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Marcus Parker
Marcus Parker, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 460
Experience:  practicing attorney including bankruptcy
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I filed for chapter 7 on april 22 and am awaiting my ...

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I filed for chapter 7 on april 22 and am awaiting my discharge after 7/28. It was a no asset case. I have learned that I have to amend my petition to add a couple of possible lawsuits/claims that I may bring forward in the future, although it is not likely since I cannot afford a lawyer. Which schedules do I amend, and how do i do it? Does amending this close to a discharge extend my dischage date or other objection deadlines?

Schedule B 21. Other contingent and unliquidated claims of every nature, including tax refunds, counterclaims of the debtor, and rights to setoff claims.

Do it by filing a "motion to amend schedules of assets and liabilities".

Bankruptcy Rule 4004 provides in part that "In a chapter 7 liquidation case a complaint objecting to the debtor's discharge under § 727(a) of the Code shall be filed not later than 60 days following the first date set for the meeting of creditors under § 341(a). " So amendment of the schedules should not affect the timing of the discharge order.

Rule 4004 also provides that "(b) Extension of time.

On motion of any party in interest, after hearing on notice, the court may extend for cause the time for filing a complaint objecting to discharge. The motion shall be filed before the time has expired." So unless such a motion is filed, the time for objecting to discharge is not extended.

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Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to XXXXX XXXXX's Post: Don't I also have to exempt this as well? Do I put a value unknown? When I file the motion, is there another hearing for the motion to amend? Lastly, do I have to attach a detailed explanation so the trustee can decide whether to pursue or abandon the claim?

If there is an available unused exemption for these claims you could claim it, but as I understand what you were saying, you probably would not pursue them, so I don't see why you would bother claiming an exemption.

You would put your best guess as to their value.

I don't believe a hearing is needed unless you or some other party wants one.

A detailed explanation might be a good idea so as to prevent the trustee from requesting another creditor's meeting.

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Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to XXXXX XXXXX's Post: Can't I just put unknown in the amount? I am in CT so there really is just the wildcard of $1000.00. I don't know if I will ever pursue the claim, I just want to know that I can if I choose to in the future. Is the motion to amend a specific form and do the trustees frown upon amendments this late in the case?

If you put "unknown" it would, as a practical matter, work.

If there is extra exemption amount (in the bankruptcy blanket exemption amount, for example), you could claim it, sure. But since you are putting "unknown", the trustee may very well contest the exemption (upon the possibility that it is actually worth much more), thus delaying things.

I don't believe there is a specific official form for such a motion. You could check the Connecticut local bankruptcy rules to be sure. The trustee should not frown upon this, because the trustee possibly stands to profit from this (unless it is exempt), if the claim turns out to be valid, and large. If the trustee agrees with you regarding the exemption, it shouldn't make any difference to the trustee either way.

Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Thank you for your help... I have another bankruptcy question, and i want to ask it, but of course feel I should pay you more for a second question. Can I do that?

Yes, I believe that is how it works. You would "accept", then ask the next question, I would answer the 2nd question, and, if the second answer was also of value to you, you would accept that too.

Alternatively, you could give me a bonus. I would work out the same I guess.

Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Okay... but to be clear on the first question, do i file the amendment with the motion? can the motion be denied? and can i fax it in or do i have to mail it? the lateness of it makes me nervous, but you do not think that the trustee will delay the case? if you could just let me know to conclude this question. Second question.. at the time of my filing I had items in storage. I offered to remove my property immediately so that they could rerent the two units. I listed the items on my bankruptcy as exempt. The storage facility went forward and advertised my property, found a buyer, but did not sell it, though they did contact me to give me his number. I told them i thought that was an attempt to collect a debt. Now their lawyer wants me to pay the postpetition debt in order to retrieve my property. he says the exemption doesn't matter. i told him that the storage company forced me to accrue postpetition rent and that he was either denying me my exempt property or a fresh start. is he right?

do i file the amendment with the motion? Yes.

can the motion be denied? Yes, in theory, but the court would have to have a good reason. The whole idea is to be honest with the state of your finances. If the court were to deny it, you did your duty. I really doubt that this would be a problem.

and can i fax it in or do i have to mail it?

