What Questions Will the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Trustee Ask?

by : David M. Siegel

First, you will raise your right hand and take an oath to tell the truth. Then, the trustee may ask: State your name and address. Did you list all of your assets and all of your liabilities? Do you own or rent the property at ……….? Have you ever own any real estate in your life? What is your intention with your vehicle? Reaffirm? Surrender? Do you expect to receive a tax refund this year? If so, how much? Do you expect to inherit any money in the next six months? Have you given away anything for less than its fair market value in the last six months? Have you repaid a family member more than $1,000.00 in the past year? Did you sign the petition and schedules after you had a chance to review them? Are you still working at ………? Is your monthly income still the same as what is listed on the schedules? Are your monthly expenses still the same as what is listed on the schedules? Do you anticipate any substantial changes in either income or expenses in the next few months? Do you own any property that is not listed on the schedules? Are there any additions or corrections that you would like to make to the schedules? Have you ever owned a business? Have you lived at your current address for the past three years? Have you closed a bank account in the past year? Do you have a safety deposit box? If yes, what are the contents? Have you used the credit cards for purchases or cash advances within the past 90 days?

That's a typical round of questions from a Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee. It is advisable to answer questions with a yes or no, if possible. The meeting of creditors is not the time to tell the story of your life. The trustee usually doesn't care why or how you became insolvent. He only cares whether or not there are assets to be administered and whether or not you are entitled to receive a discharge.

If you don't understand a question, ask the trustee to repeat it. Some trustees are very speedy in that they have been asking the same questions of debtor's for years. Since this is your first and hopefully only time, you deserve to have the questions posed at a moderate rate of speed. Of course, you can always turn to your attorney sitting next to you and look for an explanation before you answer. Honest answers are the only answers that should be given. If issues arise, your attorney will have suggestions or solutions to deal with those issues after your meeting.