Bankruptcy Law Questions? Ask a Bankruptcy Lawyer.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to assist you. I encourage you to ask me for clarification, if you are not clear with my Answer.
I filed a chapter 7 by myself and have been discharged already. My problem is with my assigned trustee, she has been debating over the value of my paid off 2004 saturn vue. she sent me a asset letter and I have no idea what she is saying my value is. I paid for a legal assistant to assist with filling out the documents and she put a random value amount on my vehicle without even looking at it and advised me to have me vehicle appraised for the real value, I did and submitted the document with my filing and my trustee is the one who had the problem with it and has left me in limbo since dec. What happens if she appraise my vehicle an outlandish amount I cant afford?
Response: Random number should not have been used on your petition. This is why there is always a risk when using a document preparer. The document preparer is only supposed to prepare papers and not give you advice. The document preparer here could be in trouble if you report her action to the US Trustee's Office.
If the Chapter Trustee's appraisal of the vehicle is more than the allowed exemption for the vehicle, you have to pay the Trustee the difference. Otherwise, you have to turn over the vehicle to the Trustee for the Trustee to sell. After the sale, the Trustee must give you the amount equal to your allowed exemption for the vehicle, the rest of the proceeds for the sale would go towards Trustee's expenses of the sale of the vehicle and to distribute to your creditors.
The appraised value would be the fair market value of the vehicle at the time the petition was filed. There is room here for negotiation with the trustee.
then am I too assume that the 7700.00 value the preparer placed in the value be the amount or the certified appraised amount of 5100.00. what are my legal rights to file a complaint against the trustee when I stayed all day to watch her and saw first hand that she was giving perferred treatment to certain classes of people, it seemed that when my class of people got infront of her she nic pic everyone of there paper work and I didnt witness not a one be completed with her that day. she in every case required more information from each case that was not what she seemed the right race. I now know why my preparer got upset when I called her after my meeting that day asking why she had a problem with the numbers. I will consider filing a complaint against her also. what if the vehicle does not even sell for the minimum of the 5000.00 alotted for excemption if I cant afford the difference she says?
Response: I am not clear as to your questions.
Are you saying that the preparer put in the value as $7,700.00 while the professional appraisal came in as $5,100.00? if so, the appraised value controls.
If you have problems with the Chapter 7 Trustee and/or the Document Preparer, you would need to file complaint with the Office of US Trustee in your region. I provided the web site to you earlier.
Here it is once more:
If the vehicle cannot be sold for the minimum of the exemption allowed, the Trustee must give the car back to you.