Some Tips to Help You Get Through Your 341 Creditor Meeting

 

No Need to Be Afraid of Your 341 Creditor Meeting

Transcript:

Hi, bankruptcy attorney at Clear Counsel Law Group. My name’s Matt McArthur. Today I want to talk to you a little bit about 341 meetings of creditors.

You might hear this meeting called different names, a 341 meeting, a meeting of creditors.

It’s all the same thing. What it is is a chance for you to meet down at the courthouse with your chapter trustee.

If you filed a Chapter 7, you’ll be with the Chapter 7 trustee. If you’ve done a Chapter 13, likewise, you’ll be meeting with the Chapter 13 trustee. Now creditors can also attend this meeting. That’s actually the purpose, the main purpose of the meeting.

The meeting is for most cases a bit of a misnomer.

Creditors rarely show up to these meetings.

Probably less than one percent of cases actually have a creditor show up.

When they do show up, the questions are pretty mild. They’re not very hard hitting questions to be answered.

What usually happens is you and your attorney and your chapter trustee will be present at this meeting of creditors.

You’ll be sworn in.

 

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A Few Helpful 341 Creditor Meeting Tips

You’ll need your ID and Social Security Card with you at the meeting.

Once you’re sworn in, you’re going to be asked a series of questions under oath.

These questions are pretty easy to answer.

As long as you tell the truth, you have nothing to worry about.

You’re going to be answering questions like, “Have you ever filed bankruptcy before? Uh, did you review all the paperwork that your attorney prepared? Did you sign it? Did you list everything that you own and everyone you owe money to in it?”

Those are the types of questions you’ll be answering.

Now you’re not going to be appearing in front a judge. The black robbed figure with the gavel is not going to be there.

That individual that is assigned to your case does exist. You’ll probably never appear in front of a judge in the scary courtroom.

What usually happens is we’ll meet in a side room downstairs with the trustee, who’s usually another attorney, who is randomly assigned to your case to make sure we’ve fulfilled all the filing requirements, we’ve submitted all the documents, and all the information that’s required to be submitted.

You don’t have to get dressed up for this, because you’re not appearing in front of the judge.

There’s a recording device, so you need to provide audible answers.

Shaking your head up and down or side to side usually isn’t sufficient.

You’ll want to make sure your phone’s on silent.

Otherwise, it’s a pretty easy meeting. Again, if you’re at all nervous or anxious about this, please don’t be.

Like I said, as long as you tell the truth, you’ll be well prepared for this meeting.

If you have an upcoming 341, I look forward to seeing you there.

If you haven’t filed bankruptcy yet, and you’re just … You just like to learn about bankruptcy, I look forward to meeting with you soon. We’ll get the process started. I’m Matt McArthur at Clear Counsel Law Group.

I look forward to seeing you soon.

In Bankruptcy, What is a 341 Meeting of Creditors?

 

What Does the 341 Meeting of Creditors Entail?

Transcript:

Hi, Matt McArthur, bankruptcy attorney at Clear Counsel Law Group. Today I want to talk a little bit about the 341 meeting of creditors. You may hear it just referred to as simply as your court date, 341 meeting, or a meeting of creditors or all of it together.

It’s all the same thing. What it is is a chance for your creditors to meet with you down at the courthouse and ask you questions under oath. I would say that a typical 341 meeting of creditors has zero creditors present.

It’s extremely unusual for the creditors to show up. In less than 1% of cases, typically, a creditor will actually show up. When they do, their questions are usually fairly benign. They’re not very hard-hitting questions.

At the 341 meeting, what usually happens is it will be me, your attorney, your bankruptcy trustee, and you.

What Happens at the 341 Meeting?

Your trustee is going to ask you a series of questions to determine that you’ve complied with all the filing requirements for the bankruptcy, that we filled out all the paperwork correctly and submitted the supporting documentation, and to see whether or not there is any assets or other types of property that you may own that you unintentionally left off of your bankruptcy paperwork. If there is anything to be amended, they’ll make note of that.

