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I need HELP preparing for upcoming bankruptcy hearings!

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  • I need HELP preparing for upcoming bankruptcy hearings!

    I need help preparing for my hearings, yes, plural, with an S. There are 3 of them in a few weeks.

    I'm the Movant in one for protective order and the respondent in the other two for objection to exemptions and motion for turnover.

    I have the content and the evidence, but what I can't find is the format and procedures.

    Thank you in advance.

  • #2
    Great news! Now there will be 6 hearings. The trustee is a real peach, but I finally have confirmation about the stick up his rear end. He thinks someone is helping me, so he has decided to punish me for being intelligent enough to navigate the bankruptcy code without an attorney.

    Comment


    • #3
      I have not looked at your prior posts (or I do not remember them) so I do not know the background.

      If you us to attempt to help you will need to tell us some details. Please list, one by one, the full name of each Motion or Complaint filed by the Trustee.

      Des.

      Comment


      • #4
        I haven't posted much on here, so you haven't really missed anything.

        I learned something crucial in the latest battery of filings. The trustee hates me because I am apparently doing everything well. He has accused me of having a "ghostwriter" and wants me sanctioned for $1500. I really hope that having all of these hearings scheduled on the same day means that the judge is fed up with him as much as I am. The judge is really nice, but not at all someone you want to trifle with.

        Here are the filings that will be heard:

        1) Objection to Exemptions (Everything is properly exempted.)

        2) Motion for Turnover of Personal Property (This is actually funny because what he really wants is $16,000 for crappy used junk. Not happening. Not in his wildest dreams. He has rejected two attempts to have the property turned over to him. He doesn't want it. He only wants money which I don't have. So, he can take the crappy furniture or abandon it.)

        3) Motion for Protective Order Against the Trustee's Rule 2004 Examination (This is mine. He was trying to use discovery improperly as the 2004 was scheduled prior to hearings on the above two items. Also, it's undefined and he has threatened to have it drag on for days without ever mentioning a cause because there is no cause other than to constantly accuse me of having a "ghostwriter" etc so he can deny the discharge, yada yada.)

        4) Motion to Compel Debtors' Appearance and Cooperation with Rule 2004 Examination (Not opposed to it, just wouldn't let him abuse it for discovery in the other matters.)

        5) Motion to Extend Time to File an Objection to Discharge (This is his second one, btw. His first one was granted already.)

        I thought there was another one, but I think he was just responding to my Motion for Protective Order. He did quite a bit of complaining in it, so it felt like a separate filing.

        ***What I really need help with is how to write it up. Am I filing anything with the judge/court? Or is this all going to be oral argument type stuff?***

        Thank you in advance.

        Comment


        • #5
          You better get an attny and get one fast. Your first problem is thinking you know and/or understand bk law. You don't. I know you don't because your assertion that the Motion for Rule 2004 exam was premature is just wrong. The minute you filed any creditor or the trustee or the US Trustee had the right to request such an exam. You are confusing this general information gathering rule (which is nothing more than an expanded 341 meeting) with the formal rules of discovery. See Rule 2004(d) - court can order appearance "at any time". Then see the more formal rules of procedure which, with some exceptions, apply after an adversary proceeding is filed. (Rules 7001-7087)

          I see that there is a motion to extend the deadline to file the 727 complaint - not surprising. It will be granted, the complaint will be filed and you will lose your right to a discharge. I have seen this too many times.

          I cannot assist you because the only advice I can give is to urge you to hire legal counsel for the purpose of doing damage control so you can get a discharge. I am sure this is advice you will not take.

          Des.

          Comment


          • #6
            I don't need your judgment and condemnation. I need help preparing for the hearings. If you can't answer those specific questions, keep your opinions to yourself because you don't have all of the facts about my case either. You've made some gross assumptions and you shouldn't even concern yourself with the outcome.

            Comment


            • #7
              Despritfreya is an attorney and knows what these things are all about. He or she knows the law better than anyone filing their own petition.

