Specific questions about: 

Articles about general bankruptcy questions:

  1. Can I Discharge Income Tax Debts in Bankruptcy?
  2.  Will Filing for Bankruptcy Keep My Car from Being Repossessed?
  3. Will My Credit Be Ruined After Filing a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
  4. Can I Get a Credit Card After Filing Bankruptcy?
  5. How To Determine The Value Of Assets In A Bankruptcy Case?
  6. Chapter 7 Bankruptcy – How to Determine Eligibility?
  7. What is the Significance of Secured Debts in bankruptcy?
  8. What Happens to Joint Debt if Only One Spouse Files for Bankruptcy?
  9. Where do I need to file bankruptcy when I recently moved to a different state, and which exemptions do I have to use? (Video)
  10. What Happens if I Receive an Inheritance While in Bankruptcy?
  11. Treatment of Property Acquired Within 180 Days After Filing for Bankruptcy
  12. What is the difference: Cancelled Debt, Discharged Debt and Charged off Debt?

General Bankruptcy Questions:

What happens if I don’t show up for the 341 meeting?

If you do not appear at the 341 meeting or also called creditors’ meeting, the case will be continued once. If you do not go to the continued meeting, in a chapter 13, the trustee will request dismissal of your case, sometimes in a chapter 7, you might get another continuance. You can get a continuance if you have a good reason for not showing up.

However, if you have not attended the 341 meeting twice and the court dismissed your case, the dismissal order most likely will bar your from re-filing a bankruptcy case for 180 days. If that happens, you can file a motion to waive the bar, but you need to have a good reason why you were unable to attend the 341 meeting.

Every so often, debtors actually want their case to be dismissed because the trustee discovered money. In these cases, the trustee will object to dismissing your case and even though you might not appear at continued 341 meetings the court will not dismiss your case.

What do I need to bring to the trustee’s meeting (341 meeting)?

You need to bring your social security card and picture ID. All other documents, such as a copy of your most recently filed tax return, pay stubs for the last 60 days and a copy of your bank statement that shows the balance as of the filing date, should have been provided to your bankruptcy attorney. Your attorney sends these documents to the trustee. If the trustee does not receive these documents within one week before the meeting, the meeting will most likely be continued.

Can the requirement to attend the 341 meeting be waived?

Yes, it can. Your bankruptcy attorney will need to contact the US Trustee’s office and inform the case trustee. The United States Trustee’s office will waive the requirement to attend the meeting if the debtor is not able to

Bankruptcy Attorney St. Louis Metro Area

Bankruptcy Attorney St. Louis Metro Area (Photo credit: BankruptcyLawyerStL)

attend because of medical condition, imprisonment, or military assignment.

What is the minimum monthly plan payment in a chapter 13 case?

The answer depends on your district. In St. Louis, it is $75 per month. However, the trustee might object to confirmation of your plan if you are proposing a plan that pays nothing to creditors. Even thought the First Circuit decided recently a Chapter 13 plan payment with no payments to creditors, the trustee in our district might object to confirmation of the plan. To avoid an objection, the debtor should try to work out a budget so that some payments to unsecured creditors can be made.

How do I calculate deadlines in a bankruptcy correctly?

Most deadlines were changed in 2009 to time periods that can be divided by 7. A 5 business day deadline was changed to a 7 day deadline. A 10 day deadline is changed to a 14 day deadline. If the end of a deadline falls on a week-end or holiday, the next business day will be the deadline.

My case got closed without discharge, what can I do?

If your case was closed without discharge, your bankruptcy attorney would need to file a motion to reopen the case. The court costs to reopen a case is $260. Most often the case was closed without a discharge because the second certificate was not filed with the court. Before you re-open the case complete the second certificate and file the certificate together with your motion to re-open your case. State in your motion the reason why the certificate was not filed timely.

Can my joint bankruptcy case severed, meaning split into two bankruptcy cases?

Yes, in pretty much all bankruptcy district it is possible to do, but not in our district, in the Eastern District of Missouri (St. Louis area). The judges in our district have never allowed to sever a case. However, if the denial to split the case is denied, the ruling could be appealed.

Can I same-sex married couple file a joint bankruptcy case?

Yes, it is possible. The U.S. Trustee’s office has not objected to joint case filed by a same sex couple. However, you want to make sure that you have a valid marriage license from the that the allows same sex marriages.

What happens with life insurance received prior or after filing of the bankruptcy case?

If the life insurance is received prior to filing of the bankruptcy case it can be used to pay any necessary and reasonable expenses. It also can be used to supplement retirement funds which are exempt in a bankruptcy case. If the money is not spend before filing, it will have to be listed on the schedules and will be an asset.
If the life insurance is received during the bankruptcy, the trustee could consider it as disposable income, which means income that is not necessary for the maintenance and support of the debtor. Your St. Louis bankruptcy attorney can file a motion to retain the insurance proceed either to pay for expenses or to fund the retirement account. This argument can be made when the spouse passed away and the surviving spouse lost her financial support she was receiving and will now need the insurance proceeds to supplement her retirement.  However, it depends on the specific facts of your case. The trustee might object to the motion to retain if the surviving spouse has sufficient income to pay her expenses. In this case, the proceed will have to be turned over to the trustee. The payments would not reduce your ongoing plan payment, it will be in addition to your monthly payments.

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