How to prepare for the Creditors meeting? 22 Answers as of June 30, 2011

My wife and I are planning on filing a joint bankruptcy but her English is poor and she is not familiar with our finances so I am afraid of being denied discharge. What should we do?

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Mercado & Hartung, PLLC
Mercado & Hartung, PLLC | Christopher J. Mercado
Your BK Attorney will let you know what to expect and you can request an interpreter as well.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 6/30/2011
Jackson White, PC
Jackson White, PC | Spencer Hale
An interpreter will likely be provided for you. It is common that one spouse is more familiar with the finances than the other. This will not be cause for you to be denied the discharge. Remember that "I don't know" is an acceptable answer to a question.
Answer Applies to: Arizona
Replied: 6/29/2011
Benson Law Firm
Benson Law Firm | David Benson
Bankruptcy courts have interpreter services available for most languages. However, if you can interpret for your wife, many trustees will permit the creditors meeting to go forward without a court interpreter. You should ask your local attorney or, if you don't have one, call your trustee to determine their preference.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 6/29/2011
CONSUMER PROTECTION ASSISTANCE COALITION, INC. (DE).
CONSUMER PROTECTION ASSISTANCE COALITION, INC. (DE). | Gary Lee Lane
Just refresh your memories of your expenses and income.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/29/2011
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
Well.... You could watch a few to see how they go. There is a sample one on utube prepared by the Unites States Trustee you could watch. But if you are conceded that your finances could lead to a denial of the discharge you should consult with an attorney before the hearing.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/28/2011
    Law Office of Maureen O' Malley
    Law Office of Maureen O' Malley | Maureen O'Malley
    Our trustees have a translation service. I hope you're going to see a lawyer so you have the petition done correctly and send the correct information to the trustee. The questions are usually to ensure that you have no property that can be sold to pay creditors.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 6/28/2011
    Law Office of Asaph Abrams
    Law Office of Asaph Abrams | Asaph Abrams
    It's incumbent upon both joint petitioners to be familiar with their finances prior to filing. A certified interpreter may be available by phone at the Meeting of Creditors.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/28/2011
    Law Offices of Michael J. Berger
    Law Offices of Michael J. Berger | Michael J. Berger
    The first thing to do to prepare for the creditor's meeting is the same thing that you should do before you file your bankruptcy petition: Read your bankruptcy schedules carefully. It is typical for the trustee to ask each debtor if he or she read his bankruptcy schedules before filing them. The correct answer is yes. You are then asked if you listed all of your assets and if you listed all of your debts. You are required by bankruptcy law to list all of your assets and all of your debts. It is a good idea to take another look at your bankruptcy schedules after you have filed the case but before your first meeting of creditors to confirm that you have in fact listed all of your assets and all of your debts. If you did not, you should amend your bankruptcy schedules ASAP. A translator will generally be provided if you do not speak English. In Los Angeles, this is typically done by phone. If one spouse is more familiar with the couple's finances, he or she can be the primary question answerer at the first meeting of creditors. Both husband and wife are required to appear. Bring with you proof of your social security number ( a social security card is ideal) and a current driver's license. You will be asked for these documents. Your most recent tax returns should have been sent to the Trustee at least one week before the first meeting of creditors. You and your attorney should look carefully at the tax return and compare it to your bankruptcy schedules to be sure that it does not show that you have failed to list any asset in your bankruptcy schedules. Every hour, the Trustee will give a brief speech to the debtors, creditors, and attorneys assembled in the meeting room for the meetings of creditors. He will tell you that part of his job is "to find and liquidate assets for the benefit of creditors." This means that the Trustee is trying to find out if you have nonexempt assets that can be taken from you and sold for the benefit of creditors. A typical first meeting of creditors takes less than 5 minutes per creditor. Unusual cases can last much longer, and can be continued several times for the debtor to provide more information. After the trustee is finished asking you questions, creditors may examine you briefly. If you have a creditor that is very angry with you, such as a former spouse, a family member that is suing you, an ex partner, or someone that has already sued you for fraud, or someone that is owed a great amount of money, that creditor is more likely to show up to ask you questions. You should answer all questions truthfully. Failure to do so is a crime. Your bankruptcy attorney is in the best position to provide you with additional coaching to prepare you for your first meeting of creditors.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/28/2011
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis
    Indianapolis Bankruptcy Law Office of Eric C. Lewis | Eric Lewis
    Upon request, the Trustee's office will provided an interpreter. If she is not familiar with your finances, and doesn't ordinarily handle your finances, that's fine. She is only expected to talk about things she knows about.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 6/28/2011
    Burnham & Associates
    Burnham & Associates | Stephanie K. Burnham
    You should take some time to meet with an attorney to discuss what is going to happen. When you go to the meeting, you should let the Trustee know that your wife may need additional explanation because of her limited English. You also can have someone translate for her to make it easier for her to understand. Make sure you take the time to discuss all of your financials with your wife before you file, that you go over the Petition with her... and consider having an attorney assist you to make sure that you do not miss any exemptions or any steps.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 6/28/2011
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson
    Law Office of Lynnmarie A. Johnson | Lynnmarie Johnson
    You should talk to your bankruptcy attorney. You can ask that an interpreter be brought in, or under certain circumstances operate under a power of attorney for her.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/28/2011
    Evan M. Altman Attorney at Law
    Evan M. Altman Attorney at Law | Evan M. Altman
    They have interpreters via phone when you get to the 341.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/28/2011
    Bird & VanDyke, Inc.
    Bird & VanDyke, Inc. | David VanDyke
    As long as your petition is accurate and complete you shouldn't have any problems. If you failed to disclose all of your assets and debts or failed to answer and complete all portions of the petition then the trustee will have a lot of questions. He or she may continue the hearing so you can amend the documents or for you to provide him or her further documentation concerning your assets such as checking account statements, appraisals, photos, etc. If your wife does not speak english well she can testify over a telephone translation system. Also you must remember to bring your social security card and photo ID.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/28/2011
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall
    Bankruptcy Law office of Bill Rubendall | William M. Rubendall
    You should be familiar with the bankruptcy papers that were filed on your behalf. Persons whose first language is not English can have a translator service made available for free.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/28/2011
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus | Mark Markus
    Not speaking English is not a basis for denial of discharge. You should bring an interpreter with you to Trustee's meeting if your wife needs help (it cannot be you). She doesn't need to know about all the finances. She can always answer that her husband takes care of that, and she can just answer what she knows.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/28/2011
    Law Offices of Steven A. Wolvek
    Law Offices of Steven A. Wolvek | Steven A. Wolvek
    There will be a translator provided. She should have the paperwork read to her in her native language so she can answer the questions posed to her.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/28/2011
    Raxter Law
    Raxter Law | Jeremiah Raxter
    Your attorney will inform you what to prepare, and have ready at your 341 hearing. You wife (if she is filing) will have to sign a statement that she understands and is aware of everything in the bankruptcy petition. If she doesn't know about the finances now, she will after you/she files.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/28/2011
    Loveless Law Firm, LLP
    Loveless Law Firm, LLP | Andrea Loveless
    Not a problem. The court will provide an interpreter if needed. thank you!
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/28/2011
    Ursula G. Barrios Law
    Ursula G. Barrios Law | Guillermo Machado
    Consult a lawyer first. We specialize in bankruptcies and speak Spanish. Meeting of creditors is a piece of cake when your petition is done right and they offer free translators if needed. We fully prepare you for this uneventful event.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/28/2011
    Colorado Legal Solutions
    Colorado Legal Solutions | Stephen Harkess
    You can ask the Trustee to arrange for an interpreter so that your wife's language skills will not be a problem.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/28/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    First of all, if you do not have a lawyer, you should be VERY afraid. Cases without lawyers tend to go very badly. That is your big problem, not language. Second, if your spouse is unfamiliar with finances, she needs a good lawyer who can familiarize herself with the case. A lawyer will also review your filing and fix errors before the hearing. Courts provide translators. It is important to know how and when to alert the trustee. Your attorney will know how. You need a lawyer, badly.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/28/2011
    Symmes Law Group, PLLC
    Symmes Law Group, PLLC | Richard James Symmes
    When you attend a 341 meeting of creditors in accordance with filing bankruptcy, you will have the option of using a translator via phone so there is nothing to worry about. There is no real preparation needed for the meeting, talk to your bankruptcy attorney for more details.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/28/2011
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