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

January 23, 2022
Max Gardner’s Top Ten Reasons The late Waylon Jennings had a hit song years ago called “Sick and Tired of Getting Up Sick and Tired.” The song related to the chronic consumption of alcohol but the analogy to the need for a mandatory rule for mortgage payments through the Chapter 13 Trustee is not that far-fetched. As a debtor’s attorney...
February 18, 2024
Retirement of the Honorable John E. Hoffman, Jr., Chief Judge
November 21, 2021
TFS Bill Pay has launched a new powerful tool to help you succeed; the Attorney Report Center located in your AttorneyPortal. In the current bankruptcy environment, it is absolutely essential that your firm receives all of the compensation for the valuable work it has already done. TFS now provides you with pre-set, real-time reports to confirm your clients’ payments, which...
Academy Circle Logo Final
December 4, 2022
Many have had the unpleasant experience of coping with an ill-mannered and disrespectful opposing counsel. Unnecessary motions are filed and unfounded allegations are asserted. Relief requested has no basis in fact or law. Temperatures rise. The volume of argument is loud. Your staff and you are upset. What to do?We asked the Emeritus Trustees and here are some recommendations: First,...
October 27, 2019
By Alexander Schmidt1, Law Clerk, and The Honorable John P. Gustafson, United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Ohio (Toledo) You have never heard – or seen – the Monster Mash. What have you heard, is a song ABOUT the Monster Mash. Let that sink in for a minute. Inevitably, that leads to the obvious question: What facts...
February 14, 2021
By Jan Sensenich, Chapter 13 Standing Trustee for the District of Vermont I think it was in junior high school when I first started wearing glasses. I remember not liking the idea of having to wear glasses. I thought I could see just fine. As far as I knew, I was seeing what I needed to see. But I also...
March 26, 2023
Introduction Amendments to 16 rules and new one new rule took effect December 1, 2022. Many reflected changes necessitated by the Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019 (SBRA),1 and had been in place in the same or similar form on an interim basis since that legislation took effect. Part 1 of this series summarized 2022 . . . It looks...
Academy Circle Logo Final
In these times of fewer case filings, it may be helpful to look at ways that debtor attorneys may build and strengthen their chapter 13 bankruptcy practice. The following are some recommendations and ideas from the Emeritus Trustee Committee:
March 31, 2019
By Wm. Houston Brown, United States Bankruptcy Judge (Retired) Lien Modification - Modification of mortgage on mixed-use property. Reviewing the split of authority on whether a Chapter 13 debtor may modify a mortgage on property used for both business and residential purposes and when the use determination is made, the bankruptcy court adopted the filing date as the appropriate time...
October 13, 2019
By Lawrence R. Ahern, III, Brown & Ahern (Nashville, TN) Click here for Part I, Introduction to the 2019 Legislation Click here for Part II, Five Things a Trustee Should Know About SBRA Part III The Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019 (SBRA)1 is of interest to attorneys whose clients in troubled . . . It looks like you are...

Looking to Become a Member? offers a forum to advance continuing education of consumer bankruptcy via access to insightful articles, informative webinars, and the latest industry news. Join now to benefit from expert resources and stay informed.


These informative sessions are led by industry experts and cover a range of consumer bankruptcy topics.

Member Articles

Written by industry experts, these articles provide in-depth analysis and practical guidance on consumer bankruptcy topics.

Industry News

The Academy is the go-to source for the latest news and analysis in the Chapter 13 bankruptcy industry.

To get started, please let us know which of these best fits your current position: