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« on: August 01, 2014, 07:26:12 AM »
Greetings All!  Warning in advance, this is going to be a VERY long post. Consider it something entertaining to read during your morning coffee....... ;)

In 2003, I declared bankruptcy separately with my common law spouse at the time.  His total debts were around 18000.00 and mine were around 7000.00. We had been together for several years, had  a son together, and had bought a house together before declaring bankruptcy.  What led to our decision to declare bankruptcy was that he was involved in two separate car accidents, which left him unable to work, and me the sole income earner for the family after Unemployment insurance ran out. He applied for CPP and was denied, and applied for AISH and was also denied. We were trying to live on around 1500.00 per month which was what I was making where I worked. Of course, also having a child to support, things went downhill very quickly, even with the help from our families that we received; and believe me, they gave us as much help as they could. 

Yes, he got a personal injury lawyer for the accidents, and they were both the fault of the other drivers, but if anyone has ever been involved in a serious injury lawsuit, you will know that these things can take forever to settle out. 

We even tried to apply for help from Social Assistance at one time, and were turned down flat.  It wasn't because of the was because, believe it or not, I MADE TOO MUCH MONEY.  Unbelievable.  Things were so bad for us that we had to go to the Food Bank to help us get food to survive.

At the end of our collective ropes, we decided to file for bankruptcy.  We didn't even make enough money to be able to  file a consumer proposal.  The trustee told us there was no way our creditors would accept any offers from us due to our financial situation.  Might be me, but I thought the Trustees were supposed to be there to help us.  They didn't even try to help us try to avoid filing for bankruptcy, they only gave us the one option.

We tried to fulfil our obligations as bankrupts, with the Trustees deciding that we could afford to pay 150.00 dollars per month to the estate. We were allowed to keep the house as we had always managed to make our payments to the bank.  Our mortgage was around 900.00 dollars per, on what i made, we were left with about six hundred dollars per month, if that. Trying to raise a family and pay bills on 600.00 per month is ridiculous.  Utilities alone were
nearly 300.00 per month, gas for me to get to work was around 100.00 per month.....which left us with very little. It was a very, very tough time in our lives.

We did the best we could, tried to make our payments, and went to one counselling session each, together. The person we had to talk to made us feel like absolute garbage; like we were crooks, liars, thieves, lowlifes trying to escape our obligations and looking for the easy way out. I left the first counselling session in tears, and was dreading having to go back.

Before we could make arrangements to attend our final counselling session, my common law spouse was diagnosed with terminal cancer.  The doctors gave him two years to live. I wound up losing time from work to get him to his appointments, staying at home with him during chemo and after surgery when they went in to remove part of his lung(the doctors originally thought his physical problems with his pain originated from the car accidents, so they thought they were going in to remove scar tissue.....up to the point of the surgery, no one knew he had cancer until they actually opened him up)

I don't know who will agree with this next statement, but please try and be compassionate. We were dealing with him being very ill and tried to work with the Trustees to get them to understand how difficult this time was for us.  Our total household income because of having to deal with his illness was drastically reduced even further, and we could not make our payments to the Trustee. I thought we gave them a pretty good reason not to be able to, but they did not seem to see it that way.  It was like they did not care about our situation and treated us like deadbeats. I do understand that their job is to be impartial, but I have a hard time believing that we were not in special circumstances because of his diagnosis and illness.  They just didn't seem to care.  At all.

We gave up on trying to work with them to get the rest of the obligations fulfilled. We certainly had bigger fish to fry than dealing with the Trustees and their attitude towards us at the time. It was just too much.  I don't think I have ever cried so much in my life, and looking back, I'm sure I had a moment or two where I just wanted to give up altogether.  Thank god that I had our son to live for, or maybe I wouldn't even be here right was that bad.

My spouses discharge was denied on several grounds(The Trustee objected to the Discharge). Not fulfilling his obligations(the second counselling session, not making his payments, not disclosing the particulars of the personal injury lawsuit(which is absolute BULL....its listed on the original filing where you have to disclose all assets and liabilities and also because years earlier he had declared bankruptcy with his ex wife - that one he had completed sucessfully - and there was one other thing that I can't think of right now without going and looking at the papers). 

Mine was denied(Trustee objected to the Discharge) at the time because the fees were not paid and I did not attend the second counselling session. The hearings were at the height of my spouses illness, with rounds of chemo and dealing with trying to wrap up the lawsuits. Ok, the wrapping up the lawsuits sounds lame, but I guess you would have to be in our shoes.

We wound up settling the lawsuits, both of them as they were combined into one lawsuit, at a fraction of what we were supposed to get. Please remember, this man was reduced to looking at a life of never being able to work again because of the pain he was in.  He WAS an Ironworker before the accidents, had in fact just finished going to school to get his ticket as a Journeyman.  The lawyers for the other insurance company got to reduce the amount they were awarding to a fraction because of the cancer diagnosis. There was no way to prove that the pain and suffering my spouse was experiencing was because of the accidents and not the cancer.

On the same day we agreed to the settlement, the Trustees had already discharged themselves. We absolutely gave up, had been beaten up enough, and decided to live out what few years we had together with some kind of a life before he was going to have to leave me. With the money from the settlement, we did reopen my part of the file(the Trustee got handed yet ANOTHER 2700.00 on top of the original fee we had to pay to file previously)and we tried to carry on with everything.  They still didn't care, made me jump through hoops, scared the hell out of me making me think that on top of everything else I may still lose my house. They were horrible at communicating, did not ease my fears, and I still felt like a damned deadbeat. When they told me I had to get an appraisal of my house to realize the equity, I ran. I mean, I sent everything in, but after that we just panicked. Again, I did not attend my final counselling session. Yeah, at this point I realize it was stupid, but there was just so much else going on. In his final letter to me the Trustee stated that there was substantial equity in the home and that he had registered an interest in the title on behalf of the creditors.

As an aside, there was ONE creditor who had a caveat on the house to the tune of 10,000.00.  We managed to borrow the money from a relative at the time who settled that debt out for us, so it was not included in the bankruptcy. I have letters to and from them declaring the debt paid in full and stating the caveat would be released...which recently I found out, is still on the title, so that is something else I have to deal with, but I am not sure how to go about doing that.......but thats another story.

In March of 2006, just after they adjourned my bankruptcy Sine Die, my common law spouse and I got married. My husband passed away from his illness in December 2006.  No, we did not tell the Trustees. At that point, I figured they could pretty much go straight to hell and kiss my ass. Sorry for the language folks.

It is now more than ten years since I filed my original bankrupty. I am doing a little better, in spite of being alone and raising my son without his father. I have a better job, and things are somewhat easier.  Not a whole lot, but I don't cry as much anymore....but boy do i miss my husband.  That never gets any easier, don't let anyone fool you.

I have kept the house mortgage free, as we had both mortgage insurance, and joint tenancy in the home.

His debts died along with him, because to the bests of my knowledge, and per what I have read and from advice I received from an unbiased third party, he accumulated those debts without my involvement before we were married.

I had no idea I was not allowed to apply for credit. Seven years after the initial filing, I began to rebuild my credit. I now have a little bit, not a ton for someone my age, but its there. I have kept up my payments on all my debts and my credit rating is actually pretty good.


I recently went to get a Home Equity loan to try and do some renos on the house that I can't cover all at once. Seemed like a good idea, and they were willing to give me a very very good rate. Well, well, well. Lookie there.  The Trustees are still listed on the title of the house.

After the lender kind of giving me hell(understandably)he suggested I go to the Trustee, find out what was owed out on the debts, see if I could make an arrangement, and get them paid out so we could continue with the lending process. The fact that I was undischarged, technically, didn't bother him. We just needed to get the Trustees off the title.  As much as I LOATHED the thought of having to talk to these idiots again, I did it.

To put it bluntly, I was told that they did not need to tell me outright what was showing as owing on the file until I paid YET ANOTHER reopening fee, to the tune of another 2000.00 dollars or so.  When I got mad and told them they were nuts if they thought I was going to pay that just to find out what had to be paid out, I was told we owed 50,000.00 and that I either paid that amount out straight up or they would see me in court if I wanted to dispute what they were trying to do. This was from an employee of the firm who was in "assets". She was impossible. You would have think I'd killed someone and it was her job to make sure I got the chair. End of THAT little conversation.

Did I mention they obtained their Discharge in 2003(from my common law spouses file; as a matter of fact, there is a letter around somewhere that stated they have released their interest in his file)and their discharge from my file in 2006.

The Trustee tried to call me and I promptly emailed him and told him I was not remotely interested in dealing with him or his staff because of their behaviour and attitude and that I would find some other way to get thing accomplished. I am absolutely not in the faintest way interested in having another nervous breakdown trying to get this dealt with.

I can't even remove my deceased husbands name from the title on the house and change my name to my married name because of this.  Per the Land Titles office, I have absolutely no ability to deal with my property until the Trustees name is off title. Meaning, if I want to sell the house(which is NEVER gonna happen)I have to involve them. Yay.

I am thinking about filing a Consumer Proposal out of Bankruptcy. Thinking about it. What I need to know, is IF I go ahead with this(if I can even find a Trustee who is going to deal with this for me, I have someone trying to help me)will it JUST deal with the creditors who are on the Bankruptcy file, or will it have to involve all current debts?  The reason I ask is that I waited for a very long time to re establish my credit, and don't want to have to lose it again.  I realize a proposal will show up on my credit report, but with amount I think I MAY owe to my old debts, it won't take long to pay them out. They were negligible. As in, around 300.00 to one and 250.00 to another. POSSIBLY another 1500.00 to the last one, but to be honest I would have to see if I can scare up the paperwork on that one to see if it was even a joint loan.....considering the shape my credit was in way back then, I am pretty sure the name on the loan was my common law's and it mistakenly got put on mine. Mostly because the Trustee was retarded.

