Trustee Blog

Bankruptcy and Social Security Numbers: Trustee Frazer

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Chapter 7 Riverside Trustee Helen Frazer

At the meeting of creditors, Chapter 7 Trustee Helen Frazer asks the debtor a series of questions. Ms. Frazer will ask for the debtor to show her the debtor’s drivers license and and social security card.

At the meeting of creditors, Ms. Frazer will then say on the record the following:

“I verified your Social Security number,

Have you ever used any other Social Security number?”

Chapter 7 Trustee Frazer then goes on to ask several other questions. Today we examine the question about about having used another Social Security number. For various reason, people illegally use Social Security numbers that were no issued to them by the Government. The Trustee is charged with making a inquiry on each debtor about the use of Social Security numbers.

A person in the United States illegally will sometimes buy a fraudulent Social Security number or make a number up to gain employment. This practice is illegal, but is done.

Another scheme is that a person has bad credit on one Social Security number and then uses someone else’s Social Security number to gain credit. This fraudulent scheme is also illegal.

Ms. Frazer, and the other Chapter 7 Trustees ask these type questions to make sure that the credit obtained by the debtor was not done by fraud. If the credit obtained was done fraudulently, then the entire discharge of the debtor could be at stake. The Trustee will  refer the matter to the United States Trustee to investigate the matter.

Therefore the question of “have you used another Social Security number before?” is an important question.

Practice Pointer:

As part of your intake questions, as the client if he or she has used another Social Security number? The answer to this crucial question may determine whether you advise the client to file bankruptcy or not. Ask the question.



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