Skip to main content

What are the most common legal liability fears of a bankruptcy trustee?

Portland, OR |

My trustee (11, then 7) seems to be terrified of some sort of legal liability that has made my not-too-complex case drag on for years and to make him terrified of having any provable contact with me in addition to some other strange behavior making it very clear there is something he is very, very afraid of.

This started within the first week he was assigned to my case and before he ever once spoke to me, met me, or received any communication from me. I think it may be related to my ex-wife who might have done something wrong counter to bk law and there could be some tension re: professional courtesy and turning his head which a trustee should not do.

My case has been going on for years but this was his approach from Day 1 so while it could be about me now, it was not about me at the start. It is not feasible for me to describe enough factual details to be useful so I've asked for "the mot common reasons a trustee might fear liability" and I hope I will be able to recognize my situation and facts. There probably aren't more than 6-10 reasons making up 99.4% of the reasons He has a huge business and is probably the highest volume trustee in the district. I believe he gets removed from every case if he is removed from one case so that would be a very large financial cost. He's not very honest and is certainly not looking out for creditors so maybe serviced with notice of breech of fiduciary duties? I'm not sure. He is afraid of something -- some knowledge, some fact.

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

Common things trustees are scared of:

1. Good lawyer that you're willing to bankroll. If a good lawyer a case (meaning the lawyer think the trustee may be liable) then the trustee will start to get scared.

2. If there are environmental problems that he's inherited.

3. If there is a conflict that he stumbled into.

This is probably the most complicated area of bankruptcy law and it's really hard to win because most of the time, the debtor is in bankruptcy, i.e. broke, and the trustee has a huge firm that backs him up.

Be sure to designate "best answer." If you live in S. California, you may call my firm for a consultation 818-507-6000. The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advice" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also avvo.com terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here. Please visit my web site: www.tilemlaw.com for more information about my services.

Mark as helpful

1 found this helpful

3 lawyers agree

2 comments

Asker

Posted

Amazing. This is very insightful. "A conflict that he stumbled into" is the case here. What aspects of conflict cause a bankruptcy trustee (specifically) to be scared about legal liability? It makes a little bit more sense that "conflict" would make a trustee be afraid of ending up in a big tar pit of time-wasting nothingness (to the trustee -- not to the parties to the conflict). That is not necessarily a legal liability. Is it that the trustee experiences that often the loser of the conflict tries to take it out on the trustee?

Michael Avanesian

Michael Avanesian

Posted

I can't get into more detail. It puts me at risk and I don't think it'll properly serve you. I highly recommend you seek counsel. You can pay an attorney in your area for an hours worth of time to discuss these issues.

Posted

You wrote, "What are the most common legal liability fears of a bankruptcy trustee? ...There probably aren't more than 6-10 reasons making up 99.4% of the reasons"

Comment:
You are writing this forum for a "Top Ten List of Bankruptcy Trustee's Liability Fears," with the intent of matching one or more of the items to your problems, because "It is not feasible for [you] to describe enough factual details to be useful."

Lawyers make a living on analyzing facts and applying the Law to those facts. I suggest you gather your facts and consult a local attorney and eschew this "Letterman Show" approach to resolution of your legal problems.

Mark as helpful

4 lawyers agree

1 comment

Asker

Posted

I do not own a TV so I do not understand your reference. If you are unable to answer, don't feel obligated to say, "I don't know." You are not allowing for selection bias. 9 times out of 10 I wanted to have the facts applied to the law so I contacted a local attorney. 1 time in 10 I wanted to ask if there were general patterns. I am sorry you do not see any general patterns.

Posted

You need to contact the US Trustee in your district. Go to the US Trustee website to see who it is. They appoint and oversee all bankruptcy trustees.

Mark as helpful

1 lawyer agrees

2 comments

Asker

Posted

Thanks. In my case, this has not been a good source of information. It seems the UST/trustee relationship is one of protection more than oversight, sadly. This is what I hear from other people, too, not only my experience.

Alan Joseph Stomel

Alan Joseph Stomel

Posted

You should make a formal written complaint to the Staff Attorney and the United States Trustee for the District and copy the Executive Office of US Trustees in Washington, DC.

Bankruptcy and debt topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics