phone_ctc2

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Hello world! Please change me in Site Preferences -> This Category/Section -> Lower Description Bar

05

Dec 2010

After your bankruptcy trustee hearing–the goal line is in sight

Posted by / in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy / 76 comments

You’re in sight of the goal line.  It’s two months and two weeks ahead.

At your bankruptcy trustee hearing–called the section 341 hearing or “meeting of creditors”–two different trustees had a shot at you.

The Chapter 7 trustee looked at your papers to see if there was anything valuable to sell.  And the United States Trustee looked to see if you were a bankruptcy abuser–making too much money or dishonest in your bankruptcy papers.    If there was a problem with something, we probably would know on the spot.

Things are now on schedule for your bankruptcy to wrap up in about two weeks and two months.  No news is good news.  You don’t need to do anything.

Here are some deadlines we hope will pass with nothing happening.

The United States Trustee trustee has ten days to file a “statement of presumed abuse. ”  That would happen if he disagreed with the way I filled out your budgets–and they think you have too much money left over to be allowed to file Chapter 7.  If nobody showed up from their office to challenge me at your hearing, we expect this deadline to pass by.

Your Chapter 7 trustee has 30 days to object to your bankruptcy exemptions.  If the trustee thinks you have too much money in the bank, too much in paid for cars, too much real estate equity–or getting too much in a tax refund–that’s where problems would come from.  (Or, if you’ve moved in the last two years, there could be an argument about what law applies.)  Virginia has about the worst bankruptcy exemptions in the country.

If your exemptions are close, we would have spent a lot of time talking and planning when we first met.

Maybe one person in ten has an exemption problem.  The Chapter 7 trustee will almost always let us know at the hearing if it looks like there will be a problem with exemptions.

Your creditors have 60 days from the hearing to object.  (At least most of them do.  Debts like taxes–usually– and child support are not discharged by bankruptcy.  And they don’t have to do anything in the bankruptcy to prove that.  They can come after you whenever.)

Creditor objections come in two main kinds.  Credit card companies will object if they think you were running up your credit cards while you were getting ready to file bankruptcy.  One reason I like the Experian.com/reportaccess credit report is that it gives us balance history to look at together.  If I think there’s going to be a problem, we talk about putting off your bankruptcy for a few months.

Every year, only two or three of my bankruptcy clients (out of about seven hundred) have a creditor claim there was a run-up.  Usually we knew there would be a problem–but had to rush the bankruptcy for some other reason.   Now and then, someone will keep using the credit cards, after they see me and decide to file bankruptcy.  That will be trouble.

The other way we hear from creditors, is a claim that your whole debt is fraudulent.  Usually that’s what I call a “personal grudge creditor.”   Spouse or family member, former friend, or former business partner.     These personal grudge creditors can claim you lied to them when you got the debt–claimed it was for college but used it to buy drugs, for example.  Even worse, they claim you are lying to the court now–didn’t tell the court about the $80,000 in your overseas bank.

Those are tough for me to predict–I know a lot about the banks, but you know your friends.  (You also have an idea if your friends know something you didn’t tell me.) We hope there’s nothing like that out there.

The creditors’ deadline is 60 days from the date of bankruptcy trustee hearing.

We expect those 60 days will pass without anybody doing anything.  That’s true of nearly all my clients–and no news is good news.

When the 60 days are over, it takes the court about two more weeks to mail out your discharge.  The discharge is your final approval.

While you’re waiting, remember this.   The Supreme Court said just a few years ago, “the principal purpose of the Bankruptcy Code is to grant a fresh start to the honest but unfortunate debtor.”  549 U.S. 365 (2007).  That  “fresh start” the Court said, all the way back in the 19s0′s, is a “new opportunity in life and the clear field for future effort.”  292 US 234 (1934).

That’s what all this is about.  Your fresh start–your new opportunity and clear field–are just ahead.

Please select the social network you want to share this page with:

We like you too :)

Thanks for connecting with Robert Weed. We look forward to sharing valuable information with you.

Robert Weed has helped twelve thousand people file bankruptcy in Northern Virginia. Robert Weed is a frequent panelist and speaker at the meetings of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys. He is one of Northern Virginia’s most experienced personal bankruptcy lawyers. As an expert on changing consumer bankruptcy laws, Robert Weed has been interviewed on local and national TV and quoted in newspapers across the country.

SIMILAR POSTS
76 comments
  • Karen Mikusak

    June 8, 2011, pm30 2:53 PM
    01

    This article was VERY informative. I filed for Chapter 7 in Michigan recently and it would have been nice (and reassuring) if my attorney had explained the 341 Hearing process to me. Knowing the deadlines and responsibilities of the two Trustees certainly would have made it easier to sleep at night! I have not yet received a discharge, but after reading your article I am much more confident about my situation. Thank you.

