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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

  1. Best answer

    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 terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here. Please visit my web site: for more information about my services.

  2. 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"

    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.

  3. 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.

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