What To Wear And Say At Your Bankruptcy Hearing
Actually, when it comes to what to wear, just dont dress for a cookout. But as far as what to expect at your bankruptcy hearing, this article by Cathy Moran is great advice.
Going to court for your first meeting of creditors?
What are they going to ask me?, you wonder.
My bankruptcy clients imagine a quiz on the contents of their bankruptcy papers.
Or worse, an inquisition on why they needed to file bankruptcy.
Thats not likely. The first meeting of creditors is much more likely to be a snooze.
Jay Fleischman set out a very comprehensive list of questions a Chapter 7 trustee might ask at your bankruptcy hearing.
Let me add my rules for answering those questions.
There Will Be Several Meetings Of Creditors Scheduled At The Same Time As Your 341 Meeting
The time set for the meeting of creditors will be used for a number of individual meetings of creditors. It is not unusual for ten or twelve meetings to be scheduled for the same time. Cases are called one by one, and the parties and their bankruptcy lawyer will sit at a table with the bankruptcy trustee.
It is a public meeting, with maybe twenty-five or thirty debtors and attorneys in attendance. Everyone is there for the same reason, and everyone shares the same concerns and apprehension, but the 341 meetings are conducted quickly, and with respect and courtesy.
The 341 Meeting Of Creditors Is Not A Court Hearing
The bankruptcy law prohibits the bankruptcy judge from attending the meeting of creditors. Although the meeting of creditors is serious business, it is not a court hearing.; No legally binding decisions can be made for you, or against you.
Nevertheless, the 341 meetings are recorded. Be careful and thoughtful with your answers, and dont guess as to facts you dont know.
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What To Wear To A 341 Meeting Of Creditors
Prevailing wisdom regarding how to present oneself at a bankruptcy hearing may follow the jarring scene from a television show, where a debtor wears a lavish ring to a hearing which the trustee asks about and then takes away. Although this is high drama and not always real life, it is best to not dress lavishly or fancily for a 341 Meeting.
Avoid expensive jewelry or accessories, many of which will qualify for exceptions under Texas bankruptcy law in various appropriate schedules. Avoid obvious designer clothing and shoes.
Being the best-dressed person in the room at your bankruptcy hearing could convey the wrong message as to your means, which could raise concerns about the truthfulness of your petition and schedules. Dress conservatively and professionally when attending the meeting, and if you need further clarification, do not hesitate to ask your attorney remember that attorneys attend these hearings all the time!
Getting Prepared For Bankruptcy Court
If you are required to attend a hearing in bankruptcy court, what can you expect to happen? The good news is, you wont be alone. Your Licensed Insolvency Trustee will be with you to guide you through the process and represent you in court. Theyll help you prepare the terms for discharge to be presented at your hearing.
Be yourself Bankruptcy court is not going to judge you on your education or personality. So, just be yourself when you approach the court.
Check out this page to find out if youll lose your RRSPs during a bankruptcy.
Dress the way you always do Just because a court of law is a formal setting, that doesnt mean your attire must match. Theres no need to wear formal clothing in court unless thats what youre used to wearing.
Be early Arriving well in advance of your scheduled court hearing is important. The last thing you want to do is be late, and you also want to give yourself enough time to get there in case you hit traffic or have to deal with a parking issue.
What is a bankruptcy automatic stay of proceedings? for the answer. ;
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What Absolutely Not To Do At A 341 Meeting Of Creditors:
- Lying to the Trustee. ;That is a federal criminal offense.
- Hiding assets i.e., thinking that you are the only one who knows the assets, and there is no way for the Trustee to find out about your vacation home or your secret bank account.
- Withholding information. If it comes out that you intentionally withheld information from the Trustee, or willfully gave false answers then what was a Bankruptcy proceeding to make your financial life better can then turn into a criminal proceeding. Always tell the truth to your lawyer when filing the Bankruptcy Petition and at the Meeting of Creditors and when answering the Trustees questions. Intentionally not listing that you have a stock brokerage account with stocks in it and then lying to the Trustee when he or she asks you if you own any stocks or bonds other than retirement accounts is a crime something you certainly would wish to avoid.