    • Robert Weed

      June 9, 2011, am30 6:02 AM
      02

      Thank you for those nice comments. Glad I can help.

  • Steve Tran

    July 21, 2011, pm31 2:37 PM
    03

    Hi Robert,

    Your article has been a lot of helps. Just want to ask you one thing. My tenant has filed Chp 7 on June 10, 2011 and the hearing was on July 20, 2011. She has not paid rent after the bankruptcy has been filed. Is she supposes to paid rent? Can I contact the Bankruptcy Trustee on this issue?

    • Robert Weed

      July 21, 2011, pm31 5:21 PM
      04

      Trustee will not likely be any help.

      But you have the same right to collect rent starting June 11 that you would have had if there was no bankruptcy; send bills–for a partial month (unless June had been paid)–call, or court.

      Once the tenant moves out, you cannot hold them for the rest of the lease.

  • Jane

    July 22, 2011, pm31 7:45 PM
    05

    Hello Mr. Weed. Thank you for such an informative website. It has been very helpful. We filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy and have our discharge hearing scheduled for Aug 4th. After filing last month, my husband has finally been able to find a full-time job. At our discharge hearing, will his new income be a factor on our bankruptcy?

    • Robert Weed

      July 24, 2011, am31 8:45 AM
      06

      The big chance in the 2005 bankruptcy law was to spell out an eligibility formula called the “means test.” That’s based on your income over the last six months, so your husband’s new job doesn’t affect that.

      They also put in this vague provision about abuse based on the “totality of circumstances.” That totality of circumstances is, well, everything. So your husband’s new job is part of the totality of the circumstances.

      Having said that, I almost never see a totality of circumstances challenge around here. So if he were my client I’d tell you not to worry about it.

      But I don’t know where you are, or who your judge is. Or what kind of job he got.

      Did he get a contract with the NFL or Goldman Sachs? That would be more likely to be a problem than if he is doing the kind of job that most people do in your area.

  • Jane

    July 24, 2011, pm31 3:32 PM
    07

    Thank you for your quick response to my previous question! We live in Southern California. My husband got a job that pays $12 per hour. When the judge asks us what our income is, I am assuming we inform him of the new amount we make monthly — and does the judge at that time tell us if we still qualify for bankruptcy?

  • Lisa

    April 10, 2012, am30 12:53 AM
    08

    Mr. Robert Weed,
    I filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Jan. I had my meeting with creditors March 1st. The trustee wanted bank statements showing in 2010 I paid over $20,000 off in credit card debt, which i provided. I was asked if I expected a tax refund. I said “No, I owe” According to turbo tax I did owe. According to an accountant I can potentially receive $3,800 in federal, though I owe $200 to state. This is not exempt as far as i could see. Do I lose this amount?. Being quite honest it is the only opportunity I can see at getting ahead. Losing it is devastating. ‘
    If the trustee was concerned with the 341 meeting would I have already received a letter? My lawyer stated as you did..”No news is good news.” I am so scared, anxious…I never wanted to claim Bankruptcy, though my divorce, buying a home was impossible on only my income. I am current on my house payments.

    Thank you

    • Robert Weed

      April 10, 2012, am30 7:26 AM
      09

      Lisa:

      LISTEN to your lawyer. Your told a lie–well, a mistake–to the trustee. Your lawyer knows that trustee and will know what to do to correct that mistake.

      (You probably also were not very careful with your lawyer. If you had said, “I don’t know if I’ll get a refund,” then a good lawyer would have held on to your case and not filed until the taxes were done. Being complete and accurate with your lawyer avoids “scared, anxious…”)

  • mindy E

    July 17, 2012, pm31 8:23 PM
    10

    My husband and I have filed for ch 7 in Orlando FL and have the 341 meeting next month. I want to know after that meeting will we be obligated to give any money to trustee once my husband finds a job?

  • Scott

    November 10, 2012, pm30 1:57 PM
    12

    very informative site.
    I was wondering what your opinion is on signing (not sure of the name of the document) a confirmation that will let the bank I have my second mortgage through kept calling me and telling me they need it for there file. I was advised by my lawyer that he would not recommend signing anything and if I continue to make my monthly payments to that the bank cannot take my house from me.

    your thoughts would be appreciated

    Thank you

  • Ayeisha Clark

    December 2, 2012, pm31 1:39 PM
    14

    Hii, i am currently waiting for the meeting of the creditors on 12.20.12. What i want to know is after that meeting I know that i have to do the counseling what I am confused on is how soon I can do it and if it takes about 60 days for everything to go through? I am also not sure if doing the chapter 7 can actually help my credit or not. Also I would like to know if you get paperwork after the meeting of the creditors stating that you met with the trustee and if you will also receive paperwork stating that your bankruptcy is done. I have another question as well, is it possible for this process to end sooner than expected?

