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341 and we get this so-called "diligent" trustee

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  • 341 and we get this so-called "diligent" trustee

    It's been a week and a half since our 341. Ugh.

    Upside is we got to go first although we were on the schedule for going 3rd, so not a big deal. Our atty had a migraine. He's the only one in the whole law firm that handles BKs, so he had his wife drive him and he just sat there with his head buried in a hand.

    It was rapid fire. I'm not good with rapid fire. He started grilling DH about his musical instruments (he's a pro musician). Then he started grilling us about the tax return, is it done, when do we think we'll have it done, that sort of thing. (the instruments and tax refund are 100% exempt with extra room on the wildcard) Then he started asking us about the house. Here's where it got sticky.

    He wanted to know if we sought and/or got a loan mod on the mortgage(s). We replied that we tried and had been denied. He wanted to know if we were going to try to keep the house and I stumbled an "um" looking at DH and our atty piped up that "No, we aren't saving the house" and DH and I agreed with that. Yes, officially we aren't saving the house, but I've been reading a lot of BK stories and the common theme especially since we're a Countrywide converted to BofA is that we would probably not have any issues in the BK, trustee or banking, and that we might get to sit in this place post BK for awhile. So then the trustee is asking about the value of the house which we had down on the docs based on the most recent Zillow of December right before we filed. And then he closed it out saying he was going to check into our house and see if it can be sold.

    Basically trying to turn an easily no asset 7 into an asset 7.


    We had to wait until last Thurs to hear anything from our atty. Trustee didn't email him about further action on this until Wed night. The trustee wants to send an appraiser out and if it's worth it and he can convince BofA to "eat" some of the principal, go ahead and short sale our place. Oh, and we would have to have our home set up in such a case to be friendly to the real estate selling process. Yeah, we have a 4 yo and 6 yo, this guy must be dreaming if I'm going to spend all day trying to keep the house looking like a turned over hotel room for no possible gain of my own.

    I was even afraid of this kind of thing after reading what trustees in CA and FL were doing, had even mentioned that to our atty as we were signing the filing documents and he just scoffed and thought that was ludricrous and had never heard of any such high-handed property grabbing ways of trustees. Don't get me wrong, we are officially not saving the house and filed Federal, but at the same time the foreclosure process is 5 months as opposed to whatever this would end up being. And we would know when that 5 months starts and be able to plan. This doesn't give us any concept of how to plan and our atty just advised us to stay put in the house given the circumstances.

    Let me tell you I'm still pretty ticked off about this. From what our atty said, if the trustee really does think a short sale is ultimately worth it, this will hold our case open indefinitely until we either pay our atty a crapload of a money to file a motion (I swear he's incredibly slow when it comes to paperwork not to mention he charges $20 for one sentence emails that you'd have to be in 1st grade to take a full 6 minutes to write -- he's $200/hr) or we just let this process play out for however long it'll take. Some fresh start, eh? Depending on how this goes, you can either count me as a 341 horror story or at best just someone who is very wary about it all.

    One bit of hope is that the trustee is counting the HELOC towards the total debt load that a house sale would have to zero out. As long as he stays true to that, I can't really see any honest appraiser telling him it's worth it to short sale us. We already know from our aborted HAFA short sale experience last Spring that the appraiser at that time placed our house at a value roughly equal to the 1st mortgage only. And home values have dipped down further, so presumably we might not even properly appraise at the value of the 1st mortgage and be underwater with respect to that as well.

    DH and I can't imagine BofA being generous enough to eliminate the HELOC and eat some principle to be nice to the trustee so money can go to other creditors, but then again, BofA doesn't seem to act rationally when it comes to so many things home loan related.

  • #2
    This could all have started with your Zillow appraisal. As noted in another thread, Zillow is a crap shoot as to it's accuracy. Instead of you paying for an appraisal, the trustee will. If you are really concerned about how the trustee will treat you, try to get a free CMA from a real estate agent and send that to the trustee. Assuming you are correct that the value is less than the first mortgage, you would be letting the trustee know that you are aware of the value as well. It might make s/he think a little before going ahead with a shifty real estate deal without overtly pi$$ing s/he off. But it all could be simply about getting a more reliable estimate of the home value than what Zillow provides. I hope this uncertainty ends with the appraisal.
    Lawyer - $3000
    Filing fee - $299
    Fresh Start - Priceless


    • #3
      Me too. Unfortunately, we can't do as you recommend without it costing extra money. Our atty will literally charge us extra to send that and he told the trustee that all communication on this will be done through him. So we gave the exact info requested and we'll just wait.


