When a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition is filed, an impartial trustee is appointed to review the petition and oversee the affairs of the debtor in bankruptcy. The trustee is generally an attorney or someone knowledgeable with the bankruptcy laws, exemptions, and the courts. The trustee will conduct a meeting of creditors, usually within 30 – 45 days after the date of filing.
The debtor must appear at the creditor’s meeting and must be sworn in to answer questions under oath. Creditors may also ask questions. The questions are about the accuracy of the petition, and may include questions about the debtor’s assets. The trustee also inquires to ensure the debtor understands the nature of bankruptcy and potential consequences. The debtor needs to bring a picture ID and a Social Security number card for review.
Some of the questions may include the following:
- Did you sign the petition, schedules, statements, and related documents and is the signature your own? Did you read the petition, schedules, statements, and related documents before you signed them?
- Are you personally familiar with the information contained in the petition, schedules,
statements and related documents? To the best of your knowledge, is the information
contained in the petition, schedules, statements, and related documents true and correct?
Are there any errors or omissions to bring to my attention at this time?
- Are all of your assets identified on the schedules? Have you listed all of your creditors
on the schedules?
- Have you previously filed bankruptcy? (If so, the trustee must obtain the case number
and the discharge information to determine the debtor(s) discharge eligibility.)
- What is the address of your current employer?
- Is the copy of the tax return you provided a true copy of the most recent tax return you filed?
- Do you have a domestic support obligation? To whom? Please provide to me the
claimant’s address and telephone number, but do not state it on the record.
- Have you read the Bankruptcy Information Sheet provided by the United States Trustee?
- Do you own or have any interest whatsoever in any real estate?
- Have you made any transfers of any property or given any property away within the last
one year period (or such longer period as applicable under state law)? If yes: What did you transfer? To whom was it transferred? What did you receive in
exchange? What did you do with the funds?
- Does anyone hold property belonging to you? If yes: Who holds the property and what is it? What is its value?
- Do you have a claim against anyone or any business?
- If there are large medical debts, are the medical bills from injury?
- Are you the plaintiff in any lawsuit?
- Does anyone owe you money
- Were federal income tax returns filed on a timely basis?
About the Author:
Mike Hall is an attorney at the Idaho Business Law Group, PLLC, located in Meridian, Idaho. You can find him at idahobusinesslawgroup.com, email at firstname.lastname@example.org.