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cfortunato, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 8023
Experience:  Bankruptcy professor.
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Hello, I have a question about my bankruptcy. I filed and had

Resolved Question:

Hello, I have a question about my bankruptcy. I filed and had the meeting with the creditors in Sept. I live in Florida. The difficulty came in because my 2003 car was paid for and has very low milage 10,000 miles due to the fact I worked at home for several years. I was approx $3,500 above the exception for Florida I paid a certified Car appraiser who deducted some repairs from the value.

At the 341 meeting the trustee suddenly said he would not accept the appraisal and wanted me to go to Car Max. I did, the estimate came in at $5,000 causing me to be above the exceptions. I believe this is a conflict of interest because Car Max is interested in my car because of the low milage and can make repairs at cost. On the other hand the certified appraiser I paid has no interest in my car.

BotXXXXX XXXXXne is the trustee saw fit to say that either they would take the car and sell it or I could keep the car and pay the difference approx. $3,500.

I diplomatically question my lawyer as to why he did not speak up and ask the Trustee to consider the age of the car and the repairs that are needed. I was told point blank...they do not argue with a trustee. I am not at all comfortable with my lawyer.

The botXXXXX XXXXXne is this. I said I would keep the car and asked for a payment plan, my lawyer said interested maybe charged. I asked for the the Trustee's decision in writing and a statement or something in writing showing that he (the trustee) agreed to a payment plan of 6 months and what the interest would be and something with the amount due written. My lawyer is now annoyed with me and only the paralegal has corresponded with me. I was told by this paralegal that they correspond only by email and that they cannot supply anything in writing. I asked for the Trustee's email to be forwarded to me. It has now been two months. I cannot imagine paying $3500 with nothing at all in writing. Not even an email forwarded to me from the trustee's office.

My question is this am I within my legal rights to ask for the Trustee's decision in writing? Is it not appropriate to expect something in writing indicating their agreement to a payment plan and something in writing to show what the interest is and what the amount payable is?

If I pay an electric bill, a cable bill or car repairs I receive a written statement. I am at a loss as my lawyer refuses to talk to me and only the paralegal responds. I do not have the resources to hire another lawyer. I have already received form letter # XXXXX indicating that my debts have been discharged.

Thank you
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Expert:  cfortunato replied 5 years ago.
Hi JACustomer,
Yes - you absolutely are entitled to have any agreement with the trustee in writing. And the writing should contain all the details of your agreement - the total amount you are to pay, the interest, the amount of each payment, how many payments, etc.
Additionally, since you are really not asking for much, there really should be no problem getting the trustee to provide this for you. In fact, your lawyer's paralegal can write up the agreement, and it can then be sent to the trustee's office to be signed by him and returned.

I think this is what you wanted to know. If not, please let me know.
Thank you.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you. Today I was contacted by the paralegal who asked if I made a payment yet. I reminded her that several weeks ago I asked for something in writing, and I had no information as to where to even send the payment. She then gave me the address. I do not want to make any payments until I receive something in writing she then said the Trustee's office is too busy and they emailed the trustee's office several times and never received a reply. She said just make the payment.

I am concerned that something may go wrong I do not want my car taken. All of this has has been verbal with the paralegal. Should I write a letter to my lawyers office and send it by mail...not email? What about the fact that I have already received a discharge? Can I buy anytime?
Expert:  cfortunato replied 5 years ago.

It does not make sense that the paralegal has not yet forwarded the email to you. When I said you are entitled to something in writing, an email that you can print out would be sufficient.

The fact that you already received a discharge has no bearing on this issue, but the trustee will not send someone to get your car - if he wanted to sell your car, he would sell it where it is. And trustees really do not want to be bothered selling assets - they much prefer getting the money from the debtor.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
You have been very kind thank you. One more question if I had said take the car would I have faired better? Is there any recourse, can I dispute the decision This is a 10 yr old car that is need of repairs, but I need it to go to work. I will have to go into debt to pay this money. I also understand that the trustee gets a commission, that seems like a conflict of interest. Should I write that letter insisting on something in writing?

Thank you so very much
Expert:  cfortunato replied 5 years ago.

If the trustee sells the car, he will have to give you the $1,000 motor vechicle exemption. Perhaps you would be better off getting the $1,000, if you are able to get a reliable car by putting down that amount, and then paying it off, instead of paying the trustee.

You do have to be very careful doing this, though, because we hear a lot of complaints from customers who get scammed by car dealers. Maybe you can buy a car from someone you know.

I am not sure how effective a letter will be. However, it cannot hurt to send one.

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