The three toughest questions at your bankruptcy hearing
The three toughest questions at your bankruptcy hearing.
The three toughest bankruptcy hearing questions are NOT what most people expect. The bankruptcy trustee does NOT ask you to explain how you got into this mess. They are not asking about your plans for the future. And the creditors are NOT there demanding their money.
Have You Sent the Bank Statements?
So what are the hard questions? For most people the toughest bankruptcy hearing question is: Have you sent us all your bank statements, showing the balance on the day you filed your case? Especially if you have old accounts you don’t think about because you never use them–getting those bank statements in can be a tough challenge.
Can You Find The Mute Button?
The next bankruptcy trustee question is, can you find the mute button on your phone? People who do conference calls at work figured out the mute button long ago. For other people it’s a challenge. (Progressive Insurance uses a mute button as a joke on one of their TV ads.)
The bankruptcy court in Alabama has mute button instructions on their webpage.
Why is the mute button important?
When you call into your bankruptcy trustee, there will be almost thirty people on the line. About twenty people filing bankruptcy, maybe eight lawyers, plus the trustee and helper.
Everybody needs to be on mute when it’s not their turn. Otherwise the background noise–fans, computer noise, barking dogs, children–the background noise makes it impossible to hear. So, be sure you can find and use the mute button.
Can I Whisper to My Lawyer?
The third toughest bankruptcy hearing question is your question, not a bankruptcