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At what level are bank accounts scrutinzed?


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You have to supply statements for each and every month for X months. The larger your BK, the more months you have to supply.

As to weather the trustee reviews transactions, they never said anything about my transactions and I had to supply two years of bank statements. When looking at bank statements, I believe that they probably concentrate on any payment going to friends/family/business partners etc especially within the one year proceeding the Bk filing to see if the Trustee can claw back any funds for the BK estate. (Those payments would be considered insider payments).

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My wife and I just went through the Creditors Meeting with the Trustee just this week on a Chapter 7. I had started a couple of years ago to file, but couldn’t come up with the attorney’s fee at the time. Some things have changed in those two years, but I just looked and the bank account info is the same.

We were required to furnish the last three months banks statements, past six months of payroll stubs, and the past two years tax returns. They had to be updated to the current even after the filing.

On the bank statements we sailed through okay. I guess if you don’t have a whole bunch of exorbitant expenditures showing a ton of money sitting around you should be okay. I saw several people before us and bank statements never was a question. It was generally something else.

Of course the law is the same, but the scrutiny could be different due to the difference in the trustees. So, I couldn’t tell you for sure. I don’t know if it is standard procedure, but our attorney did tell us that the trustee that we went before, would in some situations, actually go to your place and do a drive by I guess you could say, checking to see that you don’t live in a mansion, have a luxury car, big boat, etc. we had no concern in that department. If she had come by she might have suggested that we look into Welfare and Food Stamps.

It was really no big deal if you have all your ducks in a row. I wanted to go into a little detail about that, so I’ll do it here I hope y’all don’t mind. I have read in the past some mention going Pro Se. I did see a young lady that did it the other day and she apparently did a good job and the trustee did complement her, but cautioned her on a couple of things she had done. It was no doubt out of ignorance, but she had taken advice of the clerk in the office when she filed, The trustee told her not to listen to the clerks that they didn’t know the law nor were they lawyers. She told her other than taking the bad advice from the clerks, that she had done a good job.

Then I witnessed a couple with a lawyer get the third degree on the valuation of their vehicles. The trustee said that they were too low. They had put a value on one vehicle as $700 and the trustee said it was more like $2000 per the NADA value. They got caught in a little trap there and their lawyer sat there like a knot on a log and didn’t try to help them at all. If they hadn’t paid the SOB in advance, if I had been them, I’d have told him since he did a half way job of representing them that he would receive half way pay. There was also another issue with the valuation of their Real Property. Again, he sat there like a knot on a log. I don’t think he even uttered a word the whole time. He could have stayed back at the office ripping off other people. He was totally useless.

Then our attorney represented another lady before our time and she was confronted by an attorney for the bank that her estranged husband had used to secured a loan on some Real Property. I’m hard of hearing and might have missed a little, but the gist was that the husband alone borrowed money on the property in his name alone. The deed had both their names on it. How that happened I don’t know. It has been my experience and I had a piece of property that I reaffirmed. Before I could use the piece of property for collateral on a loan, first a Title Search was performed, then it is jointly owned by myself and my brother. I had to get him to sign off on the Deed Of Trust to secure the loan. So, I didn’t really get or understand the whole picture, but that’s what it sounded like.

This lady and the lawyer bantered back and forth over her liability for the loan. Finally the lawyer asked her, so your testimony under oath here is that you are not liable for this loan? She then wanted to argue some more and finally the lawyer said to her client, just answer yes, we have been over this and she said yes add that ended that and it was over.

If all your ducks are in a row then you should sail on through. You are first sworn in. Then the trustee asks a few basic questions about whether or not you read and understood the basic ins and outs of Bankruptcy, and maybe a few questions about your particular case just to have it confirmed on record that this or that is what you want to do, and then that’s it. If it’s not too complicated maybe 5 minutes and you are out of there.

I had an excellent attorney that specializes in Bankruptcy and I was referred to her the first time by a legal service that I have. They scrutinize their referral attorneys and refer only the best that can meet their qualifications and at a discounted rate for their services. I will just go ahead and tell you her charge. $1320 for a Chapter 7 and she went so far as to throw in the additional Motion to Remove All Judicial Leans. Y’all don’t forget that I’ve read it on the board before the first meeting with the attorney and made sure I got that in. I think she said that the additional charge in was just an additional $30 in her case.

I think she did that because I had my stuff together as far as the necessary documents, her paralegal told me, I wish everybody would do this, it would make it things go a lot smoother. It sounded as though most people had to be prodded to get the information that the attorney needed. I firmly believe that that’s why was no charge for the additional motion.

Now, on the Po Se bit. I probably could have done it, but I didn’t have the time and I wouldn’t do brain surgery on myself. Remember Abraham Lincoln’s saying, "He who represents himself has a fool for a client." I know some of you have done it and I witnessed the young lady the other day, but ours was a little more complicated than hers. Our attorney put the NADA values on our vehicles, made sure we fell in place on our exemptions, and worked on our income because I’m a self-employed farmer and she even told me they don’t run across us very much. So, having said that, who am I to think that I can do a little research and do as well as a good attorney that spent years in school working toward their Juris Doctorate, not to mention passing their license test and securing a license, and their years of experience. I couldn’t walk into an operating room tomorrow and do brain surgery after a little research and book reading.

I truly believe that we could not have sailed through on our own like we did without an attorney. But, like I said, ours was a little more than the bare bones bankruptcy. The money was well spent to get it behind us and not have it dismissed on some technicality that I was ignorant on.

I hope I didn’t step on any toes and take up too much space here, but I thought I had a little information to pass on.

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I agree with the above...use a good BK attorney.

My BK was a little more complex too so I had to supply more information for a longer period of time but I was successfully discharged. I also believe that having a good BK attorney made the difference between a successful BK and one that was not.

Having said the above, interview several attorney's. They are not all the same. Research enough about Bk so you know what to ask and what is important. And, unless you have a very simple case, stay away from the BK mills, IMO. A BK mill is not interested in you or your case, all they want is the upfront fee and then you are pawned off to a paralegal and a jr attorney that has no experience. It sounds like the case he talked about in the above post that had the wrong valuations was handled by a BK mill. :shock: That would be typical of their services...:( ok, off soap box now.

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I’d like to add a couple more things.

The legal service that I mentioned was also one of the services that I marketed along with insurance on the side over the years. I’m still licensed, and just renewed my license to market with them. Over the years with them I was fortunate enough to hear some of the top attorneys from across the country from all areas of the law speak at meetings, in training videos, and weekly conference calls. Some were former prosecuting attorneys, district attorneys, and a couple of state attorney generals. One was even part of one of the national cases that drug on through the media for months years ago.

I don’t really recall any of them using Lincoln’s quote but, the common denominator was that an individual in the majority of cases just handling a legal problem outside of the courtroom is basically spinning their wheels. You can try and handle a lot of things and talk till you’re blue in the face, but until an individual, company xyz or whoever, receives a letter on and attorney’s letterhead, or a simple phone call about a matter, you’re are more than likely wasting your breath and time.

Bear with me and I have one example pertaining to our bankruptcy.

I live in the Hurricane Katrina zone, no not New Orleans, to the east in the wind and water quadrant of the storm. Our home was damaged and I had total replacement policy on the structure and contents, with a limit on the contents, spelled out in the contract. Insurance policies are legal binding contracts on both parties part. Your’s to naturally pay and be truthful when applying, and theirs to pay a covered claim as spelled out in the contract.

We, as so many others did, filed our claim. The adjuster came out and was a nice guy (independent contractor). He did his estimate which was a total loss on the home and covered damages to the out buildings. It was fair and we had no problems there. Well, the insurance company agreed with his estimate, but only wanted to pay a partial claim until the home was replaced. They did pay the partial claim in a reasonable time given the number of claims that they were dealing with.

We had alternate housing on the farm and were busy for months afterwards and kind of let it slide. Well, one day we woke up and decided that we wanted the rest of the claim money because it wasn’t spelled out that the home had to be replaced to receive the total claim. I went against what I knew I should do. My wife contacted them first to no avail, and then I tried my hand at it and we weren’t even dealing with their attorneys, just employees in their claims department. Then, we finally had enough and did what we should have done to start with. I contacted the law firm and told the attorney that I spoke with the details. He said, no problem, I will write them a letter and he did.

Within a couple of weeks, I got a call from an attorney in the insurance company’s legal department. He told me we have reviewed your claim and the photos the adjuster took. It is our determination that the home is a total loss and the contents are a total loss. We will have you a check in two days. Can you meet with our attorneys, at a given time at their office. We had to read and sign a confidentiality agreement, but we got the difference in our claim in a check that day. We would have never gotten it without a simple letter from, an attorney. The same applies to these credit and bankruptcy legal matters.

Now to our bankruptcy case. My wife’s major concern was that the Collector Scum were going to immediately go after the bank account and get the first paycheck after the judgment which was just less than two weeks before our filing. Our attorney told us don’t worry, they have to wait 30 days and the filing will be before that and stop it. She then agreed to get with the wife’s bank and notify their bankruptcy department of our filing so they would not allow the Collector Scum access to any of our funds. I had this happen with Citi Scum from a judgment a while back, but they didn’t get anything. That’s another story.

What did happen is that about a week after the filing the Collector Scum’s attorneys got with the judge and had a Writ of Garnishment drawn up and sent to her employer. That was also one of her concerns that her employer didn’t know or get involved in her judgment. I know it's public record, but they don’t troll the court records. Anyway, the writ came and was to start 30 days after the judgment, but they were in a hurry to get the ball rolling and this was not mega bucks just for the 20% copay after her insurance policy paid, a total of $1700+. What happened to the electronic notification that our attorney had told us about, I don’t know. Supposedly, almost every entity that is involved in bankruptcy gets immediate notification when a case is filed these days. Obviously they don’t or the judge either.

My wife got on the phone and got with the lawyers paralegal, because it happened on the attorney’s court date. That was before or around noon that day and the paralegal told my wife that it took her the rest of the day to get it squared away. They already knew they had screwed up and admitted it, from what I got. Then in a couple of days the notice came cancelling the Writ of Garnishment. My wife was able to intercept both the writ and the cancellation notice before the employer’s payroll person got it.

Could we have accomplished that, that quick? I don’t think so. We wouldn’t have known where to start in the first place and if we had and it did start with the Collectior Scum’s attorneys would they have listened. Probably, they would have looked into it to see if it was true, but when they were notified that BK had been filed with a case number from our attorney they jumped through hoops to see that the situation’s resolution started that day. They knew they had screwed up and the judge’s office knew that he screwed it up too. They all blamed it on the process server. I don’t think so, he just delivers paper.

My point is I don’t think that the training course or whatever have all the problems addressed. And in our case an attorney got immediate resolution of the problem.

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