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socrateaser
socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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My ex-spouse has listed me as a co-debtor in her chapter 13

Resolved Question:

My ex-spouse has listed me as a co-debtor in her chapter 13 bankruptcy filed voluntary petition in the middle district of NC. There are numerous false statements and omissions in the schedules and other parts of the petition. Can I directly ask her questions and present facts to the trustee at the meeting of the creditors or do I have to retain counsel to do so?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  socrateaser replied 6 years ago.
Any creditor can ask questions at a 341 creditors meeting. However, you are not apparently a creditor. Regardless, I doubt that the trustee will care, as long as your questions are restricted to trying to discover the existence, amount and/or location of the debtor's assets. If you move beyond that scope of questioning, the trustee will cut you off, because questions beyond that scope is deemed irrelevant to the issue of the bankruptcy.

You can't turn the 341 meeting into a divorce hearing. Not that you will, but I have seen ex-spouse's inadvertently start down this path, and the trustee just stops the hearing.

Hope this helps.


And, if you need to contact me again, please put my user id on the title line of your question (“ToCustomerrdquo;), and the system will send me an alert. Thanks!

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
It seems if I have pertinent information that can clearly show perjury false statments and omissions of my ex-spouse on her petition, the trustee would rather be informed than cut me-off?
Expert:  socrateaser replied 6 years ago.
I'm sure that the trustee will be quite interested in any palpably false statements. But, you cannot ask questions at the 341 hearing unless they are related to finding assets. So, if there is a claim, for example, where the debtor states that he or she has a vehicle worth $5,000, and you know it's worth $50,000, then you are welcome to try to get an admission out of the debtor. Or, if you know that the debtor has failed to identify an asset, then you can ask about it specifically, as a means of getting the debtor on record as misstating the fact of her possession of the asset.

Before or after the hearing, you can contact the trustee and explain what you believe is a falsity in the petition, and the trustee may actually help you discover the facts, without your asking any questions at all.

But, if you start down a path where you are not trying to discover an asset, its whereabouts or value, then the trustee will cut you off. You will see that there are probably 20 other debtors waiting to testify at the hearing, and who knows how many creditors. There simply is not time to start a full scale trial for each debtor.

Once you have a record of the debtor's misstatements from the hearing, you can bring a motion to dismiss the bankruptcy petition on grounds that the debtor has misstated the petition, both on its face and/or on the meeting of creditors record.

Hope this helps.


And, if you need to contact me again, please put my user id on the title line of your question (“ToCustomerrdquo;), and the system will send me an alert. Thanks!

socrateaser and 4 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

My apologies. I should have stated that we have already had our equitable distibution hearing. All of the debts that were distributed to her were in my name, none of which were joint or co-signed accounts so it seems she should have listed me as a creditor. However, in the schedule for the list of creditors she listed and notified the entities themselves and stated me to be a co-debtor.

Expert:  socrateaser replied 6 years ago.
So, you would file a proof of claim for each the debts that you claim and then ask her about each at the hearing. If she states "Oh yeah, that one," then the trustee will tell her to amend her plan to include your claims or he/she will move to dismiss the bankruptcy.

Hope this helps.


And, if you need to contact me again, please put my user id on the title line of your question (“ToCustomerrdquo;), and the system will send me an alert. Thanks!