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341 Today - Still very uneasy? - Trustee Attorney

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  • 341 Today - Still very uneasy? - Trustee Attorney

    It seemed to go smooth. She asked questions about our three sets of assets that are non-exempt and we told her of the transfer we forgot to include. But what scared me is the trustees attorney asked a lot of the questions. Can some one help me understand why our case has an attorney? and should we be worried?

    We do have a mutual fund worth 13000 that was placed in the wrong place in the schedules. we amended it this week to place it under the cash and bank accounts.

    I guess I am just wondering if we are going to be under more scrutiny with her there. I am wracking my brains trying to think of what I might have forgotten on the schedules, or any mistakes that I might have made? We filed extremely quick - there was no pre-planning on our case. so I am guessing something is going to pop up? partially because we never got interviewed by our attorney and I am not sure how much they looked at things? Like asking us questions about certain types of things that they might normally see but don't see on ours? I don't know.

    Any way to know if they are looking at something particular? or will they go through our attorney.

    So yes - I am still extreamly scared at this point. and to find out that my non-exempt items will go through auction if I offer a bid or not.

  • #2
    I have already given my background as an Asset CH7 case on your other thread.

    In order to try to figure out what is going on, I need to ask some questions. I tend to 'teach by example' so I cited our particular incident with our trustee's attorney to another poster--and totally freaked him out and had him scared and worried about what might happen--which didn't--in his case, so I don't want to do the same thing here.

    1. What has your attorney told you about your case?
    2. Was your attorney present, or did you and your DH have to go it alone?
    3. How good/diligent/competent do you think your attorney actually is?
    4. How well does your attoney communicate with you and answer your questions?
    5. Were you given a good understanding of the BK process, or were you handed a generalized pamphlet and told to read it?
    6. Have you signed up for a PACER account? If not, you need to. You can track your case's progress there w/o having to be at the mercy of the attorney's office to keep you informed. Be aware. PACER can be costly if you aren't careful.

    I am going to address the issue of the non-exempt assets first. Most likely you will be offered a chance to purchase your non-exempt assets back from the BK estate, before anything goes to public auction. The trustee may or may not offer you a discounted rate. Ours did, but yours may not.

    In our case, we were offered a chance to purchase our things back for 12 monthly payments of $450.00. We were able to do this and elected to do so. In our case, most of our things were family heirlooms--valueless to anyone else, but priceless to us. Florida has very little in the way of personal property exemptions. Great homestead, though.

    Another group of things were 'Hub's computer equipment, including seven computers which he used in his computer consulting business. We claimed those as 'Tools of the Trade'. The only problem there was that Florida does NOT allow a 'Tools of the Trade' exemption. Our dear attorney failed to tell us that when we filled out the paperwork SHE gave us (standardized forms).

    Now as to the trustee's attorney: What questions were asked? Were they about any one thing in particular, or about all of your listings in general. Learning the answer to that will help a lot.

    You also need to know, if you aren't aware of it is that the UST (United States Trustee) will pick cases at random to audit and request additional documentation. This happens in about every 1000 cases or so.

    I think that is about all I will post here for now. But I will be back.
    "To go bravely forward is to invite a miracle."

    "Worry is the darkroom where negatives are formed."

    Comment


    • #3
      Never mind my questions about your attorney. You answered them in your other thread.
      "To go bravely forward is to invite a miracle."

      "Worry is the darkroom where negatives are formed."

      Comment


      • #4
        Thank you.

        I am trying to calm down. Questions you asked.
        1. Not much. that we didn't have anything. should be easy or they would have not quoted us the low fee that they did. even though we are well over that fee now. When I asked about the attorney - she said she thinks they will use her for paperwork. Not sure I know what the means?
        2, Attorney was present. a different one who I like better and wish we had him at the beginning.
        3. Don't know. I think she is flighty and gets aggravated at my questions. Like I am suppose to know everything. the one we had today was kind, listened and gave good advice.
        4. She seems to answer questions. however usually in short answers. that I some times do not understand.
        5. NOpe Nada. just that we fill out the paper work, have a 341 meeting and the rest is easy. HUMPH
        6. NO - I have seen a few things on that but have yet to research that forum post on what to do and not get charged an arm and leg. Hopefully I can figure that one out.

