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341 meeting this coming Monday and nervous!

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  • 341 meeting this coming Monday and nervous!

    I just found this forum a couple days ago (wish I had found much sooner).

    Its been a tremendous stress-reliever reading other people and their 341 meetings and that it went without a hiccup.

    I filed back in November and my 341 is this coming Monday. Despite reading the success and that it should be stress free and despite my lawyer stating i have nothing to worry about, I'm still really nervous.

    I filed because of being in debt with maxed out credit cards and not being able to pay back loans that I took to try and pay off those bills. It was a snowball effect.

    Its embarrassing because this wasn't medical related nor I lost my job. It came from bad spending habits built through the years.

    So I'm really nervous to how to answer the trustee when he asks "Why did I file for bankruptcy?"

    I have a tendency to ramble, any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    I've made drastic changes to my life after filing, I don't spend out of my means anymore and learned to FINALLY be on a budget.

    I want this ordeal over and done with so I can move on with my life (want to apply for jobs in Chicago and move from NJ) and start fresh.

    I try to think about other things so I won't dwell on the meeting coming Monday.

  • #2
    Originally posted by nj1979 View Post
    I just found this forum a couple days ago (wish I had found much sooner).
    Welcome to bkforum! Glad you found us now!

    Originally posted by nj1979 View Post
    I filed because of being in debt with maxed out credit cards and not being able to pay back loans that I took to try and pay off those bills. It was a snowball effect.

    Its embarrassing because this wasn't medical related nor I lost my job. It came from bad spending habits built through the years.).
    Don't be embarrassed. You are in good company! Of course, I'm biased because I am part of the company. Even though dealing with my far underwater mortgage that was about to go past the 5 year interest only period is what led me to decide to file BK, with all the credit card debt, it was only a matter of time. My bad decisions started when I was in college, filling out one of those credit card applications that were all over campus. Little by little, over 20+ years, I let my debt build, then started playing the balance transfer game until that was no longer an option. Finding a solution for my mortgage may be what led me to BK, but if it weren't for all that credit card debt, I could have afforded the mortgage.

    Originally posted by nj1979 View Post
    So I'm really nervous to how to answer the trustee when he asks "Why did I file for bankruptcy?"
    First of all, not all trustees ask that. Mined didn't. If he does ask, just say "I can no longer pay my debts." Or, ask your attorney what he suggests you say.

    Originally posted by nj1979 View Post
    I have a tendency to ramble, any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Stay focused on the question and answer only the question asked. Do not say more than is needed to accurately answer a question.

    For example "I can no longer pay my debts" answers the question. There is no need to say, "I filed because of being in debt with maxed out credit cards and not being able to pay back loans that I took to try and pay off those bills. It was a snowball effect." Not that that particular answer would hurt anything, but it is always best to say as little as needed.

    Whatever your answer is to that particular question, assuming you don't admit to fraudulently incurring debt, you won't be denied a discharge based on your answer. So, as an extreme example, don't say something like "I wanted to buy nice things and go on extravagant vacations, so I maxed out my credit cards knowing I could just file bankruptcy and never have to pay".

    Originally posted by nj1979 View Post
    I've made drastic changes to my life after filing, I don't spend out of my means anymore and learned to FINALLY be on a budget.
    Excellent. That will help you make the most of your fresh start to make sure you don't wind up back where you were.


    Originally posted by nj1979 View Post
    I want this ordeal over and done with so I can move on with my life (want to apply for jobs in Chicago and move from NJ) and start fresh.
    As Frogger would say "patience grasshopper". You will get your discharge before you know it.


    Originally posted by nj1979 View Post
    I try to think about other things so I won't dwell on the meeting coming Monday.
    Good idea. Dwelling on the meeting won't help. It is normal to be nervous. I was a little abnormal because I was not nervous at all in the days before the meeting. But, as soon as I stepped off the elevator on the floor where the meeting took place, my stomach turned to butterflies. My actual meeting lasted about 2 minutes.

    If your attorney told you that you have nothing to worry about, then you have nothing to worry about. I can't wait for you to post Monday how easy it was and how you can't believe how nervous you were. I won't wish you good luck, because you don't need it! Enjoy the next few days and envision how great a debt free life will be and what it will be like to start a new job in Chicago.
    LadyInTheRed is in the black!
    Filed Chap 13 April 2010. Discharged May 2015.
    $143,000 in debt discharged for $36,500, including attorneys fees. Money well spent!

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by LadyInTheRed View Post
      Welcome to bkforum! Glad you found us now!



      Don't be embarrassed. You are in good company! Of course, I'm biased because I am part of the company. Even though dealing with my far underwater mortgage that was about to go past the 5 year interest only period is what led me to decide to file BK, with all the credit card debt, it was only a matter of time. My bad decisions started when I was in college, filling out one of those credit card applications that were all over campus. Little by little, over 20+ years, I let my debt build, then started playing the balance transfer game until that was no longer an option. Finding a solution for my mortgage may be what led me to BK, but if it weren't for all that credit card debt, I could have afforded the mortgage.



      First of all, not all trustees ask that. Mined didn't. If he does ask, just say "I can no longer pay my debts." Or, ask your attorney what he suggests you say.


      Stay focused on the question and answer only the question asked. Do not say more than is needed to accurately answer a question.

      For example "I can no longer pay my debts" answers the question. There is no need to say, "I filed because of being in debt with maxed out credit cards and not being able to pay back loans that I took to try and pay off those bills. It was a snowball effect." Not that that particular answer would hurt anything, but it is always best to say as little as needed.

      Whatever your answer is to that particular question, assuming you don't admit to fraudulently incurring debt, you won't be denied a discharge based on your answer. So, as an extreme example, don't say something like "I wanted to buy nice things and go on extravagant vacations, so I maxed out my credit cards knowing I could just file bankruptcy and never have to pay".

      Excellent. That will help you make the most of your fresh start to make sure you don't wind up back where you were.


      As Frogger would say "patience grasshopper". You will get your discharge before you know it.


      Good idea. Dwelling on the meeting won't help. It is normal to be nervous. I was a little abnormal because I was not nervous at all in the days before the meeting. But, as soon as I stepped off the elevator on the floor where the meeting took place, my stomach turned to butterflies. My actual meeting lasted about 2 minutes.

      If your attorney told you that you have nothing to worry about, then you have nothing to worry about. I can't wait for you to post Monday how easy it was and how you can't believe how nervous you were. I won't wish you good luck, because you don't need it! Enjoy the next few days and envision how great a debt free life will be and what it will be like to start a new job in Chicago.
      Ladyinthered, thank you thank you thank you for your informative and thoughtful response.

      Your story struck a chord with me. Sorry about the stress that put on you and hope you got to keep your place. I'm renting but can't fathom how harder it is when having property. Yeah I thought I could dig myself out of it and to deal with it, I started drinking heavily and led to me getting a DWI last November. But these two events have changed my life and unfortunately it had to happen this way but it did.

      That's awesome you weren't nervous at all for your 341 meeting and lasted only two minutes! I hope mine doesn't last long because its as straight chapter 7 and only thing I own is a beat down 2006 Toyota Corolla that's been paid off for several years.

      And thanks so much for the "I can no longer pay my debts" response. I think I'll go with that since its straight forward and short.

      Ive read to stick mostly to yes and no answers.

      Thanks for the kind words and yes I'll post when I'm completed w/ this on Monday.

      Comment


      • #4
        Yes, I kept my house. I've never missed a payment, at least not on the first mortgage. The 2nd mortgage is being stripped. That alone is worth a five year Chap 13. I bought my house in 2005 for $355,000. In the next couple of years, the value increased by about 20%. The second mortgage was $88,000 of the purchase price. At the time I filed BK in 2010, the Assessor had lowered the assessed value to $190,000 as of July 2009. After I filed, the assessed value dropped further to $185,000 as of July 2010. According to Zillow, the value hit bottom at $148,000 in May of 2011. The assessed value has been increasing and was $250,000 as of July 2014. The balance of my first mortgage is about $240,000. Zillow says my house is now worth $279,000. The Zillow value was lower than the assessed value from 2009 through 2012, but was significantly higher for 2013 and 2014. It's hard to know which is more accurate. It is in the assessor's best interest to have a high value. I'll see what they think it is worth this year.

        Point being, when I finish my BK, the $88K second mortgage will be gone and it looks like I will have a little bit of equity. My first mortgage is adjustable and the rate is very low right now. So, I hope that rates won't rise too quickly in the next couple of years and values keep rising so that I can refinance at a reasonable fixed rate which was my plan before the market crashed. Even if I am stuck with the adjustable mortgage for awhile, there is a cap on the interest rate so I know where the top end is and that I can handle it since I won't have a 2nd mortgage to pay.

        Yes, homeownership can be a burden. Last year, the a water main broke and had to spend $1,500 to replace it. Luckily, I had managed to build a bit of a savings to cover it, but that took most of it. I have been deferring maintenance that needs to get done soon. But, I love my little house and my garden. While it would be nice to call the landlord when something goes wrong, it is also nice to not have to answer to a landlord and to know that by the time I retire, my house will be paid off.

        2 to 5 minute 341s are the norm. You have nothing to worry about.

        If your short response results in a follow up question like, "why can't you pay your debts". Just say, "I made some bad decisions and got in over my head." I doubt there will be a follow up, but it's good to be prepared just in case. Just keep your responses to that kind of question short and vague. There is no reason to go into detail unless needed to answer a very specific question.

        Have a great weekend!
        LadyInTheRed is in the black!
        Filed Chap 13 April 2010. Discharged May 2015.
        $143,000 in debt discharged for $36,500, including attorneys fees. Money well spent!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by LadyInTheRed View Post
          .
          2 to 5 minute 341s are the norm. You have nothing to worry about.

          If your short response results in a follow up question like, "why can't you pay your debts". Just say, "I made some bad decisions and got in over my head." I doubt there will be a follow up, but it's good to be prepared just in case. Just keep your responses to that kind of question short and vague. There is no reason to go into detail unless needed to answer a very specific question.
          What LITR said.

          In any legal proceeding, the less said the better, but respond with facts and above all be honest because you will be under oath. Try not to go beyond one sentence in response for each question. Let your attorney know about your tendency to ramble. You and your attorney should arrive at least 30 minutes before your 341 to go over your petition and give you a little coaching on what to say and not to say to the trustee. Your attorney should be familiar with the trustee and how he/she runs their 341s. The majority of 341s are short and sweet. Mine was 10 minutes and the only sticky point was a licensing issue regarding my wife's self-employment and that was quickly resolved. Also, the less you have going on in your financial life, the easier your 341 will be.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by LadyInTheRed View Post
            Yes, I kept my house. I've never missed a payment, at least not on the first mortgage. The 2nd mortgage is being stripped. That alone is worth a five year Chap 13. I bought my house in 2005 for $355,000. In the next couple of years, the value increased by about 20%. The second mortgage was $88,000 of the purchase price. At the time I filed BK in 2010, the Assessor had lowered the assessed value to $190,000 as of July 2009. After I filed, the assessed value dropped further to $185,000 as of July 2010. According to Zillow, the value hit bottom at $148,000 in May of 2011. The assessed value has been increasing and was $250,000 as of July 2014. The balance of my first mortgage is about $240,000. Zillow says my house is now worth $279,000. The Zillow value was lower than the assessed value from 2009 through 2012, but was significantly higher for 2013 and 2014. It's hard to know which is more accurate. It is in the assessor's best interest to have a high value. I'll see what they think it is worth this year.

            Point being, when I finish my BK, the $88K second mortgage will be gone and it looks like I will have a little bit of equity. My first mortgage is adjustable and the rate is very low right now. So, I hope that rates won't rise too quickly in the next couple of years and values keep rising so that I can refinance at a reasonable fixed rate which was my plan before the market crashed. Even if I am stuck with the adjustable mortgage for awhile, there is a cap on the interest rate so I know where the top end is and that I can handle it since I won't have a 2nd mortgage to pay.

            Yes, homeownership can be a burden. Last year, the a water main broke and had to spend $1,500 to replace it. Luckily, I had managed to build a bit of a savings to cover it, but that took most of it. I have been deferring maintenance that needs to get done soon. But, I love my little house and my garden. While it would be nice to call the landlord when something goes wrong, it is also nice to not have to answer to a landlord and to know that by the time I retire, my house will be paid off.

            2 to 5 minute 341s are the norm. You have nothing to worry about.

            If your short response results in a follow up question like, "why can't you pay your debts". Just say, "I made some bad decisions and got in over my head." I doubt there will be a follow up, but it's good to be prepared just in case. Just keep your responses to that kind of question short and vague. There is no reason to go into detail unless needed to answer a very specific question.

            Have a great weekend!
            That's awesome you don't have second mortgage to pay on that and like you said ive learned to start having emergency savings (have to get to six months of savings for emergencies). Hope you can refinance soon.

            So I had my 341 today and like you and other said, it was a breeze. I was nervous when I entered the courtroom but met with my lawyer 30 mins prior and she told me to state to the question "why i had to file for BR" and said to state that financial situation and high interest on credit cards and pay interest and took out loans to pay for them.

            I got lucky w/ the trustee, he's really nice and didn't ask many questions. It took just five minutes. Just asked the basic questions if I need to amend my petition etc, if i have transferrred property and will be inheriting money soon.

            After the last question "when i last filed taxes" he said "you will get discharge in 60 days" and wish me luck.

            Just like that I'm in the 60 day club!

            Thanks so much for the help on this forum and I'm going to be reading a lot on here on how to rebuild my credit. I can finally start looking for jobs in Chicago!

            Comment


            • #7
              Congratulations and welcome to the 60 day club!
              LadyInTheRed is in the black!
              Filed Chap 13 April 2010. Discharged May 2015.
              $143,000 in debt discharged for $36,500, including attorneys fees. Money well spent!

              Comment

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