February 2011

FEBRUARY 2011 OFFICE NEWSLETTER

IMPORTANT REMINDER – If your trustee asked for copies of your 2010 taxes, it is imperative that you get them to our office ASAP so we can send them to your trustee.  Also, DO NOT SPEND any of your tax return money until you hear from the trustee’s office notifying you otherwise!

CLIENT CALL LOG SHEETS

Marks Law Firm provides clients with call log sheets for a couple different reasons. Once a client has retained Marks Law Firm, the client may provide attorney information to creditors in order to stop collection calls until the bankruptcy is filed. Also, if a creditor continues to call the client after attorney information is provided or if a creditor’s behavior constitutes harassment, a call log is an essential document for use in a harassment lawsuit against a creditor.

We realize that it can take time before our fee is paid in full at which time the actual bankruptcy case is filed. Once a client has made a payment toward their bankruptcy fee, our office has been retained as the client’s attorney. Our office will represent you while you are preparing to file your bankruptcy, the filing of the bankruptcy and throughout the duration of your bankruptcy case.

ONCE MARKS LAW FIRM HAS BEEN RETAINED, THE CLIENT SHOULD START ANSWERING THE PHONE AND SHOULD PROVIDE THE CREDITOR WITH THE ATTORNEY CONTACT INFORMATION! Creditors are not expected to know you have retained an attorney unless you tell them! Each call should be recorded on the call log sheet. You want to indicate on the call log sheet the date of the call, the creditor’s name, the phone number and a brief description of the call. A call log sheet is also a great way at identifying third party debt collector you may not have knowledge of. We recommend you provide the following information to the creditor:

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WHO IS THAT GUY YOU KEEP CALLING THE “TRUSTEE?”

It almost happens in every meeting.  I will be explaining how things work in a bankruptcy case and I will make reference to the “trustee.”  Usually my clients won’t interrupt me but sometimes I can just tell by the look on their face that they have no idea who I am talking about.  I don’t try to talk over my clients’ heads.  Actually I try to make things as simple as possible so that I only have to go over it one time.  As much as I try to make it easy I do make mistakes and forget that my clients don’t do this every day.

The “trustee” is the person who administers the bankruptcy case.  The “trustee” IS NOT A JUDGE.  I like to tell my clients that the trustee is sort of like a referee in a sporting event.  His job is to make sure all the parties are going the right direction on the field and following the rules.  When someone breaks the rules or how an issue should be administered, the trustee or other interested party (debtor, creditor, etc.) can ask the judge to get involved.

In the Central Division of the Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Iowa we have three trustees.

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