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341- starts with the US Trustee being snarky

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  • 341- starts with the US Trustee being snarky

    Well, our 341 was today. The US Trustee was there because we are over the median, and because we had a prior 13 that we dismissed without prejudice. She showed up about a minute into the questioning and says "I'm so-and-so, for the US Trustee's Office and Planned Parenthood". Everyone kind of looked at her, really just having no idea what she was talking about. Then she says "Well, they do have six kids. Six- wow".

    Wow- not discriminating, judgmental, or unprofessional at all.

    The trustee was fine, asked the basics: Name, address, what vehicles are you listing, do you own or rent, are you suing anyone or are you entitled to sue anyone.

    The US Trustee however started off with "So, when do you get your bonus?" DH answered in the summer, and he just got his last week. The other trustee asked how it is calculated, and how much it was, if he received one last year, and the year before. The US Trustee questioned with doubt that he didn't receive a bonus the year before last, but DH explained he wasn't eligible as he had only been with the company for 7 months. She asked how much the bonus was last year, we threw out a ball park figure- she threw back an exact amount and produced a copy of July 2009's paystub. We told her that was obviously right, but clearly according to the paystub that amount was the gross and not our net. (Net was about $5k).

    US Trustee than asked why I have childcare expenses if I don't work. I told her I have 6 kids, and we moved away from all our family. There are times I need people to watch the kids for appointments such as this, or going to the doctors, etc. She then asked if I was going back to work. (Gee, not judgmental there at all either) I told her eventually, but I have a 2 and 4 year old at home right now.

    She then asked about $3400 in withdrawls from our checking account within ten days of filing- I honestly have no clue. I told her she can clearly see we tend to bounce checks, so if there is something important that has to get paid it's not uncommon for us to use money orders and things. I told her it was probably the attorney's fees - I truly blanked out because I would recall if DH withdrew his entire paycheck you know. She asked us to go back and account for it. I looked when I got home and as it turns out there were 2500 in withdrawls within the 10 days prior- spread out over paychecks- but not in a lump sum (which makes sense: like I said, I would remember if DH took his entire paycheck). Partly for the attorney, partly for an Amscot loan, and partly for our first month's rent at our new place we were getting ready to lease.

    She also asked what our monthly average medical expenses were- which I honestly I have no clue how it averages out. I told her I could find out if I had my computer, but didn't know off the top of my head.

    The last thing was she asked about a specific charge on our June bank statement. She asked what the $275 at a particular restaurant was for- business or pleasure. I told her pleasure- my parents were down visiting because our son graduated high school so we went out to dinner. (Really- it's not as if there are weekly or monthly charges like that. So that irritated me that she questioned the one purchase.)

    All in all- I walked out of there and wanted to puke. Our attorney wasn't fazed by any of it, didn't seem worried at all. He said she's just doing her job because DH makes $100K a year which would be highly questionable if we owned lots of properties or it was just the two of us, but do have 6 kids. I however am still not comfortable with it. Our attorney had to make a correction on our filing paperwork and get it back to her for Wednesday- something about next Friday being too late because that was "the 10th day" ??.

    I will print out a spreadsheet of all our co-pays and things to total up our medical costs. Also the details of our withdrawl she questioned. Totally laughable- because our phone was shut off last month just prior to filing and our lights were shut off recently for a couple days- yeah, if I had $3400 in cash in my mattress that would be happening.

    But really, her Planned Parenthood comment set me off on the wrong foot right there, so any of her other questions I'm sure appear more jaded to me. I get very defensive about my family size- it's unconventional yes, but it was my choice and I love my kids. For someone to imply that hey, maybe I should do the "normal" thing and shouldn't have any one of them so I'ld be better off, just gets under my skin.
    Ch 13 filed 06/22/09. Dismissed,thankfully, 03/31/10. Ch 7 filed 06/28/10. 341 07/29/10. UST POA 08/06/10. UST mot to dismiss hearing extended to Dec...Feb...March...May...Aug. UST withdrawal of dismissal filed 05/31! DISCHARGED 07/12/2011!