I have the contact information for the remaining creditors on MY side of the bankruptcy file, and am willing to deal with them myself to find out what is owed rather than going through another Trustee but I am not sure of the implications of that either. Can they re start collection activity on me even after all this time?  Other than paying out my student loan, after all these years I have not heard a peep from any of the other creditors, so I am assuming the debts are long gone.

IF there is no record of any outstanding amounts, can I apply to have the Bankruptcy annulled?????  I cannot find anything much online about that process.

I just want to get the damned Trustee off the title of my house. Does anyone know if there is a time frame to this?  I know in the UK they have twelve years to have their names remain on property then it reverts back to the bankrupt. I have papers from the original file stating they are not interested in the house because of the mortgage, so how can they even have their name on it, and if it was not included in the original bankruptcy, how can they even TOUCH MY HOUSE TITLE?????????

What a nightmare.

Please don't tell me to get a lawyer. I have heard that too many times to count and I can't afford to do that. I'm still stuck in the middle....I make too much money to get Legal Aid, and not enough to get a regular lawyer.

I'm almost at the point that I am thinking of going to the media to raise shit about the way Trustees seem to treat people in trouble.  As far as I am concerned at this point, they are little better than leeches and hyenas, they are less than pond scum, they live under the muck at the bottom of the mud puddle below the sunken bits of bird poo.  Public servants, my ass.

There HAS to be something I can do, on my own, to get these bloody vultures out of my life. I sure hope someone can offer some realistic suggestions. Can I write a letter to the Registrar of the Bankruptcy Court?  Letter to the Superintendent in Bankruptcy?  My MLA?  Surely if Redford (as in our pathetic ex premier in Alberta)can get away with her shenanigans, I can get this dealt with. 

Please help. I just want to get on with what's left of my life.

Thank you.



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« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2014, 09:28:53 AM »
I'll see if I can get my head around all of the questions that you are asking.

1) Can you file a consumer proposal? Yes, and it can ONLY deal with the debts that you had listed before the date of your bankruptcy. Because you are still bankrupt, it wil annul your bankruptcy.

2) Can you contact creditors to repay them outside of bankruptcy? Can they restart collection? Can you get the bankruptcy anulled?

I have heard about someone showing proof that they had paid all of their debts outside of the bankruptcy to the court, and the court anulled the bankruptcy. I don't know what the system is like in Alberta. Other than the student loans, I think that Alberta's Limitations Act stops them from collecting after about two years if they haven't bugged you before, but I would check this out. Generally, and again, I can't speak for Alberta, you won't see too many bankruptcies anulled unless there's a good reason. The Superintendent will have a record of the amounts owed and the amounts actually paid to creditors.

What's going on with the house title?

This is a complicated question. There is no time frame as long as you are discharged. Until you are discharged, the trustee retains an 'interst' in your house, as this interest is in the best interests in the creditors. The trustee, may determine that while the trustee has an interest, that there is no value to the claim at the present time. The house was always actually included in the bankruptcy, but as an asset with zero realizable value.

Possible next steps

You can go to another trustee to file a proposal, which would annul the bankruptcy. Your bankruptcy trustee can fight this, but it may be worth a shot. You can write a letter to the Registrar, but it sounds like you would need a hearing, and that would require giving notice to all creditors and following all the guidelines in the Alberta Rules of Court. You can make a complaint to the Superintendent of Bankruptcy who may intervene. It could make the trustee unhappy, but at this point... They can potentially mediate a solution. Your MP may be a better option than your MLA, as trustees are federally reglated.

The woman at the trustee's office said that you may have to pay $50,000. So far as I know, this is crap. You would have to pay up to the amount of the debts owing in the bankruptcy, with the possible exception of some interest? This is where my knowledge gets hazy, but I think that you could file a proposal for 100% of your original debts (minus any payments made by the trustee to your creditors). This would annul your bankruptcy, and leave the trustee with no reason to continue to be registered on title.



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« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2014, 11:40:23 PM »
I'm almost at the point that I am thinking of going to the media to raise shit about the way Trustees seem to treat people in trouble.  As far as I am concerned at this point, they are little better than leeches and hyenas, they are less than pond scum, they live under the muck at the bottom of the mud puddle below the sunken bits of bird poo.  Public servants, my ass.

Hi Sassy Boots,
I couldn't agree with you more! My trustee sucks and treats me like I am below the bird poo.  They also didn't know what they were talking about and gave me incorrect information.  Maybe we have the same trustee.  Best wishes to you, DHM.


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