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341 meeting tomorrow- nervous & questions about local creditor & schedule J amendment

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  • 341 meeting tomorrow- nervous & questions about local creditor & schedule J amendment

    Tomorrow is our 341. I'm a little nervous as a local creditor could show up- and I'm trying to prepare myself for that. What is the procedure if he does show up? Do we get our turn w/the trustee first, and then he will ask if there are any creditors present? If he does come what is/isn't he allowed to ask us? If he gets out of hand or starts using up a lot of time, will the trustee cut him off? Will the trustee ask questions with him, or based off of what he asks?
    Also, we have had lots of changes in our lives since we filed- my husband just changed jobs and makes a little more, but I cut back my hours and am making less, we have better health insurance, but higher premiums, we pay less in childcare, but more in preschool tuition, our schedule J mentions medical expenses for me being pregnant, but I had a 2nd trimester miscarriage so that no longer applies. We mentioned all of these things to our lawyer, expecting to have to amend our schedule J and he said he doesn't think it matters and that we will discuss it right before the 341. Does this seem okay? I think with all of these changes, if we did amend our schedule J we would still be far in the red- maybe just about $300 less in the red, but still over 1k. It just seems to me we would have to mention those changes, and I would have rather amended schedule J than have to do a lot of explaining to the trustee at the 341. I'd rather not have the whole room knowing I had a miscarriage. Is it likely the trustee will ask if I am still pregnant or when I am due, etc?

  • #2
    Hi sealpup,

    I'm sorry about the miscarriage.

    It's okay to bring new info to a 341 and submit amended schedules afterward. Your attorney may be planning to mention the changes to the trustee and if the trustee wants to see amended schedules, they will be submitted after the fact. It's not always required.

    Perhaps your attorney is thinking that since dh's income is up and yours is down, there is no real change to overall income. Some expenses went up, some went down, and minimal change in terms of your overall expenses. It may be a case of six of one, half dozen of the other. If gas prices go up between filing and the 341, it's not really necessary to adjust the schedule - especially if you're already over $1000 in the red.

    Even though this night before the 341 is a long one, I hope you can just relax and wait until you have a chance to talk to your attorney. I don't believe the changes you describe put your case at risk and I don't think the trustee will ask you specific questions about your health or pregnancy.

    Wishing you the best.
    There are two secrets for success in life:
    1.) Never tell everything you know.


    • #3
      sealpup, I agree with debee (who doesn't, right?).

      I spoke to a court clerk recently about filing an amended Schedule J (with minor adjustments that didn't materially impact the bottom line) and she told me not to file the amendment (of course she was offering legal advice that she wasn't supposed to be offering which many of them seem to do for pro se filers)...and told me that if the Trustee wanted the amended schedule after hearing the issues, he would ask for it. She was even doubtful he would ask for it since the value at the bottom of that schedule (disposable income) is far below $0.00. Whether this is good advice is yet to be determined since I've not had my 341 yet, but from what I've read here, the Trustees are interested in material changes...i.e. changes that would make a difference in their thinking about the case or whether assets are available for creditors.

      Specifically to the point of creditor questions: an attorney I spoke to today told me that a Trustee (in the event you don't have an attorney present) would likely step in and stop a creditor from asking you about details not associated with that creditor's debt. Asking how you became unable to pay is not part that as I understand it, for instance.

      Others would have to weigh in on the issue of how/when a creditor is involved in the 341 meeting itself.


      • #4
        I agree with debee re: changes. Just discuss it with your attorney before the 341. If you need to, you'll be able to amend the schedules.

        As far as the creditors go, they are limited in what they can ask. I believe their questions are limited to questions about your assets and/or transfers of assets, and possibly questions about transactions they think were fraudulent (you purchased something right before filing that you knew you weren't going to be paying for, etc.) Don't worry. From accounts on this forum, trustees are good about shutting creditors down if they attempt to do more than they are allowed under law. Also, trustees usually have a fairly full docket, and they don't allow creditors more than a couple of minutes for questioning.

        Try to get a good night's sleep, hard as that may be. Good luck, and let us know how your 341 goes.
        Filed pro se, made it through the 341, discharged, Closed!!!


        • #5
          Mostly the trustees get little pay from ch7 no asset cases, 60 dollars, so they really don't want a creditor taking up a lot of their time, they want to churn through no asset cases.


          • #6
            That was not nearly as painful as I was expecting! My husband and I walked out of there thinking "that's it, really, we're done??" We got there early, met w/our lawyer, and went over a couple of the questions on the trustee info sheet. He told us he didn't think we needed to amend schedule J, but to obviously answer the trustee's questions truthfully. We went in a bit early and were able to see 2 cases before us. One was a couple, probably in there late 30's-mid 40's. They appeared to be pro se and painfully bad at it. They said they didn't think they needed to list their vehicle in the filing b/c they owned it and were not making payments. The trustee asked info about the vehicle and noted it in his files. The man became nervous and then asked if they were going to have to surrender their car. The trustee was surprisingly nice and patient and told them no, that it fell w/in their exepmptions. But he told them they needed to go amend their filing to show the vehicle. They said they had no income in 2009, but had cashed out an IRA, which was also not listed in the filing. Trustee also told them where to amend this and to do it within 10 days. The male again became nervous and said he needed to write all that down to remember it, but he didn't have a pen. Again, the trustee was patient and let them borrow his pen. I think they were lucky the trustee was so nice!
            The next couple was elderly and the trustee had to talk really loud b/c the woman could not hear him. They had a lawyer who kept smiling all the time. Their case was pretty cut and dry and the trustee didn't second guess anything with them.
            Then it was our turn- he asked us the same questions he asked everyone else. The worst thing that happened was he scolded me for not speaking louder for the recording (sorry I am kind of soft spoken and feel like I am being rude otherwise), but I can take that. No creditors showed up for us, or anyone else that we watched. The trustee really didn't question or second guess anything in our case. I'm guessing this is a good sign? If he was going to have an issue w/something we put on our schedule J- would he have said so there?? Can I pretty much assume in the trustee's eyes we are good to go, it's just a matter of waiting the 60 days now to see if anyone objects?


            • #7
              Thanks sealpup for your update! Now just relax and wait for report of no distribution, discharge and case closed!
              Filed/discharged/closed Chapter 7 in 2010!


              • #8
                sealpup, others will weigh in, but unless the Trustee or your attorney thinks you need to amend Schedule J, then don't amend it. At this point, if it's not material, then don't draw attention to yourself. As one other poster here put it, Trustees are like hammers, they are looking for the nails that are sticking out. You've made over the hump and it's just a 60-day waiting game for you we hope.


                • #9
                  Yes, ma'am. You made it through. Welcome to the 60 Day Club!
                  "To go bravely forward is to invite a miracle."

                  "Worry is the darkroom where negatives are formed."


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