Indiana Bankruptcy Lawyers Offer All-or-Something Advice – Part Three

November 10, 2012 5:00 pm Published by

The theme for this weeks’ Bankruptcy in Indiana is “all or something”, meaning that while bankruptcy law may consist of fairly simple rules, real life situations are rarely simple or cookie-cutter.  In fact, at the five Zuckerberg bankruptcy law offices, the essence of our work, both prior to and during a bankruptcy, is to work through all the complex details in each individual case in order to achieve the most favorable outcome possible.

Earlier this week, we saw how Denise in Ohio was able to keep most of, but not all of, her annuity structured settlement payments exempt from creditors’ claims, and how Deborah in Kentucky was able to repay her 401(k) loan before using that income to pay creditors.

Interestingly, today’s story, which was found by one of my Richmond bankruptcy lawyer colleagues, IS about an all-or-nothing situation.  That’s because, when it comes to telling the truth to the bankruptcy court, it must be the “whole truth and nothing but.”

Before explaining what happened at that North Carolina bankruptcy creditors’ meeting that caused the bankruptcy case to go wrong and to have a discharge denied, let me explain that somewhere between Day #20 and Day #40 after bankruptcy documents have been filed with the court, a creditors’ meeting is held.

  • At the creditors meeting, William, the debtor, said he owned a horse trailer, but that it had never been titled in his name.  He totally failed to disclose that he had around $3000 in 70 tools that he kept inside the trailer.
  • That meant he’d made a statement under oath that was false.
  • Also, they found, William had moved the trailer and tools from his backyard shed about two months prior to filing the bankruptcy. 
  • The tools were auctioned off and creditors got more money, but the man was not able to save his own fresh start”.

As a bankruptcy lawyer in Indiana for almost twenty-five years, I've attended countless creditors' meetings along with my clients. In fact, a big part of the work I do is helping folks gather all the required documents and information, fill out the forms correctly, and then go over the questions that might come up at the creditors' meeting. Generally speaking, the bankruptcy trustee will first ask about the reasons you filed bankruptcy – was it a business failure, an illness with high medical costs, loss of a job, a divorce, or a combination of several of these factors? The trustee will ask you to verify that all your assets are listed on the forms, and will want to know how the value of those assets was determined.

Now, in any situation, for real compromise to take place, everyone has to have the same information, and that information needs to be correct and honestly portrayed. It’s the same with bankruptcy in Indiana.





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This post was written by Mark Zuckerberg

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