These meetings typically last about 4 or 5 minutes. These can get complicated.

 

341 meeting, las vegas, nevada

 

If creditors do show up, you may be required to spend a little bit more time than usual answering the questions. For the vast majority of people, this is a very simple, straightforward meeting. It’s very summary in nature.

You’re going to be asking questions like, “Did you review all the paper with your attorney? Did you sign it? Is everything truthful and accurate?” Those are the types of questions that you can expect receiving from the bankruptcy trustee.

If you have any questions about this meeting, or if you’re nervous about this, don’t be. There is a judge in your case.

You will not be meeting the judge, the black robed figure with the gavel in the scary courtroom is not where this is going to take place.

It’s in a small side room, typically, at the bankruptcy courthouse with a trustee who is another court official, usually another attorney, like I said, who has been assigned to your case to determine that you’ve fulfilled all the filing requirements.

Hope to hear from you soon.

If you have any questions about this, I hope that this video puts you at ease and lets you know that this meeting is nothing to fear as long as you tell the truth.

I look forward to hearing from you soon, and if you have an upcoming 341, seeing you there soon.

 

An Emergency Bankruptcy Petition May Help You In a Pinch

Consider an Emergency Bankruptcy Petition if You Have Serious Trouble

Transcript:

Hi Matt McArthur, bankruptcy attorney at Clear Counsel Law Group.

Today I want to address a particular form that’s filed by the bankruptcy court when you file an emergency bankruptcy case.

Now there may be many reasons for filing an emergency case, which would include wage garnishments, repossessions, foreclosures, and what an emergency bankruptcy case allows you to do is file in a very quick time frame.

If you need immediate relief from the bankruptcy so that you can avoid a wage garnishment, repossession, or other type of collection, this gets you in the door and gets those protections in place.

Now because it’s an emergency petition, there’s not a lot of time to prepare the complete bankruptcy filing in your case.

The court allows you to file this emergency petition, which is going to include very basic information; your name, it’ll have your address, it’ll have your attorney’s information, it’ll have a list of creditors that the notice of bankruptcy gets mailed out to.

 

emergency bankruptcy petition, las vegas, nevada

 

That’s basically it.

It doesn’t dive into the details of what assets you have, what your current monthly income and expenses are, or the other financial statements that we have to submit to the court.

The court wants the rest of this information to be filed, because that’s what the law says has to be filed in order for a bankruptcy to be complete.

Where there’s an emergency petition filed, there’s a document sent out to individuals that’s called notice of incomplete and/or deficient filing.

It’s a very scary sounding document and that’s by design because if you don’t file the rest of the documents in your case, typically within a two week time frame, but there’s an automatic dismissal after 45 days, the court will automatically dismiss your case.

Which means your case is closed and you don’t get the relief that you’re looking for when you file for bankruptcy.

Now as long as you file the necessary documents within the needed time frame, there is no concern over this document and if you’ve filed an emergency petition with our firm and received one of these notices, it’s something that we’re expecting to be filed and sent to you.

All you need to make sure that you have done is scheduled an appointment with our firm to come back in and file the rest of your bankruptcy case within a short period of time.

We’ll be expecting you to do that, so that we can get a full bankruptcy case filed, get you right on track and get you that bankruptcy discharge in no time.

If you have any more questions about this, please give us a call and let us know. Otherwise I look forward to hearing from you soon. I’m Matt McArthur, a bankruptcy attorney at Clear Counsel Law Group.

 

What To Do If You Omitted Debt From Your Bankruptcy

The Effect of Omitted Debt on Your Bankruptcy

Transcript:

Hi, Matt McArthur, bankruptcy attorney, Clear Counsel Law Group.

Today, I want to talk about omitted debts on your bankruptcy paperwork.