  • #2
    We have our 341 in the next week or so, and I am little nervous about it, after reading this. We are over medium as well, but passed the means test and have low enough DMI to pass. The UST already had asked the attorney to revise some documents about a week after we filed, which the office did and we've heard nothing since, so I am thinking that they may be at our 341 as well.

    Comment


    • #3
      I don't dare think what the UST would have said if you were expecting another. That was a very unprofessional thing to have said! Sorry you had to go through this and I hope everything works out for you.
      Still learning all of this, but glad I've found this site! Thank you all for your advice and patience!

      Comment


      • #4
        Wow...seriously unprofessional. I know it's their job to ask questions, but trustees should have some kind of training on how to do it without a crappy attitude. I'm sorry you had to go through that. Just keep reminding yourself of how good it will feel to have it all done and in the past.
        DH laid off 3/08 | Last mortgage payment 12/09 | Filed Ch13 5/10 | Converted to Ch7 7/10 | 341 held 8/10 | AP filed by secured creditor 10/10 | Ch7 discharged & closed 11/10 | Foreclosure 10/2011

        Comment


        • #5
          wow that is really nasty. i am sorry you were treated that way.

          i hope everything goes smoothly and no more bumps in the road. hang in there.

          i thought they didn't make moral judgements but this is just the type of thing i am afraid of. i feel bad about the situation myself let alone having somebody rub my nose in it.

          good luck from here on out!

          Comment


          • #6
            IMO the UST was rude to you. Maybe she did think her remark was funny, but bad choice of humor then.

            Comment


            • #7
              How rude! I'm glad tho that you kept your cool. It seems that there are
              some people who take pleasure in other people's pain.

              Of course, maybe you should have remarked to her Planned parenthood comment: Yea, we've been trying to sell off two of them but so far no takers or some such thing and then just stared her down.

              My 341 is tomorrow. Hope I keep my cool too!

              Comment


              • #8
                Being rude might have been by design. She's looking for holes in your story, and getting you rattled might be part of her strategy. I don't have 6 kids, but with the amount of debt I've run up I expect pretty much the same treatment.

                Sounds like you kept your cool under fire. Well you've got 6 kids... a lot more challenge than a single UST!
                12/2009 Stopped paying CCs; 3/10 1st suit;
                8/2010 finally served; No Asset 7 filed. 11 mos since last bal xfer
                9/22/10 60 day club; 9/24/10 report of no distr; 11/23/10 DISCHARGED

                Comment


                • #9
                  There's no excuse for that. People are nervous coming in to a 341 hearing, the trustee doesn't need to have tactics like THAT. If someone is coming off as smug, etc, then maybe they can handle the meeting in an alternative fashion, but tact and professionalism should prevail.
                  I don't know who you could complain to about something like this, but I would definitely do it.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I think she's rude, unprofessional and judgmental. Even the UST's intention was joking, I don't think that kind of joke was appropriate at all.
                    Filed chapter 7 Jul 13, 2010 341 hearing Aug 12, 2010 Trustee's report of no distribution Aug 20, 2010 Discharged Oct 13, 2010 Closed Oct 28, 2010.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Wow...the Planned Parenthood comment was way over the line. Ask her next time if she was intimating that you should have had abortions. The real implications of what she said might hit home with her that way. No, don't. Keep your cool and shut up for now, just like you did (good on ya). Wait until everything is closed and then send a scathing, scathing letter condemning her behavior.

                      I wonder if any of her fellow trustees were also offended? As in I'd be offended if someone make a joke using racial epithets even though I'm white. Can you say Hostile Workplace Environment?
                      Filed Ch 7 pro se Oct 2010 . Filed student loan AP pro se Feb 2011 . Discharged Feb 2011 . AP trial 1/10/2012 . $28K in student loans dismissed Jan 2012 . ECMC appealed. Appeal hearing 7/2012. Original judgment upheld 9/2012.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Maybe the UST thought the Planned Parenthood comment was an ice breaker and was making a poor attempt at "341 Meeting" humor, as it were.

