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Elizabeth Prentice
Elizabeth Prentice, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 174
Experience:  Managing Attorney for one of the largest consumer bankruptcy firms in America.
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I have a question about a contempt of court judgment by the

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I have a question about a contempt of court judgment by the United States Trustee.

Here is the situation:
1. A chapter 13 bankruptcy was filed pro se in Utah's BK court
2. A motion was filed by the debtor to dismiss the case because the lender agreed to a short sale
3. The judge approved the motion to dismiss
4. The US Trustee instigated an investigation of all pro se filings that month in Utah that didn't follow through with the BK filing to investigate hundreds of bk filers for possible abuse of the bk system. This case was caught up in the sweep.
5. The Debtor responded with a filing that the case was dismissed voluntarily and there wasn't any abuse
6. The US Trustee still got a motion for a 2004 examination which the debtor refused to attend
7. The US trustee got a default judgment against he debtor for $500 for the failure of debtor to attend the 2004 examination.
8. The US Trustee also got a judgment ordering that the 2004 examination could be rescheduled and US Marshalls could be sent to force the debtor to attend the examination.
9. The judge closed the case yesterday for the US Trustee's failure to file a motion to keep it open any longer.

In summary, the chapter 13 has the following:
1. Case was dismissed
2. Case is closed
3. Default judgment for order to attend a future 2004 examination and pay $500 for expenses of US trustee-- was entered a day before the case was closed.

Questions: Does the US Trustee have any more authority to abuse the debtor on this closed case? Or can the debtor simply make a payment for $500 and call it good? Does the fact the case was closed mean anything concerning the default judgment? Can the debtor still be ordered to attend a 2004 examination on a closed case? Can the US Trustee file a motion to reopen the case?
I am a bankruptcy attorney and I would be happy to assist you!

A US Trustee may file a motion to reopen a bankruptcy case at any time for "god cause." If the Court, the judge, believes there to be good cause, he will grant the reopening of the case.

The Debtor must make the payment, or payment arrangements with the US Trustee, for the judgment in the amount of $500. This judgment will continue to exist, despite the case being closed. I recommend paying it immediately. I also recommend that the Debtor consult with a local attorney if the Debtors does not understand what the Default Judgment states. Failing to attend a 2004 examination is very serious. Monetary and criminal sanctions can be issued if a Debtor fails to attend, such as the $500 penalty. I recommend a Debtor never miss one.

The Debtor can not be ordered to attend a 2004 Examination if a case is closed, because there wouldn't be a 2004 Examination if a case was closed. If one was accidentally scheduled by the US Trustee, the Debtor should notify the trustee of this fact as soon as possible.

I hope my answer has assisted you and that you will leave me a positive rating. If you need more information in the future, please remember to ask for me by name in a new question.

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