    • Robert Weed

      December 2, 2012, pm31 2:56 PM
      15

      Ayeisha:

      Why isn’t your lawyer available to answer those questions, if you are in the middle of a chapter 7 bankruptcy?

      I don’t understand.

  • lorry

    December 11, 2012, am31 9:49 AM
    16

    Hi, I’m overseas right now, I want to file bankruptcy chapter 7 my self, but I’m not sure if i can because I live here in Japan. I’m unemployed . Do I need my husband income to file for bankruptcy.

    Thanks a lot

    • Robert Weed

      December 11, 2012, am31 11:22 AM
      17

      Lorry:

      You need to talk to a lawyer and give him a complete picture of your situation before you decide what to do. Find a lawyer in the state where your permanent US address is.

  • Jeff D.

    January 5, 2013, pm31 7:23 PM
    18

    Hi,

    I file for Ch 7 and my 341 meeting is coming soon. My attorney is out of town. I just realized that I have a mortgage overseas ( India) that i though it is not important to include it. I owe 80K and make $600 monthly on it. I use it for the family when we travel and stay few months of the year. My question is too late to include it knowing the meeting is coming soon ( my attorney is out of town till the end of the week not answering my emails).

    Not trying to hide this, If trustee asks me if i own a property overseas i will say YES, but what means the trustee has to know such thing.

    • Robert Weed

      January 6, 2013, am31 7:24 AM
      19

      Jeff:

      Lying to the bankruptcy court can be very serious. I really HATE it when people “just realize” something between when the papers go to the court and we go to the court. All the choices are bad.

      Let me just share one thing they teach young lawyers. “IF someone has to go to jail, make sure it’s the client and NOT the lawyer.”

  • Jeff D.

    January 6, 2013, pm31 3:23 PM
    20

    Thanks. As I mentioned no one is trying to lie. I was searching for an advice. If someone assumes all questions asked by the attorney were pertained to debts and assets in USA only, then this is not intentionally a lie.

    BTW, I did not get an answer for my two questions, thanks anyway

    • Robert Weed

      January 6, 2013, pm31 3:29 PM
      21

      Jeff:

      Fair enough, your post is very helpful. It’s a reminder to me and everyone who works for me that we need to make sure people understand they need to tell the court about overseas property, too.

  • Melody

    January 31, 2013, am31 11:28 AM
    22

    I am thinking about Chapter7 bankruptcy in Texas. If I have to sell my stocks can I use the money for appliances, flooring,swimming pool,pump and pool heater? Thank you for your time.

    • Robert Weed

      January 31, 2013, am31 11:40 AM
      23

      Melody:

      I don’t know enough about Texas law, sorry.

  • Melinda

    February 13, 2013, pm28 1:39 PM
    24

    Robert,
    I have a “personal grudge creditor” on my hands and I would like to know MY rights as a debtor. My husband and I are currently filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and we had our meeting of creditors just a few weeks ago. During this meeting it came to our attention that a bitter family member had contacted the trustee in our case prior to the meeting to tell lies and allegations (saying we own property and cars overseas) about us in order to have our case denied. They have no proof of these allegations yet our case is on hold and we were treated like criminals. Now WE are having to collect tons of paperwork to prove our innocence. I thought the “burden of proof” was on the creditor? Am I right and what are our rights in this situation?
    Thank you in advance!

    • Robert Weed

      February 13, 2013, pm28 2:53 PM
      25

      Melinda:

      The burden of proof is on the creditor, but you have the burden of answering any questions and producing and documents that they want.

  • Joe

    March 21, 2013, pm31 7:36 PM
    26

    I am filing chapter 7 right now and I received around $4,700 for a tax refund which was of course spent on current bills, rent, phone bills, tv, internet, vehicle maintenance and so fourth. Will this have any effect on the filing or my bankruptcy going through? I do have receipts for most of this. I live in Colorado.
    Thanks, This site has been very helpful.

    • Robert Weed

      March 22, 2013, am31 6:37 AM
      27

      Joe:

      Having receipts was smart. It has no affect as long as they don’t think you buried it in your back yard or sent it to Pakistan.

  • Teresa

    April 8, 2013, am30 10:35 AM
    28

    Hi Robert, I have waited to the last minute literally to file my taxes because I thought I would owe since I owed the year before. I do not own any property and I don’t have much write off’s except for business expenses and child care.

    However, my situation is a little unique because I was defrauded out of money and this is why I had to file Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and it is listed in my schedules of what was defrauded and stolen from me. The judge accepted this and granted me a discharge. When I met with my accountant last week come to find out I can write off the money that was stolen from me and now I am getting a significant return and not sure how to handle it. Allot of the money that was taken from me was out from my 401K and I had taken out payday loans one up to $10k that had severely high interest rates for the person that was in need of money and conning me. This person is now in Jail for extortion and 2 counts of domestic violence.

