Tragic Passing of Southern Gentleman

By Regina Logsdon, Executive Director, NACTT Academy

“He was a good man and that is how I will remember John Talton.” David Peake, NACTT President.

John J. Talton, Chapter 13 Standing Trustee for the Eastern District of Texas, Tyler, Marshall, Lufkin, and Beaumont Divisions, was tragically killed October 17th, as the result of an automobile accident. John was on his way to court to perform duties of the job he loved so much.

“John was a kind and generous person and I will miss seeing him at professional meetings and conferences. He had a good heart and a sincere desire to make the bankruptcy process work well for those seeking help.” Debbie Langehennig, Chapter 13 Standing Trustee, Austin, Texas.

John was born in 1955 in Lake Charles, Louisiana. He was a graduate of the University of Houston School of Law and was licensed to practice law in Texas and Louisiana.

In his personal life, John enjoyed woodworking and he also cross-stitched. He served as a deacon at Sharpstown Baptist Church and as a third-grade Sunday School teacher. He was a member of Tyler Lodge #1233 A.F. & A.M. and a Past Patron of Troup Chapter # 421, Order of the Eastern Star and a member of Sharon Shrine in Tyler.

In 1986 John married Marsha Dupree. He said he could always remember his anniversary – the nation celebrates its independence on July 4th and he celebrated his lack thereof on July 5th. When John married Marsha, he became “Dad” to John Wesley and Tim. John loved his stepsons – blood lines did not matter. When asked, he always said, “Those are my boys.” The boys felt the same way towards him, he was truly their dad.

John and Marsha moved to Tyler, Texas, approximately 23 years ago where John served as the Staff Attorney for Michael Gross who was, at that time, the Trustee appointed to administer all of the Chapter 13 cases in the Eastern District of Texas (the district has since been divided).

After the retirement of Michael Gross in 2010, John was appointed as the Standing Trustee.

Talton Cowardly Lion2Lloyd Kraus, Staff Attorney to Talton, said: “John was my boss in name only. In truth, he was my mentor for nine years and one of my dearest, closest friends. John’s heart was perfectly tailored to be a Trustee. He acted selflessly and compassionately to every person that came through our office – staff, debtors, attorneys from all sides, everyone. He gave everyone the benefit of the doubt and never missed an opportunity to show mercy to someone in need. He was patient, kind, gentle, and loyal to everyone, whether they deserved it or not. He was the first to tell a joke and not let a situation get too serious too quickly. He lived a life filled with joy, love, and faith that showed through his work with every decision he made. John was one of a kind, and we miss him more than words can express.”

When asked about John, Carey Ebert, Chapter 13 Standing Trustee for the Eastern District of Texas, Plano Division, had this to say: “When I was appointed Trustee to take over the late Janna Countryman’s position, John had held down the fort for almost a year. The day it became official and he no longer had to make the trek to Plano from Tyler every week, he told me I was his new best friend! I can’t tell you how lucky I was to have John as my “new best friend”. I could not have had a better mentor, friend and confidant to guide me through the, sometimes, murky waters of life as a Chapter 13 Trustee. John was the consummate southern gentlemen. Kind, sweet, funny, and incredibly bright. He loved his job, his staff and his family and not in that order. My heart just aches and to say he will be missed is an understatement. We are all better for having known him.”

In researching for this tribute, I came across a quote from John himself and am struck by its poignancy. “I am deeply saddened by her untimely death and the bankruptcy community has suffered a great loss.” John said this of Janna Countryman only a few short years ago. I believe we are all deeply saddened by John’s untimely death and the bankruptcy community has truly suffered a great loss.

I am also struck by the apropos photograph of John that I just happened to have – John, good-naturedly, dressed as the ‘all heart’ Cowardly Lion at a seminar in Texas several years ago.

I believe Sid Scheinberg, Creditor Attorney from Dallas, Texas, summed up nicely the bankruptcy community’s thoughts: “John was a true gentleman in every sense of the word. He treated those with whom he practiced with respect and kindness. Qualities that we could all learn from.”

No Author Biography has been linked to this Article.

Related Articles

Academy Circle Logo Final
February 18, 2024
FFIEC Issues Statement on Examination Principles Related to Valuation Discrimination and Bias in Residential Lending
August 2, 2020
By Chris Hawkins, Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP (Birmingham, AL) The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit recently issued an opinion that may have far-reaching procedural implications for debtors and trustees in Chapter 13 cases. In Microf LLC v. Cumbess, the court articulated multiple canons of statutory interpretation in holding that a chapter 13 debtor’s proposal to...
May 14, 2023
(Reprinted with permission.  Bankruptcy Court Liaison Committee Newsletter – Spring 2023 (Northern District of Illinois)) During her tenure as a bankruptcy judge for nearly 24 years, Judge Carol A. Doyle has presided over countless chapter 7, 11, and 13 cases, leaving a lasting impact on the Chicago bankruptcy landscape.  She has been a dedicated and respected member of the bankruptcy...
Copy of Hildebrand-2016
October 15, 2023
A little bit for everyone in this case . . .In calculating above-median income debtor’s projected disposable income, Chapter 13 debtor may not deduct the “ownership allowance” for transportation expenses if the secured debt in question is secured by a nonpurchase money security interest in a motor vehicle.
October 27, 2019
By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired) Debtor could cure default beyond 60 months. Agreeing with In re Klaas, 858 F.3d 820 (3d Cir. 2017), bankruptcy court had discretion to permit debtors to cure plan default, allowing a reasonable grace period beyond the 60 months of confirmed plan. Dismissal of the case for plan default was not required under §...
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...
October 20, 2019
By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired) Claimant in proof of claim lacking prima facie validity was sanctioned. The proof of claim secured by the debtor’s residence failed to satisfy Rule 3001(c)(2)(C) requirements, including incomplete Form B 410A with no payment history. The claimant’s attempt to amend the claim on the eve of the contested objection to claim would defeat...
Copy of Hildebrand-2016
Bankruptcy courts lack jurisdiction to apply “innocent spouse” relief to determine the amount of a tax claim to be paid in a Chapter 13 case.  (Taddonio) In re Geary, 2023 WL 2996720 (Bankr. W.D. Pa. April 19, 2023) Case Summary When a taxpayer signs a joint tax return with their spouse, the Internal Revenue Code is very clear.  Both signatories...
June 13, 2021
By Henry E. Hildebrand, III, Chapter 13 Standing Trustee for the Middle District of TN (Nashville) In awarding attorneys’ fees in a Chapter 13 case, a court is not limited to establishing the fee by use of the lodestar method; fees for services rendered should be based on the reasonable and customary fees charged by other attorneys performing the same...
August 23, 2020
NCLC’s Executive Director Rich Dubois and NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson are calling on Congress and federal regulators to take action to prevent an impending foreclosure crisis in communities of color, in an opinion editorial published yesterday in The Hill. The op-ed highlights how the cumulative impact of decades of housing policy discrimination on African American homeownership, coupled with...

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: