Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Preparation for creditor's meetings
When my staff or myself does a consult and case analysis we are very thorough and if my clients disclose to us everything then there shouldn't be anything unfamiliar or surprising at the hearing. Other than spending a few minutes discussing the general tenor of the hearing and some the the typical questions that are asked...and when I'm done going through that I say..."sounds familiar right...that's all the stuff we just went through"--my clients always say "yes..sounds familiar"--shouldn't be any surprises at the hearing. If there is that means I wasn't thorough...which doesn't happen or that my clients held something back...which has been known to happen on occasion and it isn't ever a good thing. All that being said...most chapter 7 341 hearings in consumer cases generally last a few minutes. Trustees and creditors are primarily interested in the nature, location and disposition of assets and trustee are especially interested in whether any assets are properly exempted or if there were any transfers/payments to friends or insiders that they can avoid. I generally have my clients show up a few minutes early so they can sit in on a hearing and they get a sense of what kinds of questions the trustee will ask. There are some stylistic differences between trustees...like one here locally always is focusing on jewelry...she even has a jeweler's loupe to check the quality of diamonds (most trustees won't bother with that) as that's her thing.