Depends on the particular bankruptcy court. You could call the clerk of court and ask.

the lateness of it makes me nervous, but you do not think that the trustee will delay the case? No.

As to the second question:

It is your argument, as I understand it, that by refusing to allow you to pick up your property from storage, and taking steps to sell it, they violated the automatic stay. This would turn upon whether they were exercising a valid possessory lien or, on the other hand, whether their remedy was limited to a motion for relief from stay (in effect forcing them to so move if they wanted to assert a possessory lien). I would suggest that they waived any claim to a possessory lien by their clear violation of the automatic stay when they took steps to sell the property.

Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Does it matter if they are not listed on the schedule d? maybe i should have listed them there, but did not know and so did not. I have a mortgage on my property and have a judicial lien on it. I listed that on the schedule d, but only listed my mortgage on my statement of intention.Did I make a big mistake? Was the judicial lien supposed to be on the statement of intention? do i have to amend that too?

Remember when you were in school, and would take a test? Did you ever answer a question one way (perhaps "yes" on a true/false), then go back and change it to "no", then scratch the "no" out and try to write "yes"? That is sort of what you are doing here. Don't worry so much.

Yes, perhaps it should have been on the Schedule d, but as long as the trustee and creditors get the idea, it is fine. So, no, it was not a big mistake. If you think they might be significantly misled by your failure to mention the lien on the statement of intention, amend that too. Otherwise, don't worry about it.

Customer: replied 9 years ago.
You are perceptive, i am just so worried about my case closing soon and missing something important. Like.. when i go to file a motion to avoid the judicial lien, can the creditor object, saying i should have exempted the lien under my statement of intention... I know I am getting into more ground here, and will pay you additional $! As to the storage company, they claim that their actions were not an attempt to collect on the debt. They said my exempt property in the storage doesn;t mean i can keep it, they said exempt only means that the trustee won't take it to sell. how can they hold my property hostage so to speak and then charge me to store it during that time, when i had no access to it?
They have a contractual right to hold the property hostage and yet deny you access. But they didn't have the right to threaten to sell it. And that is what I would suggest you base your case upon. You would have retrieved the property if they had let you. So you can bring violation of automatic stay motion against them if they will not be reasonable.
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
I think I can deal with the storage company attorney, but because I am getting all over the place.. and i guess more importantly.. so I am amending my personal property schedule to include the possible future lawsuit, correct? And I should attach a letter explaining the basis for this to give him a clear understanding to decide whether to pursue or abandon the claims, correct? And as to the judicial liens on my house.. i should amend my statement of intention as well? And is the clerk correct when she tells me to file my motion to avoid the judicial liens AFTER my discharge? (This is all sort of a recap!! sorry,)

Yes as to all of it, except the part about the timing of the motion to avoid the lien. You touched on this in passing before, but I was focusing on the other issues. Would you please explain in detail what this is all about?

Customer: replied 9 years ago.
The judgment liens on my property impair my allowable homestead exemption, so I will have to file a motion to avoid the liens (strip them). The clerk told me that i should wait until after my discharge to file that motion. do you agree?
I have no opinion one way or another. If that is what the clerk says, fine. I take it that you are in no hurry about this anyway.
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
No.. I actually am in a hurry, the sooner it's all over, the better. I would want this matter addressed as soon as possible. I just hope she's right. Sometimes different clerks tell you different things.
Yes they do. Did the clerk say why you should wait?
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to XXXXX XXXXX's Post: She just said that while you can file it at any time,the trustee likes to see you have your discharge before you do so. Again.. I wonder why, and if filing it afterwards can hurt you.