How to Annoy the Trustee of Your Chapter 7 Case

27 May How to Annoy the Trustee of Your Chapter 7 Case

It’s a good thing to annoy the trustee of your chapter 7 case, if you do it by properly filling out your schedules and having your lawyer take aggressive legal positions that help you achieve a good result in your case. However, be careful not to annoy the trustee through carelessness or ignoring routine details. Here are some good ways to hurt your case by annoying the trustee in a counterproductive manner.

Start annoying the trustee by scheduling $0 for cash on hand. So what if you really had $20 in your wallet on the day you filed? Who will care? Well, the trustee will care, and he will annoy you right back by asking you to amend your schedules. Plus, maybe your lawyer (if you hire a “bankruptcy mill” to represent you) always lists the very same $500 figure for household goods for every case he ever files, regardless of your household goods’ actual value. You can annoy the trustee quite effectively by using this same $500 figure in your schedules, too.

Another good way to annoy the trustee is to leave out debts you owe to relatives. After all, you plan on paying them back, right? Well, by the same logic, you might as well leave out your mortgage company, because you’ll keep paying the mortgage, too. If you want to annoy the trustee, then go ahead, leave those debts out.

Trustees can also become annoyed when you fail to list payments aggregating $600 or more to any one creditor in the 90 days before you file bankruptcy, or sales of property occuring in the two years before you file. Claiming you have not read the bankruptcy schedules in detail, or that you did not know you signed the schedules under oath, or that the penalties of perjury apply to your answers, will likely have a visible annoying effect on the trustee as well.

You can also make a good annoying impression on the trustee, from the first minute you meet him, by failing to have your photo ID, social security card, paycheck stub, and bank statements in your hands when you appear at the table for your creditors meeting. Why not make the trustee wait while you dig into your pockets looking for these items? After all, he’s only a lawyer; why is his time any more valuable than yours?

Follow these tips and you’ll be well on your way to annoying the trustee of your chapter 7 case.

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Craig W. Andresen is a consumer bankruptcy lawyer in Bloomington, Minnesota, with 22 years’ experience in consumer and small business bankruptcy cases. He is the Minnesota chair of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, and is a member of the Minnesota State Bar Association’s Bankruptcy Section. Mr. Andresen lectures often on the topic of consumer bankruptcy at local and national legal seminars.
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