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Chapter 7 -- 341 trustee issues in Atlanta -- please help!

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  • Chapter 7 -- 341 trustee issues in Atlanta -- please help!

    I had my 341 meeting for chapter 7 in Atlanta today...what a mess. Probably the biggest issue was that I pre-paid my dentist prior to filing - from my bank account, not on credit cards - for a procedure to be done 2 weeks later. The dentist required pre-payment, and the procedure was phase 2 of dental implant procedure that I started back in November. Trustee wants a receipt from the dentist -- are they looking at it as a preferential transfer, or just trying to ensure it was medically necessary (it was, trust me!) rather than cosmetic? They are also now scrutinizing my bank accounts and want a 3-month look back plus the statement from the month I filed. Is this normal? My accounts on date of filing held a bit more than the 11,200 that is exempt - maybe about $850. Will that be seized? If so, how? Will they try to get the other money from the dentist?
    The other issue concerns our marital home that we sold almost 2 years ago (divorce was final 1 year ago)...ex maintains no money was made and in fact, money was lost; HUD shows 16,000 was made. I was not present at the closing or involved in the sale, although my name was on the deed. Monies (if there were indeed some) were deposited to my husband at the time. Trustee asked about this; is it likely to be pursued? She then moved on to the dentist issue so I'm not sure what to expect on this one.
    I am seriously freaking out over this. This past year has been just one thing after another -- all the credit card bills I'm trying to clear were primarily from paying lawyers through 1.5 years of him dragging things out (he makes 200,000/year), and my apartment was destroyed in a fire one month after I moved in post-divorce. In fact, the fire insurance money is the only reason my bank accounts have so much cash--I'm self-employed with no job security and was trying to save it for emergencies since I have 2 small children and my 10-year-old car is starting to go...I filed chapter 7 to try to rebuild a secure life for us, but I'm starting to wonder if I made a big mistake instead.
    Last edited by GAfiler; 04-12-2016, 08:27 PM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by GAfiler View Post
    I had my 341 meeting for chapter 7. . . The biggest issue was that I pre-paid my dentist prior to filing. . . for a procedure to be done 2 weeks later. . . Trustee wants a receipt from the dentist -- are they looking at it as a preferential transfer, or just trying to ensure it was medically necessary. . .?
    Neither. The dentist, as of the day you filed bk, was simply holding your money as a deposit for future work. Trustee is probably going to make a demand upon the dentist for the turnover of property of the estate. Remember, the Trustee step into your shoes. If you had the right to cancel the procedure and get the deposit back as of the day you filed bk, that right passed to the Trustee.

    Originally posted by GAfiler View Post
    They are also now scrutinizing my bank accounts and want a 3-month look back plus the statement from the month I filed. Is this normal?
    Very normal.

    Originally posted by GAfiler View Post
    My accounts on date of filing held a bit more than the 11,200 that is exempt - maybe about $850. Will that be seized? If so, how?
    Trustee will ask you to send him a check for the non-exempt portion.

    Originally posted by GAfiler View Post
    The other issue concerns our marital home that we sold almost 2 years ago (divorce was final 1 year ago)...ex maintains no money was made and in fact, money was lost; HUD shows 16,000 was made. I was not present at the closing or involved in the sale, although my name was on the deed. Monies (if there were indeed some) were deposited to my husband at the time. Trustee asked about this; is it likely to be pursued?
    Can’t answer - too fact intensive.

    Originally posted by GAfiler View Post
    I am seriously freaking out over this. . . I'm starting to wonder if I made a big mistake instead.
    You cannot undo the filing and I assume you do not have an attny. Maybe you should consult with several now to see if one can help you through the process.

    Des.

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi Des, I do have an attorney; the trustee chided her a bit for 'pulling' this kind of thing (the dentist). When I asked the atty about it she said not to worry, some people pre-pay dentist for work done 'sometime in the future' or cosmetic things. She said to provide her with the dentist bill - no problem. This could not be canceled or delayed; the dentist placed 2 implants last Nov, and did 2 bone grafts. The bone grafts had fully matured and it was time to place the next 2 implants. I say the implants are medically necessary because I can't eat much - no back teeth at all, and only 6 teeth total on bottom front.
      Anyhow, so what I hear you saying is:
      1. The trustee will likely ask for the money back from the dentist (my lawyer said 50/50 chance of this). I can then (hopefully) either pay the trustee instead, or repay the dentist from exempt money.
      2. Anything over the 11,200 limit in cash will likely be taken by the trustee in the form of a check, and then disbursed to creditors.
      The meeting has been continued to a date 2 weeks from today.
      How much extra time will it take to obtain a discharge, if there are no further issues?
      Thanks so much!

      Comment


      • #4
        First and foremost, the entry of your discharge is not delayed by a Trustee administering the bk estate. It is delayed, denied or even revoked, if the debtor fails to cooperate. Does not sound like you are going to cause a problem by not cooperating so don't worry about the discharge, at least as it relates to the issues you mention.

        If the Trustee tries to recover the $$ from the dentist, there is nothing stopping you from stepping up to the plate to cut a deal with the Trustee to settle the "dispute" or, as you suggest, eventually reimburse the dentist.

        Since you have an attny my guess is that everything will work out so try not to lose sleep over this.

        Des.

        Comment


        • #5
          Easier said than done, Des...after going through divorce and losing everything in a fire, plus adjusting to supporting myself and 2 kids...I think I have developed an anxiety problem. I was soooo praying that at least one thing in my life would go smoothly, but its not to be...

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by GAfiler View Post
            I was soooo praying that at least one thing in my life would go smoothly, but its not to be...
            We know you have an $850.00 problem (amount in bank over the exemption). So, let me ask two questions:

            1. How much total debt are you discharging?

            2. How much is in controversy with the dentist?

            Des.

            Comment


            • #7
              Des,
              You're right. The total at issue is $850 and maybe an additional $3518...not nearly as bad as $50,000 in debt.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by GAfiler View Post
                You're right. The total at issue is $850 and maybe an additional $3518...not nearly as bad as $50,000 in debt.
                You knew exactly where I was going with those questions. You will be just fine.

                Des.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Des,
                  Thank you so much for your help! My atty did put up front that I had before filing paid my federal taxes for the quarter (estimated, I'm self-employed), as well as the dentist -- so there was no hiding. Trustee wants more info on it - if it turns into an asset case, so be it. Trustee was upset about that, and also apparently my atty tried to exempt the $850 with a homestead exemption, seeing as the bulk of my cash savings is actually from a $10,000 disbursement from rental insurance last year when I lost all my household goods in a fire (I was not at fault, neighbor left cig burning and whole 12-unit building went down). So she reasoned that I lost "household goods" and a "household" exemption might fly. Is that a reasonable tactic or is this a sign that I need a better atty?
                  Thanks for any light you can shed on this...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I do not know GA exemptions so I cannot really comment on the issue of the $850. As to your attny, it sounds like she knows what she is doing. Pushing the envelope as it relates to legal theories is how the law expands and is why there are court decisions. You have nothing to lose in those efforts and, if, in the end, the "tactic" used does not work, you already know the consequences (paying the $850).

                    Des.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thank you so much, Des. I'm working on getting letters from my dentist and dental surgeon to attest to the fact that the procedure could not be backed-out of - it's pretty time-sensitive and a step in a multi-step process started last October)...I actually waited longer than I should have due to conflicts (had to find a weekend where the ex had the boys, and also the surgeon was free).
                      On another note, thank you so much for taking the time to reply and offer pointed advice. I read on another thread that you are an attorney yourself - whether that's true or not I have no way of knowing - but thank you for sharing your wisdom and expertise with those of us (including me) who are unfamiliar with the system and a bit apprehensive about outcomes.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Des - some last questions. I'm a bit confused about whether it's a 10-day or 14-day period that the US Trustee has to file a potential objection. Also, do weekends count? Does it matter that the case was continued, does the 10- or 14-day period stand as is? Also, I've received a notice in the mail about the continuation -- but it's not up on Pacer yet, and it's been a whole week. So...how will I know about the decision at the 10- or 14-day mark?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by GAfiler View Post
                          Des - some last questions. I'm a bit confused about whether it's a 10-day or 14-day period that the US Trustee has to file a potential objection. Also, do weekends count? Does it matter that the case was continued, does the 10- or 14-day period stand as is? Also, I've received a notice in the mail about the continuation -- but it's not up on Pacer yet, and it's been a whole week. So...how will I know about the decision at the 10- or 14-day mark?

                          You appear to be confusing the issues.

                          1) I doubt that it is the UST that has been voicing concern over exemptions and assets. That is the job of the standing trustee. The UST's job, in part, is to verify that you "qualify" for Chapter 7 and that you are not perpetrating some fraud against the court.

                          2) There is no time limit for the standing trustee to do his job, which is to gather assets, liquidate them and use the $$ to pay creditors.

                          3) In general, the only time limits for the standing Trustee are 30 days from the 341 to object to a claimed exemption (In my district that clock starts running from the 1st scheduled and held 341, not any continued dates); 2 years to bring a preference/fraudulent conveyance action; 60 days from the 341 to file a 727 complaint against the debtor (regardless of any continuations of the 341 unless the Trustee files a Motion to extend and the Motion is filed on or before the deadline); 1 year from entry of the discharge to seek revocation of the discharge under certain circumstances.

                          I do not see any of these being an issue at this time. Remember, you and your attorney will bring forth whatever legal arguments you believe are appropriate and, in the end, settle.

                          Stop losing sleep.

                          And. . . time frames are based on a calendar days, not a business days.
                          Des.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Thanks, Des! I was reading the sticky on 3 deadlines to sweat after the 341. You're right, I need to stop losing sleep - it won't change a thing. I'll do better keeping my mind in the Passover game...lots to do! Thanks again for taking the time to respond.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Des, I hope you have more advice for me. The chapter 7 was recently discharged, but not closed - trustee is still deciding on whether to take assets. To add to the fun, my car was rear-ended in a hit and run on the kids' and I first trip to the ocean for camping (350 miles from home). We managed to drive home (hatch window on Honda FIT completely blown), and now the insurance company is totaling the car and offering me 5800 on our 2007 honda FIT with 48000 miles on it. Problem is, the title is still under the trustee's power. So, I can't give them the car or even arbitrate to try to get a higher payout. Also, my lawyer valued the car at 4500 or so on the bankruptcy paperwork. I really need that money to try to get a replacement vehicle - the insurance company is only covering one week of rental car, starting today. What do I do? I called my lawyer and emailed him a copy of the settlement offer, but he hasn't responded. Can the trustee take the settlement money? Can she just sit on my car forever? Life is throwing me a lot of curveballs lately, but this one is hard to handle and I could really use some guidance.
                              Last edited by GAfiler; 07-07-2016, 07:59 PM. Reason: clarity

                              Comment

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