A Trustee Might Ask Other Questions
After working through the required questions, the Trustee may have additional questions that are intended to determine if you have any nonexempt assets that could also be claimed by the Trustee. ;He or she may also be trying to find out if there were payments made to creditors or property transfers that happened before filing for bankruptcy.
These questions could include:
- How did you value your home?
- How did you value your car?
- Do you have any claims against anyone? ;Are you suing anyone?
- Are you expecting an inheritance?
- Did you recently sell any property
- Have you transferred any of your assets?
- Is the Tax Return that you have supplied a correct copy of your tax return?
- What is the reason for your filing for Bankruptcy protection?
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Best Color To Wear To Court
Beyond these wardrobe basics, theres a bit more to consider when deciding what to wear to court. For instance, there is evidence that should influence the colors and patterns you choose for your outfit.
The best color to wear to court is probably navy blue or dark gray. These colors suggest seriousness. At the same time, they do not come with the negative connotations that are often associated with the color black .
Avoid bright colors and patterns because they tend to be distracting in a professional setting. The basic rule is to select traditional, uncontroversial professional colors that look serious and dont draw the eye.
Articles On The Meeting Of Creditors
If you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you’ll have to attend a hearing called the meeting of creditors . What happens after your meeting of creditors depends on whether you filed for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, and also whether the bankruptcy trustee in your case is satisfied with your bankruptcy papers.
All Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy filers must attend the meeting of creditors. The plan confirmation hearing only happens in Chapter 13 cases.
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Rule Number Three: Tell The Truth
The most important rule to follow during the bankruptcy meeting is to tell the truth. The bankruptcy meeting is an examination where you are put under oath. If you do not tell the truth or be transparent during the examination, you will be breaking the law. ;Not telling the truth can easily come back to haunt you later. ;Resolve from the beginning to tell the truth every time both to your bankruptcy attorney and the bankruptcy trustee. If you always tell the truth, then your bankruptcy attorney can better guide you as to what your options may be an any particular situation.
Contact A South Carolina Trial Lawyer Now
The attorneys at Schiller & Hamilton Law Firm are here to make sure that our clients voices are heard in negotiations and in court if necessary. We are here to help make sure your interests are represented throughout the claims process. Our attorneys will be right beside you if your claim goes to court.
To schedule a free consultation with an experienced member of our team, contact us today by phone or contact us online.
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What To Bring To The 341 Hearing
In most cases, you’ll have provided verifying documents to the trustee before the meeting of creditors. It’s common to send the trustee paycheck stubs, bank and retirement statements, and income tax returns. Some trustees require additional documents, and in some courts, you’ll file the documents with the court.
You shouldn’t need to bring much to the hearing other than:
- an approved photo I.D.
- your Social Security card or other proof of your Social Security number, and
- any documents that reflect a financial change since filing your petition.
You’ll likely want to bring a set of bankruptcy paperwork to refer to, too, along with anything else the trustee indicates will be needed. If you’re not sure if the item is appropriate, consult with an attorney.
Full Transcript Show 202 What Happens In Bankruptcy Court
Doug Hoyes:;;;;;;;;;;;;; Today we are going to talk about bankruptcy court. Why? Two reasons: First, weve never talked about bankruptcy court here on Debt Free in 30, and second, a lot of people who are considering filing bankruptcy are worried that they will have to go to bankruptcy court, and that makes them nervous about seeking relief from their debts. So, let me alleviate those fears by starting with this fact.
In the vast majority of cases you dont need to go to bankruptcy court. If you go bankrupt and you complete all of your duties, and if no one objects, you are automatically discharged after the required period of time has elapsed. Ill over-simplify this a bit: But if this is your first bankruptcy and you complete all of your duties and no one objects, and if you have no surplus income, you are eligible to be automatically discharged in nine months.
If you are a first-time bankrupt with surplus income you are eligible to be automatically discharged in 21 months, again assuming you complete all of your duties and no one objects. In a second bankruptcy you can be automatically discharged in 24 months if you have no surplus income, or 36 months if you have surplus income, which is why many people choose to avoid a second bankruptcy by filing a consumer proposal, but you get the point. In most cases you are automatically discharged so no court appearances required.
Doug Hoyes:;;;;;;;;;;;;; And it will be a high number, probably, if theyre going to be showing up.
Scott Schaefer:;;;;;;;;;; Okay.
