problems with discharge

January 6th, 2006 by Questions

My husband filed bankruptcy in 1998 and attended the first credit counselling session. Due to unforeseen cirumstances, he could not attend the second session and has since moved from where he filed bankruptcy. He has never received anything in writing from the trustees regarding what he would have to pay them nor have arrangements been made by the trustees to make the monthly payments for the discharge. My husband basically believed that his job was done with the bankruptcy and has moved on with his life. He has since moved to another province.Now, 7 years later, he is trying to clear this matter up and obtain a discharge, but the trustees are refusing to send him anything in writing and are asking for a large amount of money to POSSIBLY get his discharge taken care of (I say possibly as they have not given us any guarantees that they will complete the paperwork expeditiously since my husband has been unreachable for so many years). Legally, do they have a right to withhold information regarding his bankruptcy? We have asked for something in writing spelling out a breakdown of the charges they are requesting and they are refusing to send us anything in writing, stating that “what they say on the phone is good enough”. They are also stating that he still has to attend the second counselling session and send them 5 years worth of tax assessments until they will consider re-opening his file. None of this seems legal to me and I want to know what rights does my husband have as a bankrupt to rectify this matter.


One Response to “problems with discharge”

, Barton Goth, GCO Inc. Bankruptcy Trustees said:

Legally speaking the Trustee does not have to act, nor send any documents to your husband. If the Trustee chooses to help out in these circumstances there is typically a fee that covers the time it costs the Trustee to have himself re-appointed to the file (it is a process that involves a court application and can often take a fair amount of time).

Part to the reason the Trustee is unable to guarantee how much the process will cost is because it is beyond his control. Ultimately your husband will have to fulfill all his responsibilities as required in the bankruptcy, this will include counseling sessions, payments etc., and once this is done he will be in a position to make an application to the Court for directions. As it is the Court who grants discharges, not the Trustee, the Trustee simply presents the facts (date of bankruptcy, date of re-appointment, income during the meantime, any material change in financial circumstances, current assets etc.). The court will take all of this into consideration and make the order they consider appropriate. Typically this includes some sort of penalty for failure to uphold the obligations of the original bankruptcy in a timely manner. As a result there is often a financial penalty that will have to be paid over and above the original cost as calculated by the Trustee.

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