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May 15, 2003

But Not the Fillings In Your Teeth

Posted by Mike on May 15, 2003 1:15 AM

I always used to wonder what happened to people who went through bankruptcy. The local independent weekly decided to find out by profiling a bankruptcy "trustee", the guy in charge of deciding what people can keep and what they can't:

"Then there's the couple who both work at Intel, pulling down a combined salary of $74,000 a year. Grassmueck doesn't ask why they're filing--but he does ask the wife to hold up her hands and show him her wedding ring.

"The ring cost $2,000 new, she says. Grassmueck peers at it through his glasses, clenching his jaw. Legally, as the trustee, the ring belongs to him. If he wished, he could ask her to pull it off her finger. An individual filing Chapter 7 is only allowed to keep $1,800 worth of jewelry and clothing, total. If Grassmueck reckons the ring is worth more, he can seize it, liquidate it, give $1,700 to the couple, and pass the rest on to the creditors."

Harrowing, and made even more unpleasant by the revelation late in the article that the "trustees" get a cut of any assets they uncover.


But what better way to motivate the trustee than effective market forces? And why the crocodile tears over the spendthrift couple? Curious...

Posted by: Misanthropyst at May 15, 2003 4:49 PM