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Typical Questions To Expect At The Meeting Of Creditors
The trustee will ask a series of routine questions that must be asked of every debtor. The trustee will then ask about any particular problems that arise in your case. Most bankruptcy attorneys can predict what the trustee will ask and explain the situation ahead of timeâto both you and the trustee.
Typical questions include:
- Did you review your bankruptcy petition and schedules before you filed them with the court?
- Is all of the information contained in your bankruptcy papers true and correct to the best of your knowledge?
- Did you disclose all of your assets?
- Did you list all of your creditors?
- Have you filed for bankruptcy before?
- Has anything changed since filing your bankruptcy?
- Are you required to pay any domestic support obligations such as alimony or child support?
- Have you filed all tax returns as they have come due?
- Have you made any payments to creditors exceeding $600 in aggregate in the last year?
- Does anyone owe you money for any reason?
One of the benefits of falling toward the bottom of the calendar is knowing what the trustee will ask. For more, see Questions to Expect at the Bankruptcy 341 Meeting of Creditors.
Chances Are None Of Your Creditors Will Be There
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court Clerks office will send a notice of the scheduling of the meeting to all of your creditors. The meeting of creditors is scheduled by the office of the clerk. The notices come from everyone of the creditors listed in your bankruptcy documents. ;The creditors are given the opportunity to attend and ask any valid questions they may have. However, most will not attend. Unless you are trying to discharge a high-value debt, did something apparently fraudulent, or they plan to file a motion challenging your filing you generally should not expect a problem from your creditors.
For most consumer bankruptcies, it does not make financial sense for a company to send their attorney to sit and watch you answer questions. Its totally possible that no creditors might come, and it will just be you, your lawyer, and the bankruptcy trustee at a conference table.
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Sample Trustee Questions At Your 341 Meeting Of Creditors
QUESTIONS THE TRUSTEE IS REQUIRED TO ASK YOU AT YOUR BANKRUPTCY HEARING 341 MEETING OF CREDITORS)
After a bankruptcy petition is filed, the Court will schedule a Creditors Meeting under Rule 341 of the Bankruptcy Code. While your creditors may appear, generally only the Trustee and perhaps a U.S. Trustee representative is present to ask you questions about your petition and decision to file bankruptcy. This debtors examination is under oath and you should review your petition and the following sample questions to be best prepared. Your attorney will also be present at the meeting but they cannot answer the questions for you although they may assist in cases of misunderstandings, clarification or objections. Youll need to bring your picture ID and social security number card for review.
How To Prepare For Your Workers’ Compensation Hearing
Workers compensation hearings are usually scheduled because of a dispute about whether you are entitled to benefits or the amount of benefits you should receive. While many cases settle, some disputes are more likely to go to a hearing than others .
This article will provide you with some general guidelines to help you prepare for your workers comp hearing. However, because workers’ comp hearings involve complex legal rules, you should be represented at your hearing by an experienced workers compensation attorney.
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What Should I Wear For A Court Hearing
If youre Googling what to wear to a court hearing? its likely that you have a court date on the horizon. At some point in their lives, most people will have to appear before a judge. In fact, there are approximately 100 million cases are filed each year in state trial courts and 400,000 in federal courts. Whether you are fighting a speeding ticket or fighting for your rights in a child custody case, its important to note that the proper courtroom attire actually does matter. Your appearance when you arrive in a courtroom communicates whether or not you take the matter at hand seriously.
No one wants to be judged solely on their appearance and they shouldnt. But in a courtroom, your appearance underlines the argument your attorney is making on your behalf. It is important that you put the best you forward when you appear before a judge and jury. There are a few dos and donts to keep in mind when appearing before a judge.;
Additional Questions You May Face
Along with these mandatory questions, the trustee may ask about your property and other assets, your income, your expenses, your debts, and so on. The trustee might also ask about discrepancies in your bankruptcy forms, how you came up with a value for various property items, and so on. Be prepared to answer questions about:
- any real estate you own or rent
- your car and other personal property
- any money that might be coming to you, through a lawsuit, an inheritance, life insurance, the lottery, a divorce, business accounts, and so on
- your bank and investment accounts
- any property or cash you have sold or given to others in the last year
- any business you have run within the past six years
- your recent tax returns
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