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A.J.
A.J., Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 4300
Experience:  Experienced consumer bankruptcy attorney.
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Hello, I am filing a personal no asset chapter 7 within this

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Hello, I am filing a personal no asset chapter 7 within this month. My question is, I have turned over all necessary items- 6 months bank statements, pay stubs, etc. In my checking account I have under $3,000. My question is- how conservative must I be during now until the meeting with the creditors? In other words, can I go out and buy my Mom a $200 Birthday present? Can I take an overnight trip to NY and use my debit card? I have been very careful about not spending lavishly the last 6 months in my bank account. I have taken out cash withdraws for everyday living- rent, groceries, etc. But quite frankly, it is difficult to keep doing this- when I do need to buy things- like clothes, Mom's BDay present, etc. So I guess what I'm getting at- is when am I clear from the Trustees watchful eye? Is the Trustee only concerned with the last 6 months?

A.J. :

Hello, and thank you for contacting Just Answer. My name isXXXXX am a bankruptcy law professional, and I look forward to answering your question this afternoon.

Customer:

hi, thank you

A.J. :

My pleasure. Generally, unless something really dramatic has changed since the date of filing, trustees are only interested (And allowed to look at) assets up to the date of filing, with a few limited exceptions, such as an inheritance or tax return. If all of the assets you have/listed on the bankruptcy schedules are exempt from seizure, and this is a "no asset" bankruptcy, then spending some money during the bankruptcy is ok, particularly for necessary things. You have to keep paying rent, utilities, etc. Now, having said that, anything too lavish, were the trustee to find out about it that could cause problems. A birthday present for a family member, within reason, maybe not, but a trip out of state may raise alarm bells. The last thing that you want to do, after all of the work it takes to get everything for a bankruptcy together and filed, is slip at the last minute, only to see the trustee seek a dismissal for fraud.

A.J. :

Generally, it is best to wait at least until after the section 341 meeting of creditors, where you go in and the trustee asks questions. After that point, the trustee, in a no-asset case, will submit a report to the court stating that there is nothing to seize. From that point forward it becomes much less likely that the trustee is going to cause any problems, as they have really stopped looking, for the most part, after that time.

Customer:

Yes, ok- I understand. So, best to still be reasonably careful until the meeting with the creditors is over?

A.J. :

Absolutely. Truth be told, the most prudent course is to be as conservative as possible until after the discharge and case closes, which should be around 60 days after the 341 hearing. I know how frustrating it can be to wait for the process to be completed, but as I said before, the last thing you want is to mess up the hard work you have already put in.

Customer:

Ok, thank you for your help. My attorney- although he's very good, is quite hard to get hold of at times, and I just like to play it safe when it comes to this. I don't want to raise any red flags.

Customer:

Thank you for your thorough answer

A.J. :

Absolutely, it is good to be on the safe side. You are most welcome, and let me know if you have any additional questions or need clarification of anything that I have said (never be afraid to ask for clarification!). Otherwise, please remember to RATE my answer so that I can receive credit for my work.

Customer:

I sure will. Thanks again.

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