I noticed in my blog posts that I have not written about Trustee Helen Frazer in a while. Here I am at her hearings this morning and I will rectify this situation.
As the bankruptcy calendars have been getting shorter, Ms. Frazer now runs her calendar by herself and her assistant Mary is back at the office. One of the features that Ms. Frazer provides is that on her written case calendar, she writes ITR next to the debtor’s name if the Trustee has received the tax return.
Many is the time that I have arrived in the morning and glanced at her calendar to find that one of the cases I was appearing on later in the morning did not have a tax return. I would then call the attorney and ask him to ask his client to bring the tax return to the hearing. The client would be informed and the tax return brought to the hearing. Ms. Frazer would then review the tax return at the hearing. This process would allow the case not to be continued.
Practice Pointer: When you arrive for your client’s hearing, check her calendar to see if the trustee has received the taxes. If she has an “ITR” next to your client’s name, then she has the taxes. If you do not see an “ITR—which means Income Tax Return”, then hand Ms. Frazer a copy of the taxes as you sit down for the hearing.
Another feature of Ms. Frazer’s calendar is that she does both continued hearings and first time hearings on the same calendar hour. She mixes in hearing continued cases with first time cases to maximize her time. That is why, your continued hearing may be at 800am in the morning, rather than in the afternoon when most trustees schedule continued cases.
Practice Pointer #2. Provide Ms. Frazer with your client’s tax return or bring a copy of the taxes, or else you might have to come back at 800am in the morning to correct the problem. The continued time of her hearings is also the same time as when the original hearing was scheduled. So if your original hearing was scheduled for 10:00am, then the continued hearing will also be scheduled for 10:00am in most cases. Of course check the Notice of Continued Hearing Trustee Frazer sends to verify the new date and time, but most of the time it will be the same time as the original time set.
Ms. Frazer also allows the client to return with proof of Social Security later in the day. If you client forgets his Social Security proof, the trustee normally conducts the hearing and then continues the matter to another day. However, Trustee Frazer says that the client can come back later the same day as long as she is still in the room, to show proof.
Lately the calendars have been finishing around 1130am, so she would be in the hearing room until before noon. This allows some debtors to go home and get proof of Social Security and come back before Ms. Frazer leaves for the day. Again this avoids having a continued hearing.