      • #4
        It took me a while to find the below thread. Read it. You will find it very interesting. Pay particular attention to my very angry remarks.



        • #5
          Originally posted by despritfreya View Post
          It took me a while to find the below thread. Read it. You will find it very interesting. Pay particular attention to my very angry remarks.


          Damn, I sure wish you were my atty too, Des. All I can say is at least I have some great information to run past our atty if this doesn't get abandoned with hopefully a clear appraisal of underwater value.


          • #6
            Hi there Resigned2BK,

            I'm the OP of the thread that Des pointed you towards. I know exactly what you're going through and I feel your pain & anger. I'm definitely going to follow this thread so please keep us posted.

            Best of luck to you.


            • #7
              Good luck. So, did you guys have the same (shifty) tt?
              Will be closely following and hoping that this trend won't travel eastwards like the weather

              Keep On Smilin'


              • #8
                Originally posted by keepsmiling View Post
                Good luck. So, did you guys have the same (shifty) tt?
                Will be closely following and hoping that this trend won't travel eastwards like the weather
                I doubt it. All I had to do late last night was a search of "carve out" with Seattle trustee to immediately find articles from last Fall talking about this trend among many of the trustees that operate out of this part of the state. Valleyum has told me she lives in a different part of the state and it sounds like the trustee wanted to do things like that there too. I just wish I had known this exact terminology when the 341 started so I could have said it to the trustee's face! He was running through about another 15 cases after us in the same hour, so I could've had the benefit of perking the ears of the crowd so they'd remember and search it on their own.

                If he does actually do what freeatlasts trustee was doing, I think I'm going to contact an investigative unit of the media if this short sale process ties us up for a good year on our "fresh start". We have an investigative unit here that just loves to go after any abuse they see in local government, I'm sure they would want to run it to try to get another Pulitzer like they did against ferry boat workers getting pay for 4 hour driving commutes daily. LOL.


                • #9
                  Trust me when I say the entire Western District of WA has Trustees doing this. Whether the UST is o.k. with this activity remains the unanswered question.


                  • #10
                    Resigned2BK, I was going to point you to the same thread Des just pointed to. We were so befuddled by another poster's issue with a short sale, that it made us think. Okay, it made some of us furious (including Des).

                    Hopefully your attorney could be persuaded to rethink his/her position on helping the Trustee.
                    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.


                    • #11
                      Awwww Resigned... this plain just sucks for you guys that your trustee is contemplating this. I will keep my fingers crossed, say prayers and round up all the positive juju I can to send your way so that this is hopefully resolved quickly in your favor. Keep us posted!
                      ~~ Filed Over Median Income Chapter 7: 12/17/2010 ~~ 341 Held: 1/12/2011 ~~ Discharged: 03/16/2011 ~~
                      Not an attorney - just an opinionated woman.


                      • #12
                        Update: Trustee wants to list our place to sell. No bothering to appraise, he just wants to get a realtor out to take photos and have it listed ASAP. We live a very cluttered existence and my husband has been sick with flu all week, so this should be fun.

                        Between the threads here and other research, at least I knew to expect this. By the time we got the call from our atty's new paralegal (who is thankfully not a flake like the last one!), I just assumed it would go this way and wasn't upset about it. But I still am thinking that if our case remains open for a good year or so -- and it probably will -- then I definitely want to take this story to an investigative unit of a local news station. If they can get all hyperventilative about state workers playing Farmville on their work breaks, they need to see where a real abuse in government is happening.


                        • #13
                          Get a notebook or start a journal or blog somewhere and document, document, document.

                          Personally, I wouldn't worry about about the clutter...

                          A question to the attorneys/experts here: Is it Resigned's responsibility within the BK to make this process easy for the Realtor? If the trustee got upset about it, what is the worst thing that could happen? Going before the judge? Maybe that wouldn't be a bad thing?
                          ~~ Filed Over Median Income Chapter 7: 12/17/2010 ~~ 341 Held: 1/12/2011 ~~ Discharged: 03/16/2011 ~~
                          Not an attorney - just an opinionated woman.


                          • #14
                            I am wondering the same thing, ie, can one be sued for contempt or some such if one is not naturally tidy? or cannot afford to make repairs?
                            We are rather cluttered as well. It would be insanely hard to drum up motivation to clean up or fix up in order to aid an unwanted (possibly unlawful? the jury is still out on this, right?) process.

                            Keep On Smilin'


                            • #15
                              This is just wrong. Wrong wrong wrong. For so many reasons.

                              Keep On Smilin'


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