Trustee Remembered

janna-collageJanna Lee Countryman passed away at her Dallas residence on February 1, 2015.

‘Janna Lee’, a perfectly fitting Texas name for an all ‘round Texas girl. Janna was born in July of 1962. She grew up in and spent her entire career in northeast Texas. Her formative years were spent at Tyler, Ft. Worth and Hurst schools. Her college career began at Tyler Junior College but she earned her J.D. from Baylor Law School in 1986.

John Talton commented, “I came to Tyler, Texas, almost 20 years ago as the Staff Attorney for Michael Gross. Not long after my arrival, the U.S. Trustee decided to split off the Sherman and Texarkana Divisions.” Janna was appointed Standing Chapter 13 Trustee for this new office in January of 1999. Talton continued, “I met her when she came to Mike’s office to pack up the case files and we spent an hour getting to know each other. Years later, when I was appointed Trustee, Janna always made time to take my calls and was influential in teaching me about being a Trustee. I valued her opinion and suggestions and I considered Janna not only a colleague but a friend. I am deeply saddened by her untimely death and the bankruptcy community has suffered a great loss.”

Prior to being appointed as a Trustee, Janna worked on the creditor side of consumer bankruptcy with Brice, Vander Linden & Wernick, PC.

At the time of her death, she served as Chapter 13 and Chapter 12 Standing Trustee for the Eastern District of Texas with her office in Plano. She was an active member of the National Association of Chapter 13 Trustees. Robert Wilson, NACTT President, remembered fondly, “Janna was always willing to participate as a speaker or in any other capacity. I never knew her to turn down anyone when they needed help. She did not take herself too seriously and certainly did not put on airs or pretend she was something she was not.”

She loved to travel and to feel the sunshine on her face. She loved spending time with family and friends. And ‘spending time’ didn’t generally mean sitting around – Janna loved to go and to do and have fun. One friend stated: “You could count on Janna to start the party. She led the charge to ‘kiss the pig’ for luck during a luau at mid-year 2013.”

“Janna was my teacher and my friend and my life is forever changed from knowing her! She will be greatly missed.” Amy Shusterman, friend and former employee.

Janna loved her family and friends and especially her sweet puppy, Sparky.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to The Hospice of East Texas Foundation, 4111 University Blvd. Tyler, 75701.

Services are Monday, February 9, in the chapel of Burks Walker Tippit Funeral Home with Rev. Glenn Jones officiating. Private burial will be in Cathedral of the Pines cemetery. The family will receive friends following the service.

No Author Biography has been linked to this Article.

Related Articles

October 3, 2021
Jack N. Zaharopoulos was appointed as the Chapter 13 Standing Trustee for the Middle District of Pennsylvania on May 1, 2021. He succeeded Charles DeHart after his retirement. After graduating from Marquette Law School in Milwaukee in 2002, Zaharopoulos worked at a general practice firm, doing debtor and creditor bankruptcy work, family law, and even some criminal cases. After gaining...
October 31, 2021
By Henry E. Hildebrand, III, Chapter 13 Standing Trustee for the Middle District of Tennessee (Nashville) Rule 3002.1 gives the Bankruptcy Court authority to impose sanctions, including punitive sanctions, as part of the rules-granted authority to award “other appropriate relief.” (Rodriguez) Blanco v. Bayview Loan Servicing LLC (In re Blanco), 2021 WL 4190170 (Bankr. S.D. Tex. September 14, 2021) Case...
July 19, 2020
By Lawrence R. Ahern III, Brown & Ahern (Nashville, TN) Introduction In Copley v. United States,1 Chapter 7 debtors attempted to exempt under Virginia law their right to a prepetition federal income tax overpayment refund. After the bankruptcy filing, the IRS set off the overpaid funds to satisfy the debtors' tax liabilities under 26 U.S.C. § 6402. In a matter...
November 17, 2019
Taxpayers who are contacted by a private collection agency on behalf of the IRS might have questions about the program. These taxpayers can visit to find answers to questions they might have. In fact, to better help these taxpayers, the IRS recently updated the private debt collection pages on These updates added more information for taxpayers whose case...
July 16, 2023
Remember Mort. Corp. of the South v. Bozeman (In re Bozeman), 57 F. 4th 895 (11th Cir. 2023)? That was the recent 11th Circuit case previously reviewed by Lawrence Ahern on this site. It was the Chapter 13 version of The Perfect Storm.  The Debtor proposed to pay the principal balance of her mortgage ($17 . . . It looks...
November 24, 2019
____________________________ Prior to his appointment as a bankruptcy judge for the District of Utah in September of 2015, Judge Anderson served for seventeen years as the Standing Chapter 13 Trustee for the District of Utah. During this time, he administered over 70,000 Chapter 13 cases. Judge Anderson was elected president of the National Association of Chapter 13 Trustees (NACTT), and...
June 30, 2019
By Henry E. Hildebrand, III, Chapter 13 Standing Trustee (Nashville, TN) Over the past twenty years, the judicial estoppel doctrine has had a significant impact on people who file bankruptcy. Judicial estoppel has grown to be a significant issue within the consumer bankruptcy system. The Commission was asked to address it. Judicial estoppel is a doctrine created to protect the...
NN Photo
March 5, 2023
In a recent opinion, an Ohio bankruptcy court joined the majority of other courts by holding the Code excludes Social Security Act (“SSA”) benefits from disposable income.i The issue was brought before the Court by the Chapter 13 Trustee’s objection to confirmation. The objection to confirmation asserted the Debtors failed to commit all disposable income to their plan and included...
October 3, 2021
By Henry E. Hildebrand, III, Chapter 13 Standing Trustee (Nashville, TN) Administrative fees and claims existing when Chapter 13 plan was confirmed would reduce the amounts received by unsecured creditors in a Chapter 7 under the “best interests of creditors test;” unsecured creditors, expected to receive payments over three years, must be paid the “present value” of that stream of...
March 31, 2019
By Wm. Houston Brown, United States Bankruptcy Judge (Retired) Debtor’s Attorney - Suspension of firm upheld. The District court affirmed the 90-day suspension of Law Solutions Chicago, LLC (d/b/a UpRight Law, LLC), with the record supporting the bankruptcy court’s findings that the firm failed to adequately represent the debtor in a “simple” consumer case. Disgorgement of fees was appropriate under...