    The Trustee also has an open claim to the person who defrauded me and his attorney. If they agree to buy out the settlement I would get to keep 65% of what they offer to buy of the claim and the Trustee would keep 35% minus administrative fee’s; if nothing is negotiated I can then move forward with civil litigation against the person who defrauded me out of money and his attorney.

    Considering the set of circumstances will the refund need to be returned the state and in all fairness I had no idea that I could write off the fraudulent activity?

    • Robert Weed

      April 8, 2013, am30 10:50 AM
      29

      Teresa:

      I’m sorry, but I don’t know enough about the status of your case to answer those questions. I also don’t know enough about tax law to answer your question even if I knew more about your case. Sorry.

  • Cathy Lee

    April 26, 2013, am30 12:15 AM
    30

    I filed chap 7 last jul 2012 and the creditor hearing was in aug and I received a discharge, but at the hearing I was told the exemptions were off and afterwards I was forced to turn in my car it was worth too much that was last oct 2012. I am still waiting for my case to be finished and have no car? How long will this drag out. The car hearing was April 2013. I live in the state of WA.

    • Robert Weed

      April 26, 2013, am30 9:09 AM
      31

      Cathy:

      Sorry, I know about Virignia I can’t shed any light on Washington. Obvioiusly you and your lawyer did not do good planning if you didn’t figure out how to protect your car. That’s sad.

  • Melissa Aronson

    June 22, 2013, pm30 10:48 PM
    32

    My Chapter 7 bankruptcy meeting of the creditors is scheduled for Jul 10th in VA. Unfortunately, the law firm I am dealing with has not been very helpful in advising how to spend the money I have on hand now that it’s not going towards my credit card debt. I have $1,900 in my savings account left from my tax refund this year. Does that all need to be spent prior to bankruptcy? Am I going to lose future tax refunds? Can money be spent on clothing for my daughter and I? I am very cautious spending money except for on bills and necessities (such as groceries). Also, I am going to be reaffirming my car loan. Does this mean I will never be able to trade or sell the car until it’s paid for? Thank you!

    • Robert Weed

      June 24, 2013, am30 10:50 AM
      33

      Melissa:

      Sorry you have a lawyer who won’t answer your questions. The day the bank balances matter is the day your papers went to the court.

      I just looked it up–your papers went to Court on May 31, so that’s the date that the court looks at your money in the bank. Money building up after that doesn’t matter–and spending it down wouldn’t help. Most people are safe having up to $5000 in the bank at that time–as long as you didn’t own any really valuable paid for cars.

      Looks like you had your car with Cap One Auto. They are not hard to work with.

      (When I looked up your papers, I looked up your lawyer too. They have a very poor reputation with other bankruptcy lawyers. Sorry you picked them.)

  • Mike J

    July 10, 2013, pm31 6:48 PM
    34

    Mr.Robert,
    My Chapter 7 bankruptcy meeting of the creditors is scheduled for Aug 2 13, i filed on June 3rd, Now one of the questions that i have, my wife bought a car under one of my credit cards back in Dec 2012, and it is under her name, we are not filing jointly, i am only filing for my self, shall i not tell the trustee about it? or should i tell them about it? since it is not under my name. your help is appreciated with this question

    • Robert Weed

      July 10, 2013, pm31 7:27 PM
      35

      Mike:

      You bought a car(!) in your wife’s name, using a credit card in your name, back in December 2012?

      That’s definitely an issue….you really need a lawyer who knows your complete situation and the laws in your state to figure out the best way to handle that. I can imagine that not being a problem at all–and I can also imagine it being a big problem.

      • Mike J

        July 11, 2013, am31 1:50 AM
        36

        It is the state of FL, i spoke to my attorney and she said not to mention it since it is not under my name, but i am not feeling so sure about it?

  • Alfredo

    September 5, 2013, pm30 7:07 PM
    37

    Dear Mr Weed
    I filed chapter7 BKR in Texas, the 341 meeting just took place and everything went smooth. I defaulted on my mortgage loan back in May 2009. Texas code regarding statute of limitations has a four year dead line to file suit to foreclosure; my loan is presumably barred by the statute of limitations. I treated the loan as unsecured and disputed; the trustee didn’t mention or object to it, nor the lender. I understand that a secured lender doesn’t have to file proof of claim, therefore I would not be able to object it using the limitations as an affirmative defense. How can I raise the issue before the debt is discharged if the bank doesn’t do anything? The reaso I ask this is because the statute of limitations is usually an affirmative defense, can it be an adversary proceeding? Or does it have standing in BKR court?

    • Robert Weed

      September 5, 2013, pm30 7:11 PM
      38

      Alfred:

      You know FAR MORE than I do about foreclosure law in Texas. I’m a bankruptcy lawyer in Virginia and I often comment on stuff where the same rules should apply nationally. But your question is pretty specific to Texas and I have no qualification at all to say anything. Sorry.

  • Elaine C

    September 27, 2013, pm30 7:59 PM
    39

    Hi Mr Weed

    Due to poor money management, an upside sown car loan and large student loan debt I filed Chap 7 in NY. I had my 341 meeting in August. It did not go well. I used my parents address for everything which I also gave my attorney. When we got to the court I informed my attorney this was my parents address and not the address I am actually paying rent. Big oops but we explained this to the trustee who asked immediately about the address. We were told to provide my rent payments and lease as well as all my bank statements for 2012 and 2011 and 2012 tax forms. The trustee also felt I had an excess of 600 a month which my attorney quickly realized could be fixed by including my student loans. I am nervous some mistakes were mine but all and all I think I have a lousy attorney. We resubmitted my schedules and provided the trustee with all information asked. Should I be worried? With my re submissions how long do I know if I am in the clear? Your thoughts?

    • Robert Weed

      September 27, 2013, pm30 8:20 PM
      40

      Elaine:

      I really lean on my clients to give me complete detailed information–even before I meet with them. I want everything in writing before I sit down with them in person.

      That, USUALLY, avoids the problem you are having “When we got to court I informed my attorney…” That’s what makes lawyers go home and throw up. I don’t know what to tell you.

  • Rachael Nguyen

    October 14, 2013, pm31 8:00 PM
    41

    Hi Robert,

    I had my 341 meeting in Colorado and the trustee said that I have too much equity in the house that I’ve co-signed and need to sell the house to pay the creditors. Originally, my lawyer calculated and said that the house should be exempted but now the trustee said that the house market went up and I have too much equity and I have to pay $36k. Is there anyway I could get out of this? Is it possible to withdraw my filing or if worst case, negotiate to pay less? My lawyer is not too helpful. Thank you so much for your help!

    • Robert Weed

      October 14, 2013, pm31 10:15 PM
      42

      Rachael:

      I hate that! You can try to negotiate with the trustee, who may come down a little, if you can borrow form your 401k or something and pay. You are not allowed to drop out of Chapter 7 just because you don’t like the way it’s going, sorry. You could convert to chapter 13 and pay the bankruptcy court that 36,000 over five years–but it’s not clear where you would get the money–or how you would explain where you got it.

      There are no good answers.

  • karen Diane

    October 23, 2013, pm31 2:24 PM
    43

    We had our bankruptcy hearing October 16, 2013 and all went well except a creditor showed up to our hearing )(we owed her money for a small claims court issue that we lost). Can she slow down our process?
    Our attoney told us not to worry about it because it is not something we are mandated to pay after chapter 7 bankruptcy,,,

    • Robert Weed

      October 23, 2013, pm31 5:08 PM
      44

      Karen Diane:

      Sounds like your lawyer told you what the law is. You only need to worry about taxes, child support, DWI personal injury accidents, money you stole, student loans.

      Or intentional injuries. Years ago I talked to a women who had thrown an ashtray across the bar and hit another woman in the face–bankruptcy doesn’t help with that.

      You didn’t tell me what your small claim was, but your own lawyer asked you I’m sure.

  • Hoa Lam

    October 25, 2013, pm31 9:27 PM
    45

    I filed bankruptcy chapter 7 in Oct- 2010. I got the discharged paper in 2011. I talked to the Bank of America Rep. yesterday, they said my bankruptcy case still open. My question are: when is bankruptcy case “Final Decree”? where do I get my bankruptcy case status?

    Thanks
    Hoa

    • Robert Weed

      October 26, 2013, pm31 12:43 PM
      46

      Hoa

      Your bankruptcy lawyer should know if your case is still open and why–if it is at all. Sometimes when you talk to a bank they are just looking at their records and they forgot to update the records.

      If your case still is open, it could be any number of things. Sometimes just a computer glitch. Maybe you forgot to take the second class. Maybe you are under investigation for something. Maybe your bankruptcy trustee found something valuable they are trying to sell.

      Easy for your lawyer to find out what’s going on.

  • Jas

    November 10, 2013, pm30 4:52 PM
    47

    Question: My Chap 7 has been discharged but is still open due to an on-going lawsuit, that I have agreed to allow the trustee to take party to, but the lawsuit is going to go on for years – I would like to trade in my old car and apply for a newer car purchase using the old car as the down payment (which I still make payments on). So do I have to contact the trustee when doing this or applying for any new credit while the case is still open?

    • Robert Weed

      November 11, 2013, pm30 12:34 PM
      48

      Jas:

      You need to ask your lawyer there what the judges think about it where you are. Different judges see it different ways. Or ask the trustee.

