Typical Questions Asked By The Trustee at the 341 Meeting of Creditors
1. State your name for the record. Is the address on the petition your current address?
2. Please provide your picture ID and Social Security number card for review.
a. If the documents are in agreement with the § 341(a) meeting notice, a suggested statement for the record is:
“I have viewed the original State of California drivers license (or other type of original photo ID) and original Social Security card (or other original document used for proof) and they match the name and Social Security number on the § 341(a) meeting notice.”
b. If the documents are not in agreement with the § 341(a) meeting notice, a suggested statement for the record is:
“I have viewed the original Social Security card (or other original document used for proof) and the number does not match the number on the § 341(a) meeting notice. I have instructed the debtor (or debtor’s counsel) to submit to the court an amended verified statement by [date], with notice of the correct number to all creditors, the United States Trustee, and the trustee; and to file with the court a redacted copy of the notice, showing only the last four digits of the Social Security number, and a certificate of service.”
c. When the documents do not match the petition, the trustee shall attempt to ascertain why and shall report the matter to the United States Trustee.
d. If the debtor did not bring proof of identity and Social Security number, the trustee shall determine why.
3. 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?
4. 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?
5. Are all of your assets identified on the schedules? Have you listed all of your creditors on the schedules?
6. 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.)
7. What is the address of your current employer?
8. Is the copy of the tax return you provided a true copy of the most recent tax return you filed?
9. Do you have a domestic support obligation? To whom? Please provide the claimant’s address and telephone number, but do not state it on the record. Are you current on your post-petition domestic support obligations?
10. Have you filed all required tax returns for the past four years?
SAMPLE GENERAL QUESTIONS
(To be asked when deemed appropriate.)
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 someone’s death?
If yes: Please explain the details.
If you become a beneficiary of anyone’s 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. FRBP 1007(h)
6. Does anyone owe you money?
If yes: Is the money collectible? Why haven’t 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 of the 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 else's 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 anticipate that you might realize 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?
Answer the questions asked. If you are asked a Yes or No question, answer with a “yes” or “no.” Don’t
elaborate. Don’t answer questions not asked. If clarification is required with a "yes" or "no" answer, make it very short. Volunteering information will almost never help you.
The Trustee may also ask how you reached the values on your assets and for more information about unusual assets or business interests. If the Trustee needs more information or documents that aren't available at the meeting, the meeting may be continued until another date when the information can be provided and any questions answered.
Lastly, try to relax. The Trustee is not a judge and realizes that you may be nervous. Your attorney will have your file and be able to assist you if any issues arise.