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UST at 341.

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  • UST at 341.

    Much to my surprise, the UST attended the 341 meeting, but didn't ask any questions. She said the trustee had asked all her questions. I had filed pro se, and shortly afterwards, I received a form from the UST office asking me to sign a form saying whether or not I had used a bankruptcy petition preparer. I immediately returned it and indicated I had not.

    The Ch. 7 Trustee asked me who helped me fill out my exemptions? I was totally confused because no one had. He really pressed me on how I knew how to fill them out like this. I explained I used the Nolo guide and just looked online.

    I had tried to be very forthcoming and honest in my petitions and very forthcoming and honest at the 341 meeting. I tried to err on the side of valuing high. I can document every dime of expenses and easily have understated them.

    I am well-below the median.

    But now, I'm worried.

    Is there any way to find out what is going on? I haven't used Pacer at all, and am leery of running up big charges. I signed up for electronic notification. Will I get an email if the Trustee or UST posts something? Is there any alternative to paying Pacer to get notice of what is happening in the case?

    Thank you!

  • #2
    Sounds like you have my Trustee...although the US Trustee didn't ask any questions at the 341 hearing and didn't object to anything following. I was prepared for the grilling at the 341 hearing because the Trustee called me a liar during the phone conference when I told him that I did not have any assistance. So, I went above and beyond documenting my sources. And boy was I glad I did because he lit into the only other Pro Se filer there that morning. And he lied to the guy to intimidate him too. I nearly jumped out of my chair. I told my husband that he was lying to this guy and it took everything in me to sit quietly and just wait it out. But I had printed off the list of forms from the Federal court website, so I was prepared for his initial question and it totally took the wind out of those sails.

    Unfortunately, in my few days on this forum, there seems to be a lot of Trustee sympathizing and those of us who have bad experiences are to blame and must be hiding something. I'm starting to think that some of the moderators aren't who they say they are. There's little empathy for the real struggles we're facing and I didn't come here to get beat up by other "filers" who think trustees are saints just acting on behalf of the creditors and the estate. I get enough abuse from the Trustee. I came here looking for help with a Response to his Objections to my Exemptions and no one could see the humor in my calling it the Extortion Phase. Extortion is defined as "the practice of obtaining something, especially money, through force or threat". So when the trustee says he wants us to withdraw a ton of money from an exempt IRA to make this all go away or else he'll schedule a 2004 examination...hmmmm...yup, I guess he's just doing his job.

    As far as the email notification from the courts, it depends. If it's just something typical with the clerk's office, you will get am email. If it's something that requires you to be noticed (an Objection or Motion or Adversary Proceeding), you will receive it by US Mail. I have a free account with the USPS that emails me every morning and shows me what is going to be delivered that day. It's not 100%. They don't scan large envelopes, but it's okay. Unless you get the email at 7 am and your mail doesn't come until 6 pm and you worry all day about what's in the mail. As far as using Pacer, just log in to and search the Bankruptcy cases by your social. Then click on your case number. Then should see a list of things starting with Alias through List of Creditors in two columns. Select History/Documents and then Run Query (it doesn't matter if you run it Oldest to Newest or Newest to Oldest). This will list every filing at the Clerk's office on your case. You will be able to tell by some of the titles what's been filed and what hasn't. You should mark off important deadlines on your calendar and check back to see if anything has been filed. If you click on the documents and download them, you will be charged. The search to get in there has minor charges too, but it's relatively minor and I believe you have to have a certain amount before they will even bill you at the end of the quarter. You MUST pay the bill because it is a Federal system. I ran up about $30 last year during one quarter. I'm expecting I might have something like that this quarter...maybe, but I have been doing a lot of research due to my Trustee making me work for this discharge. I might actually get to live to see the discharge. I don't know. I guess that's why I exempted our Term Life policies in case I fall over dead from all of the stress so at least my family will be provided for.


    • #3
      Originally posted by candyapple View Post
      Much to my surprise, the UST attended the 341 meeting, but didn't ask any questions. She said the trustee had asked all her questions. I had filed pro se, and shortly afterwards, I received a form from the UST office asking me to sign a form saying whether or not I had used a bankruptcy petition preparer. I immediately returned it and indicated I had not.
      This is standard for almost all Florida 341 Meetings. The Office of the United States Trustee (OUST) is trying to weed out the "petition preparers" that are either overcharging for services and/or providing legal advice to Pro Se filers. The courts have sanctioned a bunch of these petition preparers and even banned some from ever helping anyone again.

      Originally posted by BeaFuddled View Post
      Unfortunately, in my few days on this forum, there seems to be a lot of Trustee sympathizing and those of us who have bad experiences are to blame and must be hiding something. I'm starting to think that some of the moderators aren't who they say they are.
      Trust me, I don't sympathize with the Trustees, I understand what they do. Just as I have had issues with Florida Trustees (I have had two), I must simply be more prepared as a Pro Se. As a BKforum member, I cannot provide legal advice; all I can say is how the procedural process works, give anecdotal advice, or personal reflection on what happened in my specific case. While this is off-topic, I could just say that everything will be fine and agree that Trustees are evil; but that would not help your case.

      As Pro Se filers, we have to be prepared, know the FRBP (if you don't know what that is, you may be ill-prepared), and for cases with lots of property we must also know the caselaw all the way to the Circuit Court of Appeals (and/or SCOTUS).

      Because we are Pro Se filers, the Trustee, UST, or even creditors will question whether we know what we are doing, whether we used the correct -- not guessed -- statutory or constitutional exemptions, and whether or not we had someone tell us what to put in for the reason for an exemption. This is just the territory under which we operate.
      Last edited by justbroke; 03-24-2018, 04:40 PM.
      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.


      • #4
        Thank you for your responses.
        I'm sorry for your experiences, BeaFuddled, but fortunately, my Trustee seemed very polite. His question did seem to assume that I had been assisted, but I felt more like he was simply cross-examining me, part and parcel of his job. My sense seemed to be that the UST perhaps still questioned if someone had assisted me, and the Trustee was trying to flesh out whether I had been helped. I read more and learned what justbroke referred to -- the UST is trying to crack down on petition preparers who aren't following the rule. Indeed, the Trustee reminded me at the end to make sure I take my post petition course and file it and warned, otherwise, the case will close without me receiving a discharge. His gratuitous advice, I thought, was generous and helpful.

        Best of all, the Trustee did post that he was abandoning all assets and asking to be discharged as Trustee. I know it isn't over until it's over, but I think I'm off to a good start.


        • #5
          I'm glad to hear your fresh start is on the horizon.

          My trustee is a complete everyone...and all I hear is that we must be at fault. He's not singling us out. We must have screwed up and he's just doing his job. Great motivation while we're being kicked in the gut every time we turn around.

          I get that they are going after petition preparers. That doesn't excuse my trustee yelling at me that he doesn't believe me when I tell him the truth that I had no help. It would be better if he said, "This petition is so horrible. Please tell me who helped you so I can prosecute them. And you really need to find an attorney and re-do this." or "Wow. This is so well done, I'm having a hard time believing that you did this on your own without help and without any experience. How did you do this?" Instead, he's just on a mission to make my life miserable...something I didn't think was possible when we finally hit the point where we had to file bankruptcy.

          And once we filed....and I realized what kind of man we were dealing with...there was no way out. We couldn't even hire an attorney because everything belonged to the estate. Our odds might have been better in Vegas because we hit the ultimate loser jackpot here.


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