  • Mike

    January 8, 2014, pm31 2:42 PM
    49

    Dear Mr. Weed,
    I was reading your article and it says that taxes will not be discharged in the bankruptcy, is this always the case as I was lead to believe that based on my circumstances I could discharge my taxes. In dealing with the IRS they have had me in an uncollectible status for 2 years and when they updated my means test this year they didn’t say I should file bankruptcy but did elude that it may be my best option. I fell under all the guidelines to include these taxes but now I am concerned. Please help!!!

    • Robert Weed

      January 8, 2014, pm31 4:57 PM
      50

      Mike

      Thanks Mike; I’m changing it to taxes–USUALLY

  • Kristy morgan

    February 14, 2014, am28 3:18 AM
    51

    Our chpt 13 is now done after 5 yrs. However during the process we sold property (through the court) but our repayment schedule was never adjusted to reflect this. Our creditors have all been paid at the initial 9% but there is an excess of 40k in our trustee account. Do we get this money back? Can the court take this money? I can’t get a straight answer from our attorney. Any thoughts?r

    • Robert Weed

      February 14, 2014, am28 11:04 AM
      52

      Kristy:

      Wow! That’s a mess.

      What happens to that $40,000 that would have gone to catch up your mortgage and now is just sitting there? The first thing it depends on is whether your judge thinks you had a “pot” plan or a “percentage” plan. If it’s a pot plan, then the money in the “pot” would likely go to the creditors–and they get a LOT more than the 9% they were promised. In as percentage plan, money over the 9% percentage MIGHT come back to you.

      I don’t know how your plan is worded–and I don’t know your judge, so I have no guess.

      Obviously you should have had a LONG talk with your lawyer when you sold that house. (When you decided to sell it, actually.) Did you need to stay in Chapter 13 for some other reason? Could you have switched to Chapter 7 at that point? What does your judge think about those things?

      A good lawyer would need to know the full details of your situation back when the house was sold, to decide what you needed to do then. A lot harder to fix now.

  • Rene Otero

    February 17, 2014, pm28 4:57 PM
    53

    Hello, I have the meeting with the trustee in 2 weeks in my chapter 7 case. I have a family member offering me as a gift 3 fire arms, none of high value. My lawyer advised me to wait to have them shipped to me just in case but wont answer when I ask him about the time frame. How long after the meeting with the trustee, assuming it goes well, should I wait to have them sent to me?

    • Robert Weed

      February 18, 2014, am28 11:17 AM
      54

      Rene:

      Sounds like your lawyer gave you a straight answer to your first question. I’d see what he says on the second question, too.

  • So Tired

    February 20, 2014, pm28 10:23 PM
    55

    Hello Mr Weed,
    My husband & I received our chapter 7 discharge letter from the courts in Dec 2013 but are still waiting for the close letter.
    Shortly before the courts granted us our discharge one of the attorney working on our case granted our mortgage company a release from stay without our knowledge & The Company immediately filed a foreclosure suit which was rejected by the KS courts 9 days later after we submitted our papers from the GA courts. They then sent us to a collection company who is now hounding us with mail & phone calls demanding full payment for the Mortgage, foreclosure fees, attorney fees, & court costs. Our attorney wanted us to sign a consent order with the collection comp which I refused so they have told us there is nothing they can do untill the GA courts send us the Final Closure letter. Our attorney told us when we first received our discharge letter that we could now start over & begin to rebuild our lives, our youngest son age 5 has needed vision alignment surgery but we have postponed it because the only way we can pay for it would be to take the money from our 401k but we are afraid the attorney was not entirely truthful & if we touch that money we will forfeit our chapter 7 somehow.

    So my question(s) to you are can I do something to end the Collection attempt on my own & are we legally covered to take the money to pay for the portion of his surgery not covered by our insurance?

    • Robert Weed

      February 20, 2014, pm28 11:44 PM
      56

      Tired:

      Am I right that the bankruptcy is in Georgia but the property is in Kansas. And you were able to block the foreclosure in the Kansas Courts.

      Sending you then to collections is a blatant violation of the bankruptcy discharge–they can foreclose, but they can’t threaten or call. And it’s also a violation of the FDCPA–Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Obviously you don’t trust your bankruptcy lawyer (in Georgia?) to handle that–not sure why. A bankruptcy lawyer in Kansas probably does not have jurisdiction, but a Fair Debt Collection lawyer in Kansas could go after them. One place to look for a lawyer who does FDCPA is here. http://www.naca.net/.

      And yes, as long at the 401k was properly listed in your bankruptcy (and of course it was PROTECTED by law in your bankruptcy) if you need to take money out for medical reasons and you don’t have anywhere else to get it–it does NOT interfere with your bankruptcy discharge.

    • So Tired

      February 21, 2014, pm28 7:16 PM
      57

      Yes the bankruptcy is in Georgia but the property is in Kansas & we were able to halt the foreclosure in the KS Courts.
      The Company (CITI) did not take any action until after the discharge was issued & has only done so in the Kansas courts system. After that was rejected they moved on to the current tactics.

      You are correct is assuming we don’t trust our attorney.
      We have spent 9 mo dealing with someone who because of basic mathematical error 3x & 1x because they wanted everything to equil zero & not what the actual doc backing it stated, caused us to have to go thru a motion to dismiss, we have had to amend our bankruptcy 4x, I finally had to sit in the office with this person & stare over the shoulder as they input our figures just so I could make sure it was done correctly. Normally you would have to do some paper work that is to be expected but I have had to hand write every part of this process, itemize every single thing spent ie: groceries: 3/13-4/13 $476.11( toilet paper $11.98, juice $23.14) you get the idea. Every step of this process has been ridicules & the attorney has tried to push us into agreeing to change to a chapter 13 after month 2. I have had to search & read all I could on the law just so we could get threw this & our attorney even missed a deadline to submit our amendment #3 & on our final counseling certificates. Then the very day we won our motion to dismiss case this attorney signed a form giving the mortgage company the ok to come after us without even asking us. I received a letter from the court telling me they had done it & asked them why & was told when I signed the papers & paid them in the beginning of 2013 I gave them permission to act on my behalf.
      So yes I do not trust our attorney in the slightest & have tried to replace them 5x but once we entered the motion to dismiss which was very shortly after filing nobody would touch us.

  • Manuel Ortiz

    April 1, 2014, am30 12:01 AM
    58

    Thank you sir for this article, very informative. I ask you this question because the attorney I used was part of a legal plan through my job, and he found out after we filed that I did not have full coverage. In good faith I put the money together to pay him what the legal plan would have, how ever he was not happy with this and wanted more, which I could not afford at the time. So he now is avoiding me. My question is this, in the trustee meeting the only question the trustee had was how much I would receive from my tax refund, how ever being that I only used about $1800 in exemptions he said it did not matter and that I was free to go. I did receive my refund and was given a .22 caliber rifle, of not much value. $450 total, as a gift not too long after. Which would still, with my refund fit with in my exemptions if it was listed. Will this become a problem with the trustee? Again it is a low budget rifle, and I had a lot of wiggle room in my exemptions.

    • Robert Weed

      April 1, 2014, am30 10:14 AM
      59

      Manuel:

      Assuming you are in Chapter 7. Gifts given to you after the Chapter 7 bankruptcy is filed are not a problem. The .22 is not a problem.

      • Manuel Ortiz

        April 1, 2014, pm30 1:33 PM
        60

        Thank you for answering. Yes chapter 7, what worried me is that allthough its a gift, I had to take possession of the rifle as a buyer since the person gifting it to me is not licensed for it in my state. So I was affraid of the trustee some how seeing it and thinking I hid assets. I was completely honest in my questionaire and listing everything. I was tottally honest. So even if I technically look like a “buyer” of the .22 I should still be ok?

  • Dean

    June 11, 2014, pm30 4:30 PM
    61

    Mr. Robert Weed,

    I am currently 2 weeks away from a discharge. I am currently looking to surrneder my vehcile in that time but i also need to purchase a replacement vehicle. What is the best route to go with? Should i wait 2 more weeks, or can i safely assume and go ahead and finance a replacement vehicle at a cheaper rate? My attourney has advised me to wait until the discharge. Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thank You.

    • Robert Weed

      Robert Weed

      June 11, 2014, pm30 4:34 PM
      62

      Dean:

      Your attorney knows your situation lots better than me.

      But I STRONGLY urge my clients to see if they can get a junker from somewhere that will get them around until they are back to good credit in three years. Financing a car right out of bankruptcy is usually an awful move. But like I say, your lawyer knows your situation and I don’t.

      • Dean

        June 11, 2014, pm30 4:40 PM
        63

        A Junker is kind of hard to get right now since cash is a bit tight. I will need a vehicle before my bank comes and repo’s my current vehicle that is due for surrender. Just wanted to know if i can finance 2 weeks before discharge date

        • Robert Weed

          Robert Weed

          June 11, 2014, pm30 4:49 PM
          64

          Dean:

          You are back doing the stuff that got you into trouble. I’d GUESS that after the discharge you’ll be able to get slightly better (although still bad) terms than you can get before. But your lawyer would know how things work in your area a lot better than I would.

          • Dean

            June 11, 2014, pm30 4:58 PM
            65

            I understand that. Im not by any means looking to finance $20K. Much less than that. I need a vehicle for my daily commute. I also live in VA if that helps.

          • Robert Weed

            Robert Weed

            June 11, 2014, pm30 8:00 PM
            66

            Dean:

            I’ve given you my best advice. Your lawyers has, too.

  • John

    June 27, 2014, pm30 4:20 PM
    67

    After your Meeting of Creditors Hearing does anyone verify stated income? For example say i just started a job and they know that i have a job but I told them that i make 300 per week but i actually get closer to 500. At the time of filing I didnt have any stubs to verify income. Are they going to call my employer before my discharge is granted? They did not continue the case and the lawyer said it would take 3 months for discharge.

    • Robert Weed

      Robert Weed

      June 27, 2014, pm30 5:04 PM
      68

      John:

      Telling them the truth would not have been any problem; your bankruptcy could be turned down for lying to the court, although I think the chance of that is very, very tiny.

      • John

        June 27, 2014, pm30 7:58 PM
        69

        Thanks for the response. One follow up question to that. Would a trustee call to verify income? At the time I filed I was to receive my first check in two weeks. I told him 300 is what it would be for and that is what he turned in to the trustee. Obviously it is a little more than that. They concluded my hearing. It is my understanding that it will be discharged after the 60 day period that creditors have to dispute the bankruptcy. So basically I’m asking will the trustees put any more thought into my case or is it basically just going to be rubber stamped out the door provided no creditors object? And if the answer to that is yes or most likely, is there any chance that when I file taxes in the future and have a higher income than I stated does anyone check in on that or is it pretty much once your discharged its out of sight out of mind?

        • Robert Weed

          Robert Weed

          June 27, 2014, pm30 10:24 PM
          70

          John:

          I’m not gonna say any more than I’ve said. Maybe not on purpose, but you misled your own lawyer and the court and now you want me to tell you to NOT worry?

  • Cami Brinkehoff

    July 25, 2014, pm31 6:08 PM
    71

    I have a question I filed chapter 7 bk back in 09 got my discharge in April 10 i thought the whole process was done and over with. we are now trying to buy a house and I found out from my loan guy that yes our credit report shows we filed in 09 got discharged in April 10 but then it shows it was reopened in May of 10 and just closed in 2013. i called my lawyer who isnt available to talk for over a week but the paralegal said she thinks it could have been reopened by the trustee since we had to submit our tax refund. if that is the case why was it opened for 2 years would it really take him that long to distribute 2000 dollars. The big dilemma is my loan guy is saying we have to wait 2 years to buy a house which we thought would have been April of 2012 2 years from the discharge date. i guess my question is will we have to wait 2 years from the 2013 date since the trustee reopened our case? Also shouldn’t we have been informed of our case getting reopened? Thanks for any info you might have for me

    • Robert Weed

      Robert Weed

      July 25, 2014, pm31 7:12 PM
      72

      Cami:

      I think it should be two years from the discharge. You should talk to a different loan guy.

  • Lenny

    August 5, 2014, am31 2:50 AM
    73

    I tried to file a Chapter 7 due to previous business debt from personal guarantees. Once I closed my business I started working at a company with a good paying salary plus commission. I have busted my butt and now based on my commissions my income level is to high for a Chapter 7 according to my current bankruptcy attorney.

    I am now filing a Chapter 13 for only my “Personal Debt” and in hopes the Trustee would not accept any claims from past “Business Debt”

    Is this correct and also the way I should have gone about this?

    • Robert Weed

      Robert Weed

      August 5, 2014, am31 10:08 AM
      74

      Lenny:

      Sorry that you made a mistake lots of people do. you waited until you had recovered too much, and lost income eligibility for Chapter 7. I hate that and it happens a lot. One thing you should look at–if a majority of your debts are business debt, then you have Chapter 7 eligibility and your income doesn’t matter.

  • Henry Hackett

    August 24, 2014, pm31 5:33 PM
    75

    Approximately 10 years ago we filed bankruptcy on all but cars and house. About two years ago we were contacted that we were part of a settlement from second mortgage that we were cheated on and we were awarded $30, 000. We were told that the money was going to a bankruptcy trustee due to our bankruptcy was during same time of second mortgage mishandling our money. We put everything in bankruptcy except the house, second mortgage and vehicles. We were told by the trustee that the reason we filed bankruptcy was the second mortgage. The actual reason we filed was due to huge medical bills and credit card debt. We are working on two years with them trying to get the creditors in our bankruptcy to claim the money. We want to know what kind of lawyer would help us, our bankruptcy lawyer didn’t want to help since it has been so long since we filed bankruptcy. There is one claim filed against our settlement, the trustee has change the settlement date for us to get the settlement money at least four times. Is there any way to get her to move along with this process? And is there anyone we can contact to help us? We just want this resolved to get our money and we really can not understand how this can go on for almost two years, especially when we were told initially it takes a year or less in the beginning. She has our numbers memorized we have called so often and will not answer or return our calls. I have PTSD from Desert Shield Desert Storm. And we tried the military, VA, the Trustee over the trustees in Missouri and no one will help said just wait. Any assistance would be appreciated! Thank you! Henry Hackett

Comments & Questions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>