How to annoy, upset and aggravate your bankruptcy trustee and delay your discharge – one of a series

19 Feb How to annoy, upset and aggravate your bankruptcy trustee and delay your discharge – one of a series

When you file a bankruptcy case, your bankruptcy trustee wants data. Depending on the district you live in, it could be a little or a lot. You have a duty to cooperate with the trustee. Not only that, it’s common sense. The trustee is the main thing which stands between you and your discharge. And you want a discharge. You want to be free of all your pre-bankruptcy debts. You don’t want hassles. You don’t want to pay your bankruptcy lawyer additional fees. And you don’t want to be reported to the United States Trustee or have your case dismissed. You don’t want to be brought before the judge to explain why you failed to do what you were supposed to do.

What kind of things will a trustee want?

  • Your most recent tax returns or transcripts
  • Your most recent pay stubs from work

These two items are mandatory in all districts. One way or another, you have to give this to the trustee. This verifies how much you make and what your sources of income are.

What else can a trustee reasonably ask for?

  • Your recent bank statements
  • Your recent credit card bills
  • Your recent business records

Failure to maintain and provide the trustee with sufficient records with which to ascertain your financial affairs could lead to loss of discharge. At the very least, it could lead to the trustee extending the time within which to object to your discharge. These are bad. You’ll lose time and may even have to pay your bankruptcy attorney more money to handle your case.

Depending on your case, a trustee could ask for more information like:

  • Records regarding sales of assets, including real estate or businesses
  • Records regarding disposition of assets in a divorce
  • Records regarding any litigation in which you have been involved or claim to have a right

Play ball with the Trustee. She has the right and obligation to look into your affairs. Cooperation and full disclosure is the key to a prompt discharge in bankruptcy.

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Jay S. Fleischman is a bankruptcy lawyer with offices in Los Angeles and New York. He can often be found on Google+ and Twitter, where he shares information about consumer protection issues and personal finance.
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