I’m just getting around to sharing with you my Chapter 13 trustee’s Wish List for 2012, which she announced at our bankruptcy bar’s Christmas party.
The fact that she has to “ask” us to do what the Code says we must speaks volumes about the attention to detail (or lack thereof) in the bar.
And I would contend that we in the Northern District of California have a bankruptcy bar that is generally capable, though a lot younger in average age than it was 5 years ago.
Here’s what Devin Derham-Burk wanted from debtor’s lawyers for Christmas:
- Provide 60 days pay stubs or a declaration at the time the petition is filed
- File the credit counseling certificate as soon as the class is taken
- Provide the most recently filed federal tax return at the time the petition is filed
- If the debt exceeds the Chapter 13 limits, choose a different chapter!
- Tell your clients when to pay their first Chapter 13 payment
- Prepare your clients for the questions that will be asked at the 341 meeting.
Nothing new, nothing complex in her list.
Yet the tone of voice in which the list was presented suggests that the attorneys were not managing….
So, make a trustee’s day, or year. Pay attention to the little stuff. Build some credit with the trustee so you can advocate from a position of credibility on the big issues.