A doctor that was in chapter 7 bankruptcy in Houston improperly listed himself as the owner of various business assets, when they were really owned by his professional association or P.A.  The bankruptcy trustee requested that he list his P.A. properly, and provide documents and financial information so the trustee could tell whether or not there was equity in the P.A. over and above a secured loan that was against the P.A. The doctor did not fully comply with the request. In re Moran, Bankr. Court, SD Texas 2013.

Ultimately, the doctor did comply, but only after the Court ordered him, and even then, only after he was ordered a second time and threatened with arrest. The trustee asked the Court for over $8000 in fees to reimburse him for all of the legal fees and expenses incurred in making the doctor comply.

The Court granted over $2000, finding that that amount, was the only amount that was incurred by reason of the doctor's "bad faith" refusal to produce the information and documents requested by the Trustee.

Always comply with reasonable requests from a chapter 7 trustee for information and documents. If you don't intend to, or if you have something to hide, don't file bankruptcy in the first place. As the Court stated in its opinion:

11 U.S.C. § 521(a)(3), requires that in a case in which a trustee is serving, the debtor must cooperate with the trustee as is necessary to enable the trustee to perform the trustee's duties under Title 11. In re Aninao, 2012 WL 3071130, at *3 (Bankr. S.D. Tex. July 27, 2012). The debtor is required to cooperate with any reasonable request that will assist the trustee in performing the trustee's duties. Id.


J Thomas Black
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Board Certified, Consumer Bankruptcy Law- Texas Board of Legal Specialization