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Common Pro Se Mistakes

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  • Common Pro Se Mistakes

    I wanted to start a thread where we can all have a laugh about mistakes we made while filing and managing our Pro Se bankruptcy filing.

    I'll go first... and only mention one thing!

    I mailed out over 60 copies of my Chapter 13 Plan of Reorganization that cost me over $1.20 each... only to find out that my Case Manager also mailed them out through the BNC. The day I mailed them, I only had $100 in my bank for the next 2 weeks! There went $72 out the window.

    Lesson: Always work with your Case Manager and ask if they'll mail out the Chapter 13 Plan for you! I was able to save over $200 in postage because I amended my plan 3 times after that.
    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.

  • #2
    Common Pro Se mistakes Day 2

    (For Chapter 7 or Chapter 13) When objecting to a Claim, make sure that you serve the objection on the addresses listed on the Claim Form (Official Form B10) itself!!! If you do not use the addresses on the claim, the Clerk's office will hold the objection and issue a deficiency notice.

    Lesson: Always conform to local rules on responding objecting to claims. Make sure you serve any objection or opposition to the claim, on the 2 addresses listed on Official Form B10.
    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


    • #3
      Well, we're filing next Monday, so I'll update mine when I get word of them.

      LOL justbroke. That stinks that you wasted $72.... but it's pretty funny, I must say.
      I may be smarter than an attorney, but I'm not one. No legal advice here, people.
      Filed Ch. 7 pro se on 10/22/10 341 on 11/19/10 Report of No Distribution Filed on 11/19/10 Discharged 1/19/11 Closed 2/2/11

      Comment


      • #4
        I filed an objection to a claim without an affidavit. (doh!) The objection was denied without prejudice, so I can re-file it, but still....that was kinda dumb.

        Comment


        • #5
          I left about $240 as left over after expenses not realizing that it should have been around $50... OOPS!
          I think every Pro-Se'r is going to make a mistake or two, but hopefully they live in a District that is laid-back (CO is!).
          I also put my Student loans in the wrong place at first (sched E instead of Sched F) (before reading the Thread "What Trustees look for when filling out forms!") and then noticed that on Statistical Summary (Offical Form 6 - Summary) it clearly shows Student Loans as coming from Sched F. But I at least corrected that one before filing ;-)
          Filed Pro-Se 8/19/2010 - 341 Meeting 9/20/2010 - Notice of no distribution 9/22/2010
          12/06/2010 !!

          Comment


          • #6
            I almost went Pro Se, but, one mistake regardless...do not list your lease if you're a renter and you're not in arrears with your landlord. Unless you want to have a very long and potentially bad conversation with your landlord.
            Stopped paying: 08/10, Filed CH7: 08/27/10 , 341 & No Asset Report: 10/6/10, Last day to object: 12/06/10, Discharged: 12/07/10, Closed: 12/08/10
            AHEM.....NOT AN ATTORNEY, NOT ADVICE, ETC, ETC

            Comment


            • #7
              Don't use the digital signature. /s/ Your Name on affidavits. Doh! lol. Actually the court has been getting on me about using the digital signature at all. It's only for electronic filers, I guess. I was trying to protect my signature from forgeries, especially by one creditor that has proven to be incredibly unscrupulous. But so much for that idea.

              Comment


              • #8
                Yes the /s/ thing is clearly for "electronic" users of CM/ECF! Certainly it would be nice to use the /s/, but they cannot authenticate a paper document if you just put /s/ on it. I mean, who sent it to the court? Whereas a CM/ECF user has to actually log in and it's associated with a member of the bar who has their professional license on the line for said login.

                I wish that the pro se users could use CM/ECF, but I don't think that will ever happen. Unless they come up with some workflow system so that the items don't instantly get docketed. Still, the training required would be quite hard to deliver.
                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


                • #9
                  I was using /s/ quite a bit, which was handy, and the court only JUST recently made me stop using it. I prepare most of my documents on the computer with PDF writer, so it was particularly nice to not have to print, sign and then rescan the documents, especially if I then use a service such as gotomail to mail documents to the matrix. After all, my documents were done completely electronically. Just not filed that way.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    One pro se mistake from 341 yesterday as I was waiting for my turn: Do not gloat! Debtor owned body shop, listed an El Camino as personal vehicle at 1K, questioning as follows:

                    Trustee: So your car, pretty old huh?
                    Debtor: Yeah, almost a classic man
                    Trustee: Yeah, same year I was born. And you own a body shop right? So the car is in pretty good shape?
                    Debtor: Yeah, done some work you know how it goes
                    Trustee: Yeah, can't have a body shop and be driving a rust bucket (laughter)...so what kind of work have you done, I mean, it is custom right?
                    Debtor: Oh yeah, I put this in and changed that, and this and that and...
                    Trustee: So how much would you say it's worth now, one month after you filed?
                    Debtor: At least 6K man, she's primed...not finished, but nicely customed

                    Guess who just became an asset case.
                    Stopped paying: 08/10, Filed CH7: 08/27/10 , 341 & No Asset Report: 10/6/10, Last day to object: 12/06/10, Discharged: 12/07/10, Closed: 12/08/10
                    AHEM.....NOT AN ATTORNEY, NOT ADVICE, ETC, ETC

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Actually Tiger, I'm shocked that they let you file papers that did not have "wet signatures" at all! I always made sure my signatures on the documents sent to be filed on the docket, contained a wet signature. I had one document rejected specifically because my signature was embedded in a PDF and not wet. I never made that mistake again.
                      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


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ccsjoe View Post
                        One pro se mistake from 341 yesterday as I was waiting for my turn: Do not gloat! Debtor owned body shop, listed an El Camino as personal vehicle at 1K, questioning as follows:

                        Trustee: So your car, pretty old huh?
                        Debtor: Yeah, almost a classic man
                        Trustee: Yeah, same year I was born. And you own a body shop right? So the car is in pretty good shape?
                        Debtor: Yeah, done some work you know how it goes
                        Trustee: Yeah, can't have a body shop and be driving a rust bucket (laughter)...so what kind of work have you done, I mean, it is custom right?
                        Debtor: Oh yeah, I put this in and changed that, and this and that and...
                        Trustee: So how much would you say it's worth now, one month after you filed?
                        Debtor: At least 6K man, she's primed...not finished, but nicely customed

                        Guess who just became an asset case.
                        Ouch. What was he thinking?
                        This post does not constitute legal advice. If you use this advice instead of that of a lawyer, God help you.
                        Filed CH 7: 5/11/17 341: 6/12/17 Discharge: 8/14/17

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by rjmwx81 View Post
                          Ouch. What was he thinking?
                          This is why Attorneys instruct their clients to NEVER ELABORATE. Just answer yes or no! The person was obviously bragging about his sweet "classic" car and fell into the trap. Had it gone like this, we wouldn't be hearing about this case...

                          Trustee: So your car, pretty old huh?
                          Debtor: Yes.
                          Trustee: Okay, do you own any other property that you have...

                          Notice the difference?
                          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


                          • #14
                            Seems to me there are only four correct answers to give a trustee:

                            1. Yes, sir.
                            2. No, sir.
                            3. Yes, ma'am.
                            4. No, ma'am.
                            This post does not constitute legal advice. If you use this advice instead of that of a lawyer, God help you.
                            Filed CH 7: 5/11/17 341: 6/12/17 Discharge: 8/14/17

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Exactly! When you start elaborating and "explaining", you get into more trouble. Every Bankruptcy attorney knows this and instruts their client to give yes or no answers.
                              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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