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690 Flatbush Avenue West Hartford, CT  06110-1308

860 236-9350             800 856-6400  toll free     860 523-9101  fax

27 Holmes Avenue Downtown Waterbury 203 756-6100


The Bankruptcy Trustee Hearing

    As part of what I will do for you as your bankruptcy attorney, I will go with you to your interview with the bankruptcy trustee.  During the interview, which usually lasts from 5 to 15 minutes, the bankruptcy trustee will ask you questions to make sure that the bankruptcy paperwork which we filed for you from the information you gave us is accurate and complete.

    The trustee will also ask questions to see whether you have any property that can be used to pay your creditors.  In most cases, there is no property to pay creditors because people who file bankruptcy usually have very little property and the law allows people to keep that property through exemptions.

    The bankruptcy trustee interview is sometimes called the 341 Hearing after the section of the bankruptcy law that requires the interview.  It is also sometimes called the Meeting of Creditors because creditors have the right to appear at the interview and ask questions.  Creditors almost never show up except in cases where the debtor operated a business or is being sued.

    The bankruptcy trustee will put you under oath before asking you questions.  The trustee will tell you that providing false information is a crime and that the U.S. Justice Department can investigate bankruptcy cases.

    You will need to bring a picture identification, such as a driver's license, and your Social Security card or other proof of your Social Security number to the interview.

    The room where the hearing is held is not a courtroom.  The bankruptcy trustee is not a bankruptcy judge.  The trustee is a lawyer responsible for overseeing your bankruptcy case.

  The trustee hearings for Hartford bankruptcy cases are held at 450 Main Street in Hartford.  Hearings for New Haven bankruptcy and Bridgeport bankruptcy cases are held at 150 Court Street in New Haven.

    In almost all Chapter 7 Bankruptcy cases, the trustee interview is the only hearing you will have to attend.  In most Chapter 13 Bankruptcy cases, the only hearings you will have to attend are the trustee interview and a hearing in court before a bankruptcy judge to confirm your case.

    The questions which you can expect at the trustee hearing are written out below.  There are standard questions which the bankruptcy trustee has to ask everyone.  There are other possible questions which the trustee may ask depending on your situation.  In Chapter 13 bankrutcy cases, the trustee will also ask questions about your budget (income and expenses).


Standard Bankruptcy Trustee Hearing Questions

1.  State your name and current address for the record.

2.  Did you sign the bankruptcy petition, schedules, statements, and related documents and is the signature your own?  Did you read them before you signed them?

3.  Are you personally familiar with the information contained in the petition, schedules, statements and related documents?  To the best of your knowledge, is that information true and correct?  Are there any errors or omissions?

4.  Are all of your assets identified on the schedules?  Have you listed all of your creditors on the schedules?

5.  Have you previously filed bankruptcy?  (If, so, please provide the case number and the discharge information.)

6.  What is the address of your current employer?

7.  Is the copy of the tax return you provided a true copy of the most recent tax return you filed?

8.  Do you have a domestic support (child support or alimony) obligation?  To whom?  Please provide the claimantís address and telephone number, but do not state it on the record.  Are you current on your post-petition domestic support obligations?

9.  Have you filed all required tax returns for the past four years?


Possible Bankruptcy Trustee Hearing Questions

1.  Do you own or have any interest whatsoever in any real estate?  If owned:  When did you purchase the property?  How much did the property cost?  What are the mortgages encumbering it?  What do you estimate the present value of the property to be?  Is that the whole value or your share?  How did you arrive at that value?  If renting:  Have you ever owned the property in which you live and/or is its owner in any way related to you?

2.  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?

3.  Does anyone hold property belonging to you?  If yes:  Who holds the property and what is it?  What is its value?

4.  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?  What is the status of each case and who is representing you?

5.  Are you entitled to life insurance proceeds or an inheritance as a result of someoneís death?  If yes: Please explain the detaiIs.  If you become a beneficiary of any oneís estate within six months of the date your bankruptcy petition was filed, the trustee must be advised within ten days through your counsel of the nature and extent of the property you will receive.

6.  Does anyone owe you money?  If yes:  Is the money collectible?  Why havenít you collected it?  Who owes the money and where are they?

7.  Have you made any large payments, over $600, to anyone in the past year?

8.  Were federal income tax returns filed on a timely basis?  When was the last return filed?  Do you have copies ofthe federal income tax returns?  At the time of the filing of your petition, were you entitled to a tax refund from the federal or state government ?  If yes: Inquire as to amounts.

9.  Do you have a bank account, either checking or savings?  If yes:  In what banks and what were the balances as of the date you filed your petition?

10.  When you filed your petition, did you have:

a.  any cash on hand?
b.  any U.S.  savings bonds?
c.  any other stocks or bonds?
d.  any certificates of deposit?
e.  a safe deposit box in your name or in anyone elseís name?

11.  Do you own an automobile?  If yes:  What is the year, make, and value?  Do you owe any money on it?  Is it insured?

12.  Are you the owner of any cash value life insurance policies?  If yes:  State the name of the company, face amount of the policy, cash surrender value, if any, and the beneficiaries.

13.  Do you have any winning lottery tickets?

14.  Do you think you might obtain any property, cash or otherwise, as a result of a divorce or separation proceeding?

15.  Have you been engaged in any business during the last six years?  If yes:  Where and when?  What happened to the assets of the business?

16.  Do you collect coins, stamps or other things of value?

Source: Executive Office of U.S. Trustee, Handbook for Standing Trustees, Effective 03/01/06 App C-2 

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Attorney John Serrano - Personal Injury, Social Security Disability, Divorce, Bankruptcy, Immigration, Workers Compensation.  Hartford, Waterbury

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