By omitted debt, what I really mean, is that when we file your bankruptcy case we have to compile a list of your creditors.

We create this list with their names, their addresses, the amounts of the debt, if we have account numbers, and when the debt was created, or came into existence.

We list all of this information for the bankruptcy court. By an omitted debt we mean a debt or an amount owed to a creditor that wasn’t listed on this paperwork.

It was omitted. It was left off of the paperwork.

 

omitted debt, bankruptcy

 

Will an Omitted Debt Preclude You From Getting a Discharge?

What happens to these omitted debts?

If we’re in the middle of your bankruptcy case and your case is still pending, and we thought we got everybody at the beginning, but a bill came out of nowhere, or, you just remembered that old bill that you had before you moved states, and you wanted to make sure that they got included, it’s not too late.

If we’re in the middle of your bankruptcy case, the process involves amending the list that we’ve already created with the court, and so we provide that public notice, and we file that public document, and that public amendment, to your documents.

We also need to provide notice to the creditor that was omitted.

When we initially filed the list of your creditors, the bankruptcy court is going to mail out a notice of your bankruptcy to all of the listed creditors, and, because, this, particular creditor wasn’t on that list from the beginning, they didn’t receive that initial notice, so the two steps are making sure that the debt is listed in your bankruptcy forms and schedules, and, then, also, providing notice to the creditor, so that they know about their bankruptcy.

They can update their systems and they know to leave you alone.

It’s a fairly straight-forward process, but it’s something that needs to happen during the bankruptcy in order to make sure that we have it included and listed, and, it’s very clear that it was an included debt, and it’s included in the discharge.

If you have any concerns about what debts you owe, and whether or not we’ll be able to do anything about that, I have a little bit of more information to provide you, beyond the scope of this video, so, please come in and visit with me, consultations are free.

I look forward to hearing from you soon, and we can delve into how best to get all these creditors included in your bankruptcy.

 

Will Bankruptcy Help You With Post-Petition Debt?

(Editor’s note: Post-petition just means debt acquired after you filed for bankruptcy)

Be Careful Acquiring More Debt After Filing for Bankruptcy, a Discussion About Post-Petition Debt

Transcript:

Hi, Matt McArthur, bankruptcy attorney at Clear Counsel Law Group.

Today I want to talk about what types of debts can be wiped out in terms of when the debts are coming into existence. In other words, does the timing of when you got the debt affect whether or not we can wipe it out in bankruptcy.

We’re going to make the most basic breakdown of what types of debts are wiped out, and what types are not.

The Difference Between Post-Petition and Pre-Petition Debt

Generally speaking debts that existed when you filed bankruptcy can be wiped out, with certain exceptions of course.

Then debts that incurred or came into existence after you filed your case are not wiped out.

Those are never going to be able to be wiped out.

 

post-petition debt, nevada, bankruptcy

 

There’s no exception to that rule.

In other words, if you have what we call a post-petition debt, that means we filed your case, we submitted all the documents to the bankruptcy court.

That is the petition, that involves your petition and schedules, and so when we say post-petition, we mean after we turned in those papers.

Even if your bankruptcy case is still ongoing, it’s still pending, you still have to go to court, you’re still waiting for you discharge.

During the bankruptcy’s considered post-petition. A post-petition and after filing debt cannot be wiped out, ever. Most pre-petition debts can be wiped out with certain listed exceptions.

An Example of Post-Petition Debt

I want to give you an example of this. Let’s say you come in and you have $5,000 in medical debt that you want wiped out. When we submit your paperwork to the court, we’re going to have listed the $5,000 in medical debt that you owe at the time the paperwork is submitted.

Let’s say that the very next day, you unfortunately contract a deadly disease, and you have to go to the emergency room.

You have extensive medical treatment and services provided to you, and you rack up a huge bill.

In this unfortunate scenario, even though it’s one day after you filed your bankruptcy case, the new medical bills related from the treatment that was provided on that date, will not be able to be included in your bankruptcy case.

