Trustee Blog

Help Your Client Complete The Questionnaire: Trustee Frealy

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Chapter 7 Riverside Trustee Todd Frealy

Mr. Frealy uses a white sheet to ask your client questions at the meeting of creditors–in addition to verbal questions he asks. As mentioned in a previous post, Mr. Frealy asks that the debtors complete this questionnaire prior to the clients being examined. The white questionnaire is then given to the Trustee or his assistant when the clients and the attorney sit in front of the trustee for the questioning. In addition to completing the questionnaire, the trustee requires that they read the “bankruptcy information sheet provided by the United States Trustee”.

In past times, this “bankruptcy information sheet” was printed in green. Now with budget cuts the sheet is printed in the Riverside Division in white. If the “bankruptcy information” sheet is not read before the hearing, then Trustee Frealy will not conduct the hearing and the clients will be placed on “second call”.

Practice Pointer:

Arrive a few minutes early to assist your client with the filing out of the white questionnaire. Chapter 7 Trustee Todd Frealy’s white questionnaire is slightly different than other trustee’s questionnaire. It has been my experience that most clients have two or three questions about the questions asked of them in the questionnaire.

For example one question on the questionnaire is “Do you have or are you a beneficiary of a retirement plan?” I am often asked to explain what a “retirement plan” means or what does a “beneficiary” mean? These words tend to confuse clients who are nervous to begin with and do not want to make a mistake. So be patient with your clients as they fill out the forms.

 

Customer Service Practice Pointer:

To add that extra bit of “customer service”, sit with your client before the hearing and  fill out the questionnaire with them to explain each question and to calm their nerves. This will make you look like a hero for going the extra mile with them.  Rarely do attorneys do this!

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