        When I talked to the attorney today about the buy back, he said that we can make an offer, but regardless it goes to auction. if we are the highest bidder, then we get it, if someone else comes along and out bids, then we lose. this is something that our attorney did NOT tell us about. just the fill in yesterday. So I was complexly shocked that it will go to auction anyway and we have to hope we are the highest bidder or go to the auction and ensure that we are.

        the attorney asked the general set of questions - have you reviewed. is everything correct, are you expecting an inheritance, etc. The trustee asked the specific questions. They asked about my non exempt jewelry - I have already submitted photos of it to her. My designer handbags. yes I have them, she has pictures of them and on this one she can have them for auction. Then we had listed my photography equip as tools of the trade. I make my living at a law firm, but I do photo stuff as a hobby, taken tons of classes and hope to make that my living eventually. So far I just get few token amounts from friends. She asked if I made any money on that. I stated no - of course the attorney after said that he thought I did. but I made less than $500 last year doing it - and it cost me more in gas and time. so I just said no I don't. Not sure if that was a mistake.

        Trustee then asked if we discussed making an offer for buy back on those three items, I said no since my regular attorney is out at the moment. She said she understood. then told the attorney to get the appraisers together.

        Do they come to your house to appraise? or just want you to turn over the stuff to appraise. I don't understand that at all. obviously they don't believe my values stated.

        I had read about that - but thought I read that you generally know before the 341 one meeting?

        Comment


        • #5
          She did also ask about the amendment. what it was. told her the camera and lens. How much did I get for it. 5500. what is a check deposited to my bank account. yes. she asked which account. told her . I know she will look it up which is fine. then asked who sold to. and any relation to me. Answered both of those. and then that was it. so don't know what else she will think on that one, if she believes me or not. I am guessing once we get the amendment in and she can see the camera specifics to look up the FMV we will be in better shape?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by rjroyse View Post
            When I talked to the attorney today about the buy back, he said that we can make an offer, but regardless it goes to auction. if we are the highest bidder, then we get it, if someone else comes along and out bids, then we lose. this is something that our attorney did NOT tell us about. just the fill in yesterday. So I was complexly shocked that it will go to auction anyway and we have to hope we are the highest bidder or go to the auction and ensure that we are.

            They asked about my non exempt jewelry - I have already submitted photos of it to her. My designer handbags. yes I have them, she has pictures of them and on this one she can have them for auction. Then we had listed my photography equip as tools of the trade.
            Trustee then asked if we discussed making an offer for buy back on those three items, I said no since my regular attorney is out at the moment. She said she understood. then told the attorney to get the appraisers together.

            Do they come to your house to appraise? or just want you to turn over the stuff to appraise. I don't understand that at all. obviously they don't believe my values stated.
            You are in Arizona, so I do not know if appraisers will go to your house. They generally don't in Florida, and when they do it is only a section of the Florida Middle District near Tampa and Sarasota, where appraisers are sent to your house to appraise your HOME, not small stuff like jewelry or handbags.

            I don't know what types of appraisals you sent in with your jewelry, but usually people take their jewelry to three different local pawn shops to get statements on the pawn value, and the sale value, and turn those in with the paperwork. If you do that, I would do the same thing with the handbags and the camera equipment.
            "To go bravely forward is to invite a miracle."

            "Worry is the darkroom where negatives are formed."

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by rjroyse View Post
              She did also ask about the amendment. what it was. told her the camera and lens. How much did I get for it. 5500. what is a check deposited to my bank account. yes. she asked which account. told her . I know she will look it up which is fine. then asked who sold to. and any relation to me. Answered both of those. and then that was it. so don't know what else she will think on that one, if she believes me or not. I am guessing once we get the amendment in and she can see the camera specifics to look up the FMV we will be in better shape?
              How long ago was the sale? Generally you are only asked for the six months worth of bank statements immediately prior to your filing date.
              "To go bravely forward is to invite a miracle."

              "Worry is the darkroom where negatives are formed."

              Comment


              • #8
                My paralegal just said to use garage sales values for all of our stuff. so that is what I did on the jewelry. I didn't actually take it any where so I don't know. I know that gold is not worth much. The hand bags, I looked on ebay for the same ones and used those values. On the ones that were practically new, I just used the new price.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by rjroyse View Post
                  I had read about that - but thought I read that you generally know before the 341 one meeting?
                  Not necessarily. One poor soul here didn't realize she was being audited until after numerous questions about why she was being asked for this, that, and that other thing--with all the forum members at the time scratching their collective heads--I was a newbie--that everybody figured it out together. She was being audited!

                  Yes, a good attorney should let the client know if he/she knows ahead of time--but you don't have as good an attorney as OURS was! And that ain't sayin' much!
                  "To go bravely forward is to invite a miracle."

                  "Worry is the darkroom where negatives are formed."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Sale was end of April. At least that is when our check was deposited.

                    I think it is not an audit. Just because we got the court request from the trustee for hiring the attorney
                    Then also the court paperwork from the attorney saying she is representing the trustee and her
                    Hourly fees.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by rjroyse View Post
                      Sale was end of April. At least that is when our check was deposited.

                      I think it is not an audit. Just because we got the court request from the trustee for hiring the attorney
                      Then also the court paperwork from the attorney saying she is representing the trustee and her
                      Hourly fees.
                      Okay. That is standard operating procedure when the trustee wants something investigated. That puts us back to the type of questions the attorney asked.

                      Also, what was the header on the documents you got informing you that an attorney was being hired? That will (hopefully) tell the story.
                      "To go bravely forward is to invite a miracle."

                      "Worry is the darkroom where negatives are formed."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by rjroyse View Post
                        My paralegal just said to use garage sales values for all of our stuff. so that is what I did on the jewelry. I didn't actually take it any where so I don't know. I know that gold is not worth much. The hand bags, I looked on ebay for the same ones and used those values. On the ones that were practically new, I just used the new price.
                        Bad move there. eBay prices are what the seller WANTS to sell the item for, not the actual price that someone is willing to pay. On the practically new bags, never EVER, NOT ever, use the new price--unless you purchased at a thrift store. I dumpster-dive, and cannot tell you how many things I find brand new, but unsaleable for some reason, and is thrown away.
                        "To go bravely forward is to invite a miracle."

                        "Worry is the darkroom where negatives are formed."

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by rjroyse View Post
                          We do have a mutual fund worth 13000 that was placed in the wrong place in the schedules. we amended it this week to place it under the cash and bank accounts.
                          Are you telling us that you have thirteen thousand dollars ($13,000.00) sitting in a bank account or did you mean one hundred thirty dollars, ($130.00)?

                          You are in Arizona. If the amount is the larger number, $13,000.00, those funds are not protected from your Trustee unless they. . .

                          1. Are sitting in a mutual fund that happens to be an IRA account

                          OR

                          2. Are qualified homestead proceeds

                          OR

                          3. Are traceable to Social Security or some Federal benefit such as VA or Federal Retirement.

                          If it is not one of the above 3 why did you file a Chapter 7?

                          Des.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Cat. Well I didn't know and that is why my attorney told us to do. Look up on eBay.

                            Des. Yes. It is 13,000. I had given info to my attorney about my accounts before. Let's just say that I am not a financial planner. I don't know the difference between a retirement fund and not. My intent was to not touch it untill I retired. Thus retirement account. Yes. We now know that these funds will be taken. Why bk7? Our business failed and we are personally liable for about $200,000 in debt. Some secured which we cannot get out of. We were fine on a personal level but through in the business debt there was no way. So attorney told us to file the bk7 personally.

                            Cat. The court doc. Application for emit meant of counsel for trustee. It states that the services rendered are to be : giving legal advice : representing trustee in connection with negation a involving secured and unsecured: preparing applications motions answers orders reports and legal papers : obtaining assets from debtors : performing legal services to locate ad obtain assets .

                            FYI. In our case we have lots of tax debt with our company. Sales taxes with different cities some state tax etc.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              The attorneys paperwork pretty much states the same thing. Negotiating, preparing applications, obtaining assets, legal advice.

                              Again the questions she asked were the standard questions that the trustee asked on the case previous to us. Paperwork correct. Owe alimony any changes. Did we sign it. Anyone else holding assets for us. Etc. nothing out of the norm.

                              Comment

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