I hope this helps you understand the difference between pre-petition debt, and post-petition debt and just know that post-petition debt is not ever going to be wiped out so you want to be very careful with any new debt after you have filed for bankruptcy.

I’m Matt McArthur, hope to talk to you soon.

Do You Qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Nevada?

I Can Tell You if You Qualify for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

 

Transcript:

Hi I’m Matt McArthur, bankruptcy attorney at Clear Counsel Law Group. Today I want to discuss whether or not a person can qualify for chapter seven bankruptcy.

There’s a couple different requirements that we need to make sure that we are satisfying before we indeed say that you are eligible for a chapter seven discharge.

Do You Qualify: You May Need to Wait if You Filed Before

The first is if you’ve ever filed bankruptcy before, you do have to wait between filing a chapter seven bankruptcy.

If the bankruptcy was successfully discharged, you have to wait eight years between filing a new chapter seven case. In other words, if you’ve filed before chapter seven it was successful, wiped out the debt, you need to look back and see if within the last eight years your first case was filed.

The other more common issue that we run into is whether or not an individual qualifies for chapter seven bankruptcy based upon income requirements.

 

qualify for chapter 7 bankruptcy

 

Do You Qualify: The Chapter 7 Means Test

In order to determine whether or not somebody files for chapter seven bankruptcy based upon income, we have to do something called the chapter seven means test. This determines whether or not you have the means on paper to payback your creditors.

There’s different factors that go into determine whether or not an individual satisfies the chapter seven means test. It’s primarily based upon an individual’s income. We look at how much income a person has made during the last six months.

We also take a look at what their household size is and what their income is in comparison to the median household income in the state of Nevada for their household size.

An individual filing by themselves is going to have a low median income typically than an individual with four people in their household.

You can have, you can earn more money in a household of four than you can in a household of one and still be able to qualify for chapter seven bankruptcy.

This can be an extremely complicated analysis and in order to determine whether or not you qualify for sure based upon income limits, we need to do an income analysis.

We need to look at your last six months of pay stubs and we can give you a clear answer of whether or not you’re going to qualify for chapter seven bankruptcy.

Please come in. Visit with me.

Our consultations are free here at Clear Counsel Law Group for bankruptcy.

I’d love to meet with you and discuss whether or not you qualify for chapter seven bankruptcy.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

 

You Can Keep Your Retirement Account and File for Bankruptcy

 

 

What You Need to Know About Your Retirement Account and Bankruptcy

Transcript:

I’m Matt McArthur bankruptcy attorney at Clear Counsel Law Group. Today I want to address whether or not you’re able to keep your retirement account and file for chapter 7 bankruptcy.

As you know chapter 7 bankruptcy is a liquidation bankruptcy, meaning the court has the power to sell your assets that the law doesn’t allow you to protect.

I’m going to be addressing this from a Nevada law perspective, so if you’re filing bankruptcy in the state of Nevada and Nevada exemptions apply, this video will hold true to your situation.

Certain Retirement Accounts are Exempt

Generally speaking, we do have protections to protect retirement accounts whether it be a 401K, whether it’s an individual retirement accounts, or an IRA, or IRA, or 403B, or 457, or other types of qualified retirement account.

The law says that as long as it’s a qualified tax exempt retirement account, which all of those are, it will be exempt in the state of Nevada up to $500,000 of value.

It gives you a lot of wiggle room there. It’s with good reason that people are concerned about protecting their retirement account, this is your nest egg and you want to do everything in your power to protect.

You don’t want to jeopardize it by filing a bankruptcy and potentially lose it.

 

retirement account, bankruptcy

 

The good news is is Nevada has very generous exemptions for retirement accounts and in nearly all circumstances we’re able to protect that money that you’ve been so diligent in saving for your retirement in your golden years.

Your Retirement Account Needs to Keep its Tax Exempt Status

There are some circumstances where those types of accounts lose their tax exempt status, and if you’ve ever contributed more than the allowable amount per IRS standards and guidelines for your type of account in a given year then you may lose the tax exempt status for all of the money in the account and now the entire amount of the account is subject to liquidation.

This is a very bad scenario and something you want to avoid.

You would probably know if you’ve ever over contributed in a given year.

I’m sure the IRS would be asking for some tax dollars, so that would be a very good indication that you wouldn’t have a qualified tax exempt retirement account currently in place.

This can get a little complicated so I would love to sit down with you if you have any questions.

Please come in, do a free consultation with us, get the free advice, and I’ll give you very detailed, tailored information for your specific situation to help guide you through this very important issue.

I look forward to hearing from you soon. I’m Matt McArthur at Clear Counsel Law Group.

 

In Nevada, You Can Keep Your Car in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

 

Transcrpit:

Hi, Matt McArthur, attorney at Clear Counsel Law Group here. Today I want to address one of the most common questions we get, and it’s can I keep my car and file for chapter 7 bankruptcy?

The answer is usually yes.

It depends upon the circumstances.

We have different tools at our disposal to be able to help you be able to keep your car.

Now in determining what the best course of action is for you, we’re going to look at whether or not you’re current on your vehicle, on your current monthly payments or whether you’ve fallen behind.

We’ll then determine what the most appropriate tool that we have at our disposal is for helping you keep your car.

Now the most common type of issue in terms of keeping your car, or perhaps strategy of keeping your car, is what we call a retain and pay.

That’s because in the state of Nevada we’re no longer required to do reaffirmation agreements, which I’ll touch on in just a minute.

 

Let Me Explain How You Can Keep Your Car

The retain and pay option is where you’re current on your car and you just want to keep making payments to your lender. That is perfectly acceptable under Nevada law in most circumstances. If you want to keep your car, just keep making the payments and you shouldn’t have any issues with your car lender.

Once the car is eventually paid off they’ll release the title to you and you’ll have your car as you normally would as though you had never filed for bankruptcy.

In some circumstances it might make sense to do a reaffirmation agreement and that’s where you promise not to wipe out the car lender, the loan owed to the car lender, which would mean you’d still be responsible for the loan no matter what happens with your bankruptcy and you continue to make payments to the car lender just as you would under a simple retain and pay option.

Now if you’ve fallen behind on your car, we may be able to do a redemption, and we can sometimes do redemptions where you’re current on your car as well.

 

keep your car

 

I Will Now Explain Redemption

Think of redemption kind of like a refinance on your car.

Under that circumstance we would get a new lender to pay off the old loan and you start a new loan with the new lender in order to bring you current on your vehicle and to be able to start moving forward with affordable monthly payments for your car.

Now if you’re interested in any one of these options in a little bit more detail, we do have other videos on those specific subjects where we do dive into it a little deeper than this video.

For purposes of this video, the simple answer is there’s a way to keep your car in a chapter 7 in many circumstances, we have many different ways. If you’re concerned about keeping your car in a chapter 7, know that there’s a way to keep it and come and speak with me and I’ll give you the best advice for your particular financial situation.

Please come in and see me soon. Matt McArthur, bankruptcy attorney.

Our consultations are free.

I hope to hear from you soon.

 

A Bankruptcy Guide to Nevada, Step-By-Step

A Bankruptcy Guide, Step-By-Step
Transcript:

Hi, Matt McArthur attorney at Clear Counsel Law Group.

Today I’m going to give you a step-by-step process of moving forward with a bankruptcy with our office.

Step 1: Make an Appointment

The first step is to call the number that you’re going to see scrolling across the bottom of the screen there and schedule a consultation with our office.

Once you schedule that consultation, which is free, you will come in and meet with me and we will review your financial information together.

I’ll have you fill out a little packet that tells me about what type of assets, what property you own.