                        Other than that, she was absolutely doing her job. That is to derail over-the-median income filers and push them into Chapter 13. She wasn't the UST him/herself, but was a representative of that Office of the United States Trustee (OUST). I would hope that your attorney prepared you for those types of questions which are usual and almost standard when you are over the median, both spouses working, and have high childcare expenses.

                        It's also her (the OUST's) job to probe every single financial transaction you made in the past 90 days. They do not know you personally. All they see are numbers on a bunch of pieces of paper known as the Petition (and it's usually over 70 pages). Even meeting you face to face, the need to quickly ascertain if you're lying or have lied on your petition as submitted.

                        Your attorney was not even jarred because this is expected. It reads as though your attorney didn't prepare you. (And again, that Planned Parenthood comment was unexpected and unneeded.) Unfortunately, everyone is going to comment on and focus on the Planned Parenthood comment.
                        Chapter 7 (No Asset/Non-Consumer) Filed (Pro Se) 7/08 (converted from Chapter 13 - 2/10)
                        Status: (Auto) Discharged and Closed! 5/10
                        Visit My BKForum Blog: justbroke's Blog


                        I am not an attorney. Any advice provided is not legal advice.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Snarky Trustee

                          It's better to have a snarky trustee than a nice one. Why? At least you know that a snarky trustee is "what you see is what you get". It's the nice ones who are dangerous. To tell you the truth, it's all a facade. They work for the creditors and not you. They act like that because deep inside they're onto you esp. if they already sense you are lying. They're like vultures ready to pounce on you and dismiss your BK if you lied or concealed assets. They know. They have access to all your records, DMV, banks, real estate. Hey, you're dealing with the Federal government. Before you even cross eyes with them, they already know who you are and what you've done the past year. It's big brother staring at you. They have all your records in front of them. 341 is what you called an honesty meeting. You lie, you're out of luck. So moral of the story is be TRUTHFUL. If you've got nothing to hide, then you don't have to worry about anything.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by boohx View Post
                            It's better to have a snarky trustee than a nice one. Why? At least you know that a snarky trustee is "what you see is what you get". It's the nice ones who are dangerous. To tell you the truth, it's all a facade. They work for the creditors and not you. They act like that because deep inside they're onto you esp. if they already sense you are lying. They're like vultures ready to pounce on you and dismiss your BK if you lied or concealed assets. They know. They have access to all your records, DMV, banks, real estate. Hey, you're dealing with the Federal government. Before you even cross eyes with them, they already know who you are and what you've done the past year. It's big brother staring at you. They have all your records in front of them. 341 is what you called an honesty meeting. You lie, you're out of luck. So moral of the story is be TRUTHFUL. If you've got nothing to hide, then you don't have to worry about anything.
                            Public tax records, sure. DMV, probably. But the federal government has access to my bank records? Really?
                            DH laid off 3/08 | Last mortgage payment 12/09 | Filed Ch13 5/10 | Converted to Ch7 7/10 | 341 held 8/10 | AP filed by secured creditor 10/10 | Ch7 discharged & closed 11/10 | Foreclosure 10/2011

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by researchnerd View Post
                              Public tax records, sure. DMV, probably. But the federal government has access to my bank records? Really?
                              Read the Patriot Act. Anyhow, the Panel Trustee (Chapter 7) and Standing Trustee (Chapter 13), don't have anymore access than a normal person does, unless they use their subpoena power.
                              Chapter 7 (No Asset/Non-Consumer) Filed (Pro Se) 7/08 (converted from Chapter 13 - 2/10)
                              Status: (Auto) Discharged and Closed! 5/10
                              Visit My BKForum Blog: justbroke's Blog


                              I am not an attorney. Any advice provided is not legal advice.

                              Comment

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