HOW TO ANSWER A BANKRUPTCY TRUSTEE INFORMATION SHEET
In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy you will need to know how to answer a Trustee Information Sheet. After the bankruptcy case is filed, a meeting of creditors takes place in about thirty days. Before or at the meeting of creditors, various documents will be required to be submitted to the Trustee. One such document is the Trustee Information Sheet.
THE PURPOSE OF THE TRUSTEE INFORMATION SHEET
The purpose of the Trustee Information Sheet, and almost everything else submitted to the Trustee, is to assist the Trustee in determining if any non-exempt assets can be collected. Once collected, the assets would be administered for distribution to creditors in an order of priority. The Trustee Information Sheet is answered as of the filing date.
This is why skillful pre-bankruptcy planning is necessary to minimize the amount, if any, turned over by the debtor to the Trustee.
QUESTIONS TO ANSWER
- The first question is Cash on hand and Undeposited checks. How much cash does one have at the time of filing? Usually not very much. More concerning may be undeposited checks.
- Question number 2 is bank account balances on the date of filing. All bank statements reflecting the balance of all bank accounts on the date of filing are answered here. One cannot assert that there are additional checks outstanding to reduce the balance. The balance is the amount reflected in the bank statement.
- The third question is wages owed. The answer is divided into two parts. The total, and the non-exempt portion, i.e., the portion the Trustee can require to be turned over. An employee is almost always owed money by his/her employer on the date of filing. The paystubs received after the filing will normally state the days of work that are being paid. Looking at the calendar you can determine how many workdays were earned and unpaid. So, for example, if you worked ten days in a paycheck and three days were earned on the date of filing, then thirty percent of the net paycheck was owed on the date of filing. In Colorado, the non-exempt portion would normally be twenty percent of that amount.
- Vacation pay owed. Here you determine the net amount of vacation pay you would be paid if you quit on the date of the filing.
- Question 5 concerns tax refunds. Owed tax refunds are a major source of monies that could be turned over to the trustee. The Trustee will often keep the case open until after the upcoming tax returns are filed. Then, the tax refund earned and unpaid on the date of filing may be an asset of the bankruptcy estate.
- For question 6, is the debtor going to be entitled to insurance proceeds, inheritance, or divorce property settlement within the next six months?
- Question 7 requires any stock, partnership interests, or other security interests to be disclosed.
- Hobby items and collectibles are listed in Question 8.
- Question 9 requires you to list firearms. Firearms are not an exempt asset unless it is a tool of the trade, e.g., a cop’s service weapon.
- Season tickets? If marketable the Trustee will sell them.
- Question 11 requests unsecured creditors paid more than $600 in the 90 days leading up to the date of filing. For those creditors, the Trustee will determine if the creditor can be required to turnover the payments as a creditor preference.
- Transfers. Question 12 deals with transfers to insiders, usually friends or relatives, within one year of the date of filing. Those transfers have no minimum amount requirement. The recipient can be forced to turn over the funds.
- Question 13 deals with vehicles the debtor owns. The trustee will be particularly interested to see when the purchase was made.
- The amounts paid to the attorney are listed in Question 14.
- Are your car and home insured? If so, when are the policy expiration dates.
- Does the Debtor have any support obligations for child support or maintenance?
- The debtor must notify the Court of his/her current address throughout the life of the case.
Finally, do not guess. You are declaring under penalty of perjury that the answers you give are true and complete.
Have your financial situation considered by an experienced bankruptcy attorney and former Trustee for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. Call or contact LONG & LONG P.C.now at 303-832-2655, or www.denverbankruptcylawyer.net.
LONG & LONG P.C.