I am a mtg broker crippled by the markt, went through an ugly divorce 3 yrs ago, used all of my 100,000 401-k to pay bills, child support, etc the last 2-3 yrs. I had over 250,000 in debt including a 35,000 balance owed to the esq that represented me in the divorce. I filed a malpractice suit (pro-se) against the same esq/firm 1 year ago for the way my divorce was handled. It was dismissed prior to discovery in October. I filed a chapter 7 in November after my auto was repossesed. The firm is upset and filed an adversary proceeding to stop my chap-7 after hours on the very last day they could. I am getting ready to defend myself pro-se,(can not afford esq) they have indicated they want to settle for an amount and they will drop it. can i win ? I have 10 days to answer the court
Usually, when people say they "can't" afford an attorney, they mean they'd rather spend the money on other things. If you needed surgery, you'd find the money. This is the same deal -- you likely screwed up your petition by trying to do it yourself, and there are therefore probably all kinds of grounds for denying you a discharge. Find an attorney now.
To answer your question, consider this quote from Abraham Lincoln: " A lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client." This is all the more so if you are not a lawyer.
Having represented clients in Adversary Proceedings, I can say litigation is tricky and IMPORTANT. Filing a bankruptcy case is one thing. Defending a Adversary is quite another. You REALLY need help with this. Discovery rules, Motion practice and trial procedures are enough to challenge experienced attorneys.
I hope this helps.
Steven A. Leahy
Please note that the above is not intended as legal advice, it is for educational purposes only. No attorney-client relationship is created or is intended to be created hereby. You should contact a local attorney to discuss and to obtain legal advice.
Most of the time, 727 Adversary Proceedings are brought the U.S. Trustee. The standard is very high but not impossible.
At a minimum, you should get an appointment with an attorney who has represented others in cases like yours. At least get an opinion as to whether accepting the offer makes sense.
There is absolutely not enough information to make a determination regarding your situation.
This could go any where and getting an attorney is close to a requirement.
Please contact me directly with document for a free 30 minute consultation to get more concrete advice. This is not legal advice. I don't have enough information to give actual legal advice. I can only take the limited information presented and provide a framework to know how your situation may turn out. I may have questions that bring up issues you did not think were important but make a big difference.
I agree with all the other comments and I will add that a 727 action cannot simply be "settled" without approval of the court and all creditors. A 727 action is brought on behalf of the entire estate to deny a debtor's entire discharge, as opposed to a 523 action which seeks to deny the discharge of a specific debt. Moreover, an adverse ruling is PERMANENT. If you lose and your discharge is denied, it is denied forever. You cannot file a bankruptcy case 20 years from now and deal with it.
Mark J. Markus, Attorney at Law
Handling exclusively bankruptcy law cases in California since 1991.
bankruptcy blog: http://www.bklaw.com/bankruptcy-blog/
Follow Me on Twitter: @bklawr
Legal disclaimer: Mark J. Markus practices law in California only. The information is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation. Answering this question does not in any way constitute legal representation.
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