Maybe you own a car, maybe a house, maybe you have a bank account is all.

 

nevada bankruptcy guide

 

We’ll go over that information, we’ll go over what debts you owe.

I don’t need exact numbers and values for this initial consultation, this is just to kind of give us a rough bankruptcy guide on how to proceed.

Step 2: Bring the Necessary Documents

Once we’ve determined the rough guideline we will then chart a course for moving forward and actually filing your bankruptcy.

In order to file your bankruptcy I’m going to have to prepare a lot of paperwork for you.

These are detailed forms that are submitted to the bankruptcy court. In order to fill all these out I need some documents from you.

Typical documents that we need would be:

1. Six months of bank statements,

2. Six months of proof of income (like pay stubs),

3. The last couple years of tax returns, and

4. We’ll need you to take a credit counseling course before you are able to file your bankruptcy.

I can give you all that information on exactly what you need.

I’ll have a document checklist for you to go through and work on provided by my office.

Once I have those documents from you, I’ll prepare the paperwork, we’ll review it together to make sure that all the bankruptcy forms accurately list everything you own, everyone you owe money to, and all the details regarding your financial situation.

Step 3: I Will File Your Case and Assist You at Your Creditor Hearing

Once I file your case, about thirty days into the case, there’ll be a meeting of creditors or a court hearing date that we’ll need to attend.

I will attend this hearing with you. It’s typically a pretty easy meeting.

There’s no need to be nervous about this and I’ll be there to guide you through every step of it.

From there, how long the bankruptcy takes or what course we go depends on what chapter you’ve filed.

If you filed a chapter seven bankruptcy, we typically just wait a couple months until a deadline passes for creditors in which a discharge would be entered soon thereafter.

For a chapter thirteen, you’ll begin making your planned payments and you’ll be in the chapter thirteen for about three to five years.

Once we get to the discharge the bankruptcy’s basically over.

That’s bankruptcy in a nutshell.

I hope to hear from you soon, and we can talk about getting your case started.

 

Do You Need to Be Delinquent to Declare Bankruptcy?

Transcript:

Hi. Matt McArthur, attorney at Clear Counsel Law Group.

Today, I want to talk a little bit about whether or not it’s necessary to become delinquent or to default on your monthly payments, on your debts, in order to be able to file for bankruptcy.

The simple answer is no, delinquency is not necessary.

We meet with people on a regular basis here and one of the common comments that we come across is:

“You know, I’m up-to-date on all my payments. I haven’t missed anything yet. I’m barely squeaking by…I’m making minimum payments on my credit cards or other bills but I just can’t keep it up. Do I have to miss payments before I can start the bankruptcy or can I be proactive and just move forward with filing the bankruptcy now since I know I’m not going to be able to keep it up for very long?”

It’s simply not necessary and I’m not sure where the idea came from because it’s quite common question that we come across.

 

delinquent debt bankruptcy nevada

 

Delinquent Payments, Bankruptcy, and Short Sales

I think it may have some roots in the fact that many people considering a short sale won’t be considered for short sale by their mortgage lender unless they have become delinquent on their mortgage payments first but that does not apply a bankruptcy.

You are able to file bankruptcy even if you are up-to-date on all of your payments and you have a perfect credit record.

The advantage of filing for bankruptcy when you are actually current on your bills is that you’re not going to create a long period of time of delinquency that’s going to still show on your credit report after the bankruptcy has been completed.

When we look at your credit report, one of the factors that determines what your current score is going to be is based upon your payment history.

By intentionally defaulting on bills prior to filing bankruptcy for really no need at all, that’s only going to drag down your credit score in a post-bankruptcy setting.

I wouldn’t recommend defaulting solely for the purpose of filing bankruptcy.

If you have any further questions related to this matter, please come in and visit with me, Matt McArthur, bankruptcy attorney here at Clear Counsel Law Group.

I hope to hear from you soon.