Trustee FAQs

  1. What is the preferred method for providing documents to   the trustee's   office? 
  2. Should I send the trustee original documents?
  3. The debtor has to provide the trustee 60 days of "payment advices."   What does this mean?
  4. What   proof of   income related to the Means Test Form does the trustee require? 
  5. What tax returns   must be   provided to the trustee? 
  6. What additional documents must be produced or filed in a case converted from chapter 13? 
  7. The trustee has instructed   the debtor   to provide a   title for   a vehicle, but   the debtor   no longer has the title.   How do I obtain a copy? 
  8. What are acceptable forms of picture identification at the 341(a) meeting of creditors? 
  9. What   is acceptable for proof of   social security number at the 341(a) meeting of creditors? 
  10. What if a debtor is unable to attend the section 341(a) meeting of creditors? 
  11. The   341(a) meeting of creditors   has been adjourned to 8:59 a.m. (or 8:49 a.m.).   Does the debtor or debtor attorney have to appear? 
  12. I agreed to make payments to the trustee.   To whom do I write the check? 
  13. The   debtor   received a discharge.   This means the case is closed, right? 
  14. The debtor moved.   Does anyone need   notification? 
  15. The   case is still open and   the debtor would   like to sell his or her   home or refinance it;   is that possible? 


1. What is the preferred method for providing documents to   the trustee's   office?

Please email all documents to our office, if possible. Send   documents for the meeting of creditors to Lisa Tuel-Ahlgren, Paralegal, at lisa@ahlgrenlaw.net. Please send two files, one file with the tax returns and pay information and the other file with all other information (mortgages, vehicle titles, etc.).  

Please email all other documents to the person making the request. Back to Top

2. Should I send the trustee original documents?

Do not send original documents unless specifically requested. Back to Top

3. The debtor has to provide the trustee 60 days of "payment advices."   What does this mean?

Pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 521(a)(1)(B)(iv), each debtor must provide 60 days of payment advices (usually, paystubs) for the 60 day period IMMEDIATELY prior to filing date.   Each payment advice is required, and the   relevant time period is 60 calendar days, not two months. For example, if a case was filed on April 15, 2007, the debtor must produce   payment advices for the period February 14 - April 15. If the debtor received unemployment, please inform the trustee   as to when   the debtor   started receiving unemployment income and provide unemployment stubs for the applicable period. If the debtor receives social security disability income, workers compensation income, or some other form of disability income, please inform the trustee   as to when the debtor started receiving it and provide benefit letter or bank statements showing deposits. The debtor   must provide payment advices from all jobs. Back to Top

4. What   proof of   income related to the Means Test Form does the trustee require?

Each debtor must provide proof of income for the six FULL calendar months prior to filing case (the period covered by the means test form).   The relevant time period is six full calendar months, beginning the month before the month of filing. For example, if the case was filed on April 15,   the debtor must provide proof of income for October 1 - March 31. It is not necessary to provide every single stub during the six month period, provided the debtor's payment advices list year-to-date information. For example,   the debtor   may provide the first stub received in October which shows year-to-date income and the last stub received in March showing ytd income. When the MTF period straddles two calendar years, such as a February 15 filing (with a MTF period of August 31-January 31),   the debtor   must also provide a stub showing year-end information for December 31.

The   debtor must provide proof of income for all income used to prepare the MTF. If the debtor had more than one job during the MTF, then proof of income from all jobs must be provided.  

In addition, if   the debtor selects box c. or d. under Part II of the Means Test Form, the debtor must also provide six months of means test income support for non-filing spouse. Back to Top

5. What tax returns   must be   provided to the trustee?  

Pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 521(e)(2)(A)iv),   a debtor must   provide the last filed federal tax return to the trustee.   This means that the debtor must provide the last tax return filed, even if the debtor last filed tax returns 10 years ago. Please also include all supporting W2s, 1099s, tax forms and schedules. Back to Top

6. What additional documents must be produced or filed in a case converted from chapter 13?

The following documents may be   required in conversion cases:

1. Amended Schedules I and/or J which reflect the change in circumstances which presumably led to the conversion should be filed where appropriate.

2.   Three paystubs for each debtor supporting the amended Schedule I, if filed, should be provided to the trustee.

3. A Chapter 7 Means Test Form, if the Chapter 13 case was filed after October 17, 2005 and the case meets the requirements for this form set forth in the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA), must be filed. Please note this form must be filed even if a Chapter 13 Means Test Form was previously filed.

4. Income information which supports the Chapter 7 Means Test Form must be provided. Note that the six months of income in support of the means test period is for the six FULL months prior to the ORIGINAL petition date, NOT the conversion date.

5. Payment advices must be provided for the 60 day period immediately prior to ORIGINAL filing date, not conversion date.   Back to Top

7. The trustee has instructed   the debtor   to provide a   title for   a vehicle, but   the debtor   no longer has the title.   How do I obtain a copy?

There are two forms available that allow an attorney or the   debtor to obtain a copy of a vehicle title, whether or not the title is still in the debtor's name.  

If the title is still in the debtor's name, you may request the debtor's records from the state.

If the title is no longer in the debtor's name (title is usually transferred to the creditor shortly after repossession), you will request "another's" records from the state.  

On either form, request   a "partial title history" and write in   a date when   it is known that title was in   the debtor's   name.   You may write   "ownership to cover June 1, 2007."   You do not need to   list the   owner name or address.   Back to Top

8. What are acceptable forms of picture identification at the 341(a) meeting of creditors?

Acceptable picture identification includes the following: (1) valid driver's license, (2) a government ID, (3) a state picture ID, (4) a student ID, (5) a US passport, (6) a military ID or (7) resident alien card.   Any other form of identification must be approved by the Office of the U.S. Trustee. Back to Top

9. What   is acceptable for proof of   social security number at the 341(a) meeting of creditors?

Acceptable proof of social security number includes: (1) a social security card, (2) a medical insurance card, (3) a pay stub, (4) a W-2 form, (5) an IRS form 1099, or (6) a Social Security Administration report.   Any document must be an original and include the complete social security number.     Any other form of proof must be approved by the Office of the U.S. Trustee. Back to Top

10. What if a debtor is unable to attend the section 341(a) meeting of creditors?

With the chapter 7 trustee's consent, a debtor may appear for the meeting of creditors by telephone where appropriate (for example, the debtor is in the military out-of-state or in prison).

The debtor's attorney (or the debtor, if the debtor is not represented) must arrange for an independent third party (usually a notary public) to verify the debtor's identity and state the social security record for the record.   The person performing these tasks must also complete   a declaration of oath   form and mail it to the trustee.     Conact the trustee if you have any questions regarding who may serve in this role.

The debtor must also have a copy of the signed   petition which can be referenced during the telephonic meeting. Back to Top

11. The   341(a) meeting of creditors   has been adjourned to 8:59 a.m. (or 8:49 a.m.).   Does the debtor or debtor attorney have to appear?

No.   Those times are for control purposes only and no meeting will actually be held.   If the debtor and attorney are required to appear again, a new   meeting will be set between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. and the debtor will be mailed a paper notice. Back to Top

12. I agreed to make payments to the trustee.   To whom do I write the check?    

Make all payment forms (checks, money orders, etc.) payable to Erik A. Ahlgren, Trustee   or Estate of X (where X is the name of the bankruptcy estate).

Please be sure to reference the case name on the payment form if you are not the debtor. Back to Top

13. The   debtor   received a discharge.   This means the case is closed, right?  

No.   The   discharge is the order which states that you are no longer legally responsible for certain debts.   The court must still generate an order closing the case, which will take another few weeks, at a minimum.   Depending on whether yours is an asset case or there is litigation, or for other reasons, it may take years for your case to actually close. Back to Top 

14. The debtor moved.   Does anyone need   notification?

The debtor is required to keep the court and trustee advised of a current mailing address until the case is closed.   Please complete the change of address form (available on this website) and mail the original to the court, with a copy to the trustee. Back to Top

15. The   case is still open and   the debtor would   like to sell his or her   home or refinance it;   is that possible?  

Not without the trustee's consent.     All of   the debtor's   property is now the property of the bankruptcy estate.   Until   the case   is closed, the trustee is responsible for the administration of all of the debtor's property (house, cars and all other property   the debtor   owned before the   bankruptcy).     Until   the case is closed,   the   debtor   cannot sell, refinance, or further encumber any of   that property, unless the trustee has abandoned the property or there is an agreement with the trustee. Back to Top

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