Trustee Blog

The Hidden Asset: Trustee John Pringle

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Riverside Chapter 7 Trustee John Pringle

The undisclosed asset.

Mr. Pringle was recently involved in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case where he was assigned the Chapter 7 Trustee. In the debtor’s petition was scheduled a life insurance policy that was valued incorrectly. The whole life policy was valued incorrectly and then attempted to be exempted, but the exemptions were also wrong.

The matter came up before Mr. Pringle at the first meeting of creditors and then was continued as the Trustee wanted to see the whole life insurance policy to determine the value of the policy. The matter was continued. The debtors and the attorney decided to not attend the next meeting. They then did not attend the next meeting and then the meeting after that. They also ignored the Trustee’s repeated requests by mail. Then the debtors moved and the mail was returned.

Mr. Pringle decided to see if the debtors had any other property that was not listed so he ran an asset search for real property under the debtors’ name in the county where they lived. Nothing came up, however one of the debtors names did come up matched to a corporation that was not listed in the petition.

When Mr. Pringle ran the name of the corporation in the asset search, it turns out that the corporation owned real property in another county. Once the dots were connected, it showed that the debtor had not been truthful in the petition and now the real property in the other county has come into the estate for the benefit of the bankruptcy estate. Sooner or later the debtors will have to surface and do some explaining to the trustee.

Practice Pointer:

If someone lies in the petition, this may be the tip of the ice berg. A patient Chapter 7 Trustee has ways to make the truth come to light.

 

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