1 January 2018, the minimum monthly salary of a full-time employee is PLN 2,100 gross, which is PLN 1,530 net (in 2017, the net amount of the minimum salary was PLN 1,459) – so this net amount is the minimum amount that must be paid to the bankrupt. However, if the bankrupt would earn PLN 4,000 net, then the amount of PLN 2,000 would be transferred to the bankruptcy estate.
If the bankrupt is subject to a maintenance obligation, he or she will have the right to receive 2/5th of his or her salary. In this case, however, there is no legally determined amount free of deduction. This means that the bankrupt may receive less than the minimum wage. For example, a bankrupt earns PLN 2,500 net, and at the same time is obliged to pay maintenance, in which case the receiver will collect PLN 1,500 (i.e. 3/5 of the net salary), and only PLN 1,000 will be paid to the bankrupt.
It is worth remembering that when the Debtor receives income from various sources (e.g. is employed on the basis of several employment contracts), deductions from the remuneration are made from the sum of such income.