Forum Rules (Everyone Must Read!!!) (updated: 04/28/2015)

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Trustee Accounting Errors. It happens.

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  • Trustee Accounting Errors. It happens.

    I always check my trustee's web site about a week after I mail a payment just to be sure it was received and credited. A couple months ago I noticed a "delinquency amount" in the upper right corner, but I know all of my payments had been received, and on time, so I shrugged it off as a web anomaly.

    This past month when I checked the payment posting, I saw that the payment amount had been applied to the "delinquency amount", so I decided to make a call to the Trustee's office.

    Glad I did! And the lady I spoke to in the accounting office was glad I had called as well! She saw immediately that an erroneous amount had been applied to my base, for my income tax refund amount, which I was subsequently allowed by motion and order to retain and spend. This error was committed by a data entry clerk. (Darn humanoids!) I suppose it is entirely possible that my case was not the only one affected, and they might have a few corrections to make.

    I'm sure that the error would have worked it's way out in the wash, as I think they do an audit of the case before your discharge, but I am happy that I made the call and got it corrected right away.

    Also, the Trustee's office erred by sending me not only my own income tax refund check, but somebody else's as well. oops, eh? I mailed the other person's check back to the Trustee's office, of course, right away.

    I do want to say that the person I spoke to at the Trustee's office for both of these events was genuinely courteous and professional, and the mistakes were both corrected without a lot of to-do about it. I enjoy maintaining a cordial working relationship with my Trustee's office.

    The moral of the story is: Don't be intimidated if you see something you don't understand or that doesn't look right as your case progresses. It is OK to call them and ask about it.

  • #2
    If you're Pro Se you need to be assertive! I understand exactly what you went through. There was nothing more painful for me than "dressing down" the Chapter 13 Trustee's assistant on a matter related to confirmation of plan. It was only bad because I was doing so in front of the creditor's attorney in one of the private conference rooms adjacent to the courtroom to iron out some details. I think I did something similar in front of the Judge when the same creditor's attorney made an error.

    The problem was, that I started addressing the attorney directly, but quickly realized it and informed the Court that the attorney was mistaken!

    Moral of the story is... if you demonstrate that you know your stuff and remain assertive, you can actually do well as a pro se filer. Beware, there's a difference between arrogance and assertiveness!
    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
      Oh, I would certainly not handle an errant attorney nor the Trustee himself with the same "gentleness" as I do these clerks and staff. I already know the pressure they are under, because I know what kind of guy their boss is. ;-) They are stressed enough. In this case, a "dressing down" on my part would not have gotten the error corrected faster or better, and just would have caused somebody to have a bad day. I don't mind in the least quietly saying "hey.." if it helps them to correct their own mistakes, improve their own performance, and possibly save their jobs. Also, perhaps the manner in which I treat them will improve things for other pro se filers, and these particular staff - - the ones who answer the phone - - are the ones most likely to be the most helpful (or least) depending upon how you treat them. I certainly wouldn't want to do anything to make it more difficult for others in this district by behaving badly to the staff we rely on for help.

      I believe that my assertiveness and aggressiveness are best reserved for court battles, and not the types of clerical mistakes I have encountered recently.


      • #4
        I understand exactly what you mean, and when I dealt the the Trustee's office regarding 13DataCenter or payments or anything else, post confirmation, that is how I handled them... with kid gloves. However, the Trustee's assistant was intervening at a hearing and was giving very bad legal "advice" for which I had to correct the person in front of the creditor's attorney. I was trying to be nice. I promise!
        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.


        • #5
          In that case, I am not so sure I would have been "nice". Or at least, I can confidently say that being "nice" would not have been the priority at the moment lol.


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