              Ive seen videos on Rule 2004 exams. Believe me you don’t want to go in on those on your own. Trustees (who usually are attorneys themselves) will have their own personal attorneys take these on against you. So that should say something right there, that 2004 hearings are no joke.

              we don’t know the details of your situation and we do not judge the merits. We let the courts do that. But if you don’t get an attorney bad things will happen. It’s not good.

              im not saying everyone needs an attorney. Many people do just fine without one. But in your case you clearly need one or else you face a bad outcome. If attorneys can’t do these 2004s on their own how can you be expected to?

              Comment


              • BeaFuddled
                BeaFuddled commented
                Editing a comment
                My question has nothing to do with a 2004 exam. Thanks.

            • #8
              Nodebtrenton Thank you for your vote of confidence. The reality is that these types of cases, the ones needing damage control, are my firm's specialty hence the reason for my post.

              While I could be wrong as we do not know the details, in all likelihood OP will pay a bigger price in the end than had he/she simply cooperated with the Trustee and cut a deal relative to the issues. For OP, only time will tell.

              Remember the old adage - one who represents himself has a fool for a client. I find that this adage holds true the vast majority of the time - not necessarily because the pro se is incompetent to represent him/herself, but because he or she is too emotionally vested to see the forest through the trees.

              Des.

              Comment


              • #9
                My QUESTION had nothing to do with a 2004 exam!

                My post was in regards to PREPARING for hearings before the JUDGE, not a 2004.

                I don't care if you think I'm a fool or if you think I am too emotionally vested or if you think I haven't done enough to cut a deal with the Trustee. You're still making wild assumptions and not answering the question I asked.

                Comment


                • #10
                  I don't understand this talk about having a "ghostwriter", which I assume to mean assistance from a (non-attorney) friend or family member in preparing your legal documents, or how the trustee could use that as basis for an objection to discharge. There must be a lot more to this story--the trustee appears to believe that your filing is in bad faith, and/or that you are hiding assets. Surely there must be some reason why the trustee feels this way?

                  Comment


                  • BeaFuddled
                    BeaFuddled commented
                    Editing a comment
                    He complained that my filing and my pleadings are too good to be my own, a mere pro se filer. He's asked me numerous times even under oath at the 341 meeting and there I explained (because he asked) how I figured out how to apply the exemptions. My crime is being thorough and a bit of a perfectionist.

                    I had to look it up, but ghostwriting is done by attorneys for other attorneys and pro se litigants, but the main point is that they are not disclosed.

                    Whatever his "cause" to object to the discharge, his proof will be nil. This case should have been done at 60 days. But I offended the delicate trustee by being intelligent without a law degree. My bad.

                    It still would be really nice if someone would answer my original question.

                • #11
                  Maybe the reason nobody can answer is because nobody could do so without the help of an attorney. Whille to be perfectly honest I used an attorney from the start but I considered going without, but upon seeing this I would immediately have gotten one. When a trustee (a bona fide BK attorney themselves) uses their attorney for these hearings, shouldn’t you use one too? There’s way too much at stake for a forum of non lawyers to figure out for you.

                  I’m not saying that your case has bad merit. But someone out there likely thinks so. So all we can say on here is to get legal help fast. Good attorneys will give you free consultations before you have to pay them a penny. If they ask for money first then it’s time to run. That’s about as good as an answer as you’ll get, and it’s my last reply to this post. I can guarantee that nothing good will happen if you don’t get an attorney at this point based on what’s been said.

                  Comment


                  • BeaFuddled
                    BeaFuddled commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Yet, you know for a fact that the guy who initially responded IS an attorney and all he would do is give me a snarky and condescending retort.

                    I can't afford an attorney and I don't qualify for the free ones, so it's me and no one else. But oh well, I'll figure it out, just like I have figured it all out without the help of anyone else.

                • #12
                  I filed my Chapter 7 bankruptcy pro-se several years ago, and it went fine. This year, I assisted one of my friends in preparing the paperwork to file her Chapter 7 bankruptcy. I am not an attorney, and did not "represent" her, or offer any "legal advice"; I merely provided some free assistance with filling out the documents and navigating the process.

                  I am having a hard time believing that such a scenario is unlawful, or would provide a basis for a panel trustee to object to the debtor's discharge. In fact, if you think about it, if such a scenario were grounds for the trustee to object, panel trustees could make it a standard operating procedure to accuse all pro-se filers of having a "ghost writer". After all, how on Earth would someone prove a negative, i.e. prove that they did not have someone assist them with filling out the documents? One could no more easily prove that ghosts do not exist or that extraterrestrials have never visited Earth than could they prove that no one assisted them in filling out their paperwork.

