Under Oath And On The Spot: Bankruptcy Questions

Posted on: 1 August 2018

If you are declaring a chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will be required to appear at a creditor's meeting at some point after you file and before the final discharge. This meeting will almost assuredly be quick and uneventful, but part of it will involve you responding to questions from the bankruptcy trustee and sometimes your creditors. You can prepare yourself by reviewing some of the most common questions asked below.

The questions below are a sampling and most filers won't need to endure extensive questioning. Your bankruptcy attorney can let you know which questions to expect since the number of questions depends on your individual case.

Basic Information

1. Personal identifying information: name, address and Social Security number. Be sure to bring a government-issued photo ID with you.

2. Have you filed for bankruptcy in the past? If so, when and was it fully discharged?

3. Have you reviewed your bankruptcy paperwork and is the information on it correct? Is that your signature on the forms?

4. Did you file taxes for the most recent tax year?

Additional Questioning

If the bankruptcy trustee has reason to question some of the information in your paperwork you may be facing additional questions. Be sure to bring a copy of your bankruptcy forms with you to the meeting. Questions might include details about:

1. Your employment and income

2. Any expected income in the foreseeable future, such as money from lawsuits, inheritances, gambling/lottery winnings, life insurance, a divorce, etc.

3. Your real estate holdings and whether any of them produce income

4. Your personal vehicle or other big-ticket possessions (boats, recreational vehicles, artwork, etc)

5. Any instances of property being transferred to another person in the past year, either by selling, trading or gifting it.

Creditor Questioning

The people listed in your bankruptcy matrix as creditors seldom send legal representatives to this meeting, but that was actually the original reason for the meeting and thus its name. If a creditor is expected to appear, your attorney will know about it and you will be well-prepared to deal with it. Here are some common issues to be questioned about:

1. Recent credit card use. There are rules about running up debt right before filing but you can use your cards if you can show that it was for something you needed rather than something you wanted. For example, paying for a new washing machine might be okay, but paying for a girl's trip to the spa not so much.

2. Dealing with secured debts. Car loans are a frequent cause of creditors showing up, but this is usually just to clarify the deposition of the vehicle. You might need to surrender it or you might be able to reaffirm the debt.

Get more preparation for this questioning by speaking to your bankruptcy lawyer.


Talking About Bankruptcy Attorney Services

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