I'm concerned as to whether the trustee will take the property as he abandoned everything, it was a no asset case, and he didn't object to their Motion to lift the stay and he knew they had no standing as I gave him all the facts. Even so, he chose not to oppose. I think I need to ask him to write a letter to me? or to file with the court? stating he will abandon the asset, and/or any litigation/suit I choose to pursue against this bank. What are my legal and smart options to make sure I didn't do all this work that took months of my life, causing me to not work while doing this all Pro Se work so that I didn't just lose precious time in my life including a wedding, birthdays and holidays and I also put off a surgery so that I could pursue justice
If your cause of action arose before you filed your bankruptcy case, it is an asset of the estate that must be specifically listed in your schedules. Otherwise, it will remain property of the estate after the case closes. The trustee will probably not lift a finger to formally abandon this asset because he is getting just $60 for all of his work on your case. Neither is he likely to pursue it.
Your message suggests that you have become very invested in redressing what you perceive to be illegal actions by your mortgage servicer. I strongly suggest that you consult an attorney before spending any more time on the matter and that you listen to the attorney's advice. You will not like to hear this, but you are very unlikely to succeed on your own, and you will cause yourself much uncompensated grief if you persist.
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Unfortunately it is not the Trustee's obligation to defend a Motion for relief from stay that your creditor files. It sounds as if you may have provided some information to the Trustee, but did you file an actual opposition with the Court. You of course may be able to file a Motion to vacate the order, but that is a very difficult and generally unsuccessful motion especially by pro se petitioners. With respect to any claim you may now have against the Bank either as a Creditor in the bankruptcy case, or in a state court matter, the Trustee may have issues if you did not list the claim on your schedule B as an asset, even if the value was unknown at the time.
I understand that sometimes money is so tight Debtors decide to file on their own because they feel as if they have no other options. However, in this case, I would advise you to at least consult with a good bankruptcy and debtor’s right attorney to find out what you may be able to moving forward.
I hope this perspective helps.
Estate Planning Attorney
Attorneys Oney and Goldstein are both correct that you will have greater challenges moving forward without the assistance of a bankruptcy attorney. It is understandable that you don't want to spend the money to retain qualified counsel, but you may end up in a worse position without qualified professional assistance.
When responding to questions posted on Avvo, I provide a general purpose response based on California law as I am licensed in California. In reviewing my response, you are specifically advised that your use of, or reliance upon any response I provide is not advisable. I do not have all relevant background details or facts related to your issue / matter, thus I am not in a position to give you legal advice. Further, your review, use of, or reliance upon my response does not establish an attorney-client relationship between us nor does it qualify as a legal consultation for any purpose.
Sadly, when one does brain surgery on oneself the outcome is predictably bad. By representing yourself you have taken on a job many attorneys have spent years, often decades and, as in my case, over a third of a century to become an expert at. As you are finding out, bankruptcy is not about filling out papers. It is about knowing the law and how the law applies to the situation.
As to your right to sue the mortgage company, you gave up that right IF you did not list it as an asset. If you want that right back you better IMMEDIATELY amend your "B" & "C" schedules to list it.
As to stopping them from foreclosing after getting their relief from the "automatic stay" restraining order, the chance of getting the Judge's Order "vacated" or reversed is so small as to be in the realm of getting struck by lightning. Keep in mind that when you decided to represent yourself the Court is going to hold you to the same level of knowledge of the law as a very experienced bankruptcy attorney. The Judge could care less why you decided to represent yourself and did not file a written response with the Court when it was required or that you did not intend to shoot yourself in the foot with your own gun.
There IS one small possibility to save your home. That is if the Chapter 7 case is discharged before they have the sale. If that happens, you MIGHT have a chance of doing a Chapter 13 reorganization to save the home. As they say on TV, "don't do this at home." The success rate for people who file Chapter 13 cases without an attorney is less than 1 in 10,000. If you think that is not true, talk to any Chapter 13 Trustee. With bankruptcy attorneys,the rate of success for reorganization in the Eastern District of California (where you are) is about 3 in 20. That means about 85% fail. There are attorneys who have significantly higher success rates than that but that means there are attorneys who have something along the lines of 0% successful Chapter 13 plans.
I doubt any attorney with a brain would be willing to step into your Chapter 7 case as it is undoubtedly a mess. However, you MIGHT get an attorney that could do a Chapter 13 reorganization for you if everything in your situation was just right to be successful (income/amount of the mortgage payment/ the amount owed for arrears etc.) And NO, they are not going to work for free just because you can't afford them.
One reason I am answering this in such a frank manner is that perhaps some other person who is contemplating representing themselves might see this and learn from your mistakes. Perhaps they will decide to find a real bankruptcy attorney so they don't find themselves hanging on the aft rail of the Titanic as it goes to the bottom. Oh, one final note, don't call me. I am definitely not interested in representing you.
This response does not constitute legal advice nor is the attorney providing this advice in any way liable for the providing of this information. It is provided for general information only. No attorney client relationship in made by the answering of this question. Any reader of this response is recommended to seek the advice of a competent attorney in your area.
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