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Minimal requested from Trustee

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  • Minimal requested from Trustee

    I'm pro se Chapter 7. I'm about a week out from my 341. I mailed the trustee my tax returns a week ago. I also emailed an inquiry about my lack of paystubs due to being unemployed. I emailed a signed statement that I did not have paystubs and asked if that was sufficient or if the Court had a form they preferred and did it need to be notarized?

    I received an email reply stating ” We received your tax returns and we will not need paystubs. You have provided all we need."

    I had been going to the mailbox everyday waiting for the request for 6 months or more of bank statements for all my bank accounts, possibly credit card statements, possibly a questionnaire to fill out due to being Pro Se, etc. Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled to not be getting drilled prior to the 341. I hope this doesn't mean I will get nailed at the actual meeting. But you would think if there is something the trustee was concerned enough to want to see they would make sure to ask me ahead of time to bring it to the meeting.

    The thing is there is no hard and fast rule that I have found about documentation other than the tax returns and paystubs. Rule 4002 says "unless the trustee or the United States trustee instructs otherwise, statements for each of the debtor's depository and investment accounts, including checking, savings, and money market accounts, mutual funds and brokerage accounts for the time period that includes the date of the filing of the petition". And that really says nothing about how far back I'm required to go. Of course I'm going to be prepared and take a year's worth of all statements.

    It's so interesting how very different trustees are from district to district.

  • #2
    For a Chapter 7, it's generally 6 months of banking statements. They are just trying to see if you hid money or you made large transfers in the time up to the filing. The Trustee can always ask for more if, during questions at the 341 meeting, they find it necessary to go further back. Generally, your Statement of Financial Affairs (SoFA) is going to tell them alot. They will also learn a little more about you at the 341 Meeting.

    If you are under-the-median, they really aren't going to drill you that much at the 341 Meeting. You may find that it's just the usually 7-14 questions that are benign in nature, such as "did you read everything on the forms". The trustee will typically ask you for anything that you ahve not provided based on the Trustee's "standard" information request. The standard information is usually provded on their website and always consists of 3 years of tax returns and "may" include 6 months of bank statements. Based on local rules, it could also include titles to vehicles, deeds, and insurance polikcy information. It really just depends.

    The fewer assets you have, the easier it is for the Trustee to get a financial picture of you, the debtor.

    Even if the Trustee has not requested, or it's not in the "standard list" for that Trustee, I would bring copies of everything I sent to the Trustee as well as anything you have related to your financial status within the 6 months preceding the filing of your petition. I would bring those copies to the 341 Meeting just in case! (It's surprising to me that the Trustees seem to lose things often. Even in my case, my Trustee insisted I didn't send something and I showed them the green card, only to have the Trustee say "Oh, you did... there it is."! )
    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.


    • #3
      Thanks justbroke.

      My trustee does not have a website with any sort of "standard info" list. I have looked at other trustee's websites and lists. I only sent 2 years of tax returns 2014 and 2013. I will take earlier years in case they are requested. And I will definitely have all the bank statements.

      I'm still a bit nervous for the 341. I don't really think I should be. I think my case is simple and I worked my butt off with research on the paperwork and exemptions so I feel good about it. But I think it's just the idea of walking in there alone that is nerve wracking. Still, to save $2000 I can suck it up and find a pair of cojones for 5 minutes like everyone else has.


      • #4
        Originally posted by Blarc View Post
        Rule 4002 says "unless the trustee or the United States trustee instructs otherwise, statements for each of the debtor's depository and investment accounts, including checking, savings, and money market accounts, mutual funds and brokerage accounts for the time period that includes the date of the filing of the petition". And that really says nothing about how far back I'm required to go.
        Actually, it states exactly the period the statements must cover. "for the time period that includes the date of the filing of the petition." So, if monthly statements are issued for the account, it is the statement for the month in which you filed BK. If quarterly statements are issued, it's the statement for the quarter in which you filed BK. But, the trustee may "instruct otherwise" and require additional statements.

        My trustee required only account statements and payroll stubs for the month in which I filed and copy of my most recent income tax returns.

        I think justbroke's suggestion to be prepared with 6 months worth of statements is a good one. I bet you won't need them if the trustee has already told you he has all he needs, unless he forgets he has what you sent him.

        LadyInTheRed is in the black!
        Filed Chap 13 April 2010. Discharged May 2015.
        $143,000 in debt discharged for $36,500, including attorneys fees. Money well spent!


        • #5
          LadyInTheRed , I think I did initially interpret that the same way but then dismissed it because everyone talks about needing 3 months or 6 months or even more if you are pro se. There is no way I would risk showing up with just one month's worth. I want to disclose, disclose, be done with and go home.


          • #6
            I had six months ready just in case it was requested, but they only wanted the month we filed. I don't know where you are, but I'm in MN. Good luck!


            • #7
              Good to hear. Thanks Can't wait to be done.


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