What are the possible outcomes in adversary proceeding? 7 Answers as of June 01, 2017

I am a defendant in an adversary proceeding. I had an outstanding debt with a business that closed and who subsequently filed chapter 7. The trustee for that case is suing me. I have been negotiating with the plaintiff to get this debt paid and avoid a judgment. After much back and forth, we have finally agreed on a number that both sides can live with. The plaintiff’s attorney wants me to mail payment immediately and when I asked about the case against me being dismissed, she told me that a “formal dismissal would not be necessary and that instead a motion for the judge to approve the settlement would be filed in 4-6 weeks, as this is a big case with lots of defendants and there are several settlement negotiations taking place.” She “foresees no issues with the judge approving the settlement” and then the matter is “resolved and completed and no judgment can or will be taken against me in this case.” Is a resolved and completed settlement my only option here? Is it possible for me to request that the case be dismissed against me with prejudice? The way I look at it, I am satisfying the debt-not settling. I have filed no paperwork with the court answering the complaint (was never actually served to begin with) and am agreeing not to file a counter-claim although I have a fairly strong basis for one. The plaintiff’s attorney will not put any of the agreements we have arrived at in writing pending the approval of the judge yet wants the check mailed to her today. What guarantees do I have that the motion will be filed with the court and the trustee will do as promised? This is a lot of money to be handing over with no guarantee. Depending on the answers to the previous questions, if dismissal with prejudice is not an option and we must move forward with the settlement pending approval by the judge, can I send the check to the court directly to be handed over once approved?

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Ronald K. Nims LLC | Ronald K. Nims
NEVER PAY ANYONE ANY MONEY WITHOUT HAVING A SIGNED AGREEMENT SPECIFYING EXACTLY WHAT THE OBLIGATIONS OF BOTH SIDES ARE!!! This is good advice for anything starting with a hamburger, Coke and fries at McD's up to a 747 from Boeing. You don't go to McD's and hand the clerk $8.00 in exchange for unknown items, do you. You specify each item and she tells you the price (including tax), then you pay her. Now you have a special situation, YOU ARE BEING SUED. You need to talk to a bankruptcy lawyer who does litigation (that guy on TV that runs a bankruptcy mill, doesn't do litigation - calling him is like going to Jiffy Lube to replace your engine).
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 6/1/2017
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
You need to see local counsel. True it takes time to approve settlements and true that courts approve them 99.9 % of the time, HOWEVER... first there must be a written agreement.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/28/2017
Eranthe Law Firm
Eranthe Law Firm | Cate Eranthe
Never send a check without a written agreement first. The court won't be involved if you were never served and aren't a party. However, it sounds like you are a party - otherwise why are you negotiating? It sounds like you need your own counsel who can look at the facts and figure out what is going on. Please talk to a local knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney for advice before you write a check.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/28/2017
GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C.
GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C. | Richard N. Gonzales
Now is not the time to cut corners. Don't be "penny wise and pound foolish." Speak with an experienced BK attorney face-to-face. Any attorney worth their salt will charge you a minimum of two hours of their time to review this matter with you (maybe three hours).
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 5/28/2017
Garner Law Office
Garner Law Office | Daniel Garner
You do not mention how much is at stake here, but if you are so suspicious of whether the trustee is being fair to you, and if you want to be sure to preserve your rights, the only advice any ethical lawyer can give you in this forum is to consult with competent legal counsel. I can say that if you are dealing with any trustee in Oregon, they have the highest ethical standards and are always fair and even-handed.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 5/28/2017
    Benson Law Firm
    Benson Law Firm | David Benson
    There is a lesson here: You should hire a lawyer when you are dealing with anything involving a court.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 5/25/2017
    Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
    You can make the check payable to the trustee's trust account. You can also put at the top of the reverse side of the check, words that say that in negotiating the check constitutes complete settlement of any claim of the trustee against you. Since you say a lot of money is involved, you really ought to retain your own lawyer one skilled in bankruptcy who can review all the facts and discuss options.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 5/25/2017
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