Judge Joseph Bianco

Based on material inaccuracies in documentation supporting debtor Burgos’ application for Chapter 7 bankruptcy relief—including failure to list rental income from two properties and failure to identify transfers, exceeding $101,000, to her husband and daughter—trustee Pergament’s complaint sought to deny Burgos discharge. After trial, in which Burgos appeared pro se, bankruptcy court denied discharge. District court found Burgos’ appeal untimely. However, in an abundance of caution, it conducted de novo review, after which it affirmed denial of Chapter 7 discharge. Noting Burgos’ pro se trial appearance, the court rejected her claim of ineffective assistance. Moreover, the court rejected Burgos’ assertion that she had been denied her rights to confrontation and due process by the government’s failure to submit proofs of claim. The court observed that 11 proofs of claim—exceeding $430,000—were filed with the bankruptcy court after its clerk provided notice to creditors of Pergament’s filing of notice that funds would be available for distribution. In further concluding that bankruptcy court properly denied Burgos discharge, district court discussed the multiple grounds for denial of discharge identified in the record.