Location/District: I live and work in D.C. I sit on the panel in the Eastern District of Virginia.
Years serving as a panel Trustee: Approximately 30 years.
Why did you become a panel trustee? I wanted to apply my business experience; my desire to help consumer debtors get their fresh start; I considered it a type of pro bono work.
What were the three most difficult cases you had? What made them difficult?
Shariati – I sold a $1,500,000 house over the objection of the debtor who refused to move out. After she was physically evicted she came back and broke into the house and had to be removed again. She went on to file numerous lawsuits and other proceedings against me and others. This has continued for over five years, and counting.
Rowe – I successfully appealed to the 4th Circuit a denial of earned 326 commissions. I did this in spite of a number of powerful interests urging me not to do so.
Computer Learning Centers – I raised over twenty-five million dollars for mostly employee creditors in spite of numerous barriers.
If you could do a different job than the one you have without regard to qualifications or financial gain, what would you do?
Something in technology.
What is your reputation as a trustee in your region?
Reputation for being practical and business oriented.
Do you think it is deserved?
What is your favorite vacation spot? Hawaii.
Who do you want to play you in the movie about your life? Bruce Springsteen.
What is your biggest (non-financial) reward as a trustee? Seeing honest debtors get a fresh start and turn their lives around.
What is your drink of choice? Martini with olives and onions.
What do you think most non-trustees don’t understand about our work? They don’t know of the enormous amount of time it takes to investigate allegations and the activities of the debtors; they don’t know of the risks we take in connection with our jobs – both financial and sometimes physical.
When you aren’t working, what are you doing? Going to baseball games; spending time with my family, especially my grandchildren.