Scary Things That Trustees Do
Happy Halloween. In honor of Trick or Treat day, I list some of the scary things that Trustees do. Mr. Whitmore is a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Trustee in Riverside and part of his duty is to review the tax return.
1. Review taxes.
Some clients say one thing on their tax return and another thing in their bankruptcy petition. This haunting fact comes up when a couple says they are married in the bankruptcy petition, but then each of them file separate tax returns saying they are single or single and head of household.
Mr. Whitmore told one couple that they declared under penalty of perjury in the tax return that they were single and then they declared under penalty of perjury in the bankruptcy petition that they are married. He said to them, which one is the truth?
2. Review the Social Security Cards
Another duty of the bankruptcy trustee is to verify the Social Security number. Yesterday a bankruptcy trustee was reviewing purported Social Security card. The trustee said that the card did not look right and the Social Security number was written in with a type writer. In addition, the words United States were misspelled! This was a chilling moment for the debtors as they had to admit that they purchased the Social Security card. Very Scary.
3. Review the Driver’s License
Mr. Whitmore reviews the Driver’s License to prove the debtor’s identity and also make sure that the Debtor’s name is correctly on the petition. If the debtor as an AKA that is not listed in the petition, then the hearing is continued and the attorney must then serve ALL the creditors to inform them of the AKA of the Debtor’s name. Very Scary.
Happy Halloween and do not let your trustee scare your clients. Review the taxes, Social Security cards and the Driver’s Licenses before the meeting of creditors.