                  Comment


                  • BeaFuddled
                    BeaFuddled commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Yours is the most reasonable comment I have seen on any of my posts. So, thank you.

                    Ghostwriting is an absolute absurd objection, to say the least. I have a friend who is a retired attorney, though not a bk attorney. My friend said, "Who cares IF someone helps you (or anyone)?" I explained to my friend that it initially had to do with the "under penalty of perjury" that one signs a bajillion times about disclosing paid help, etc. While I was researching ghostwriters, I found an article on Lawyerist.com that said that where pro se litigants are concerned, attorneys are worried that the court will be lenient with them, but yet if they get outside help that they don't or don't have to disclose that it is unfair. In any event, no one has and no is doing anything for me. I haven't even asked my friend any questions because I don't feel it is right to do that. I only asked my friend, "What do you make of this?" on two issues.

                    The case the trustee's attorney cited as prohibiting the practice of ghostwriters in bankruptcy actually had to do with a pro se filer who filed pro se and then under the SOFA claimed $775 in legal fees for doc prep/assistance (I'd have to look again to be sure exactly). The little that I read seemed more against the attorney paid the $775 picking and choosing which services to provide in bankruptcy. Again, in my case, it doesn't amount to a hill of beans. Good luck, Mr. Trustee and attorney, trying to prove the existence of the non-existent and with a preponderance of evidence.

                • #13
                  Had my day in court. In the end, the trustee apologized for the contentious nature of this case and said my pleadings were better than 95% of the attorneys.

                  Comment


                  • #14
                    Sounds like good news. Did the judge rule in your favor on the objection to exemptions and turnover of property?

                    My parents ran into a trustee who thought he could bulldoze a pro se filer. He ended up with egg on his face and they prevailed.
                    Case Closed > 2/08/2010

                    Comment


                    • BeaFuddled
                      BeaFuddled commented
                      Editing a comment
                      It didn't even get that far. The trustee ended up asking to settle. We left on amicable terms and I will soon have my discharge.

                  • #15
                    Just saw that OP and the Trustee are settling.

                    I have no doubt the judge denied OP's motions relating to the 2004 order and gave a "dirty" look at the Trustee regarding his/her objection to exemptions, motion for turnover and motion to compel. My guess is that the judge sent both of them packing hinting that they needed to "work it out". Settlement is something that should have happened early in the case and is the damage control I alluded to.

                    This thread is instructional for others - especially the ones who owe priority claims such as back support or taxes, which, in an asset Chapter 7, are first in line for payment after payment to the Trustee and his/her attorney.

                    What happened in OP’s case should never have happened. OP had non-exempt assets. In a different thread I think OP indicated that he/she owed taxes. Instead of working with the Trustee to settle the issues (a cooperative settlement will typically end with an agreement to pay between $5,000 and $7,500) OP fought the system causing the Trustee to run up legal fees. In many instances OP's approach - fighting where there is no benefit or need - is penny wise, pound foolish and ends in a larger settlement amount or worse.

                    In the end, before any money goes the priority taxes, the Trustee and his/her attorney will be paid. In all likelihood, after they are paid there will be very little left to pay the taxes, which, of course, depends upon how much was owed. What taxes are not paid will be OP's responsibility after the entry of the Discharge, thus potentially costing him/her additional money.

                    As an attny who has 30 years in this business, I just do not understand why folks with non-exempt property think they should pay $0 when filing a Chapter 7. If a debtor has non-exempt property, and the debtor does not want to risk giving up that property, then the debtor does not file Chapter 7. End of story.

                    If a debtor with non exempt assets files a Chapter 7, the debtor needs to look at the bigger picture. Settling with a trustee for, say, $7000 is a small price to pay to get rid of, say $100,000 in debt. Further, in such instances, the money paid may benefit the debtor by trickling down to the priority claims, paying those claims to the largest extent possible. Giving up something to get rid of something much bigger is nothing more than a smart business decision.

                    While OP is not going to agree with my analysis, I do hope others learn from this thread.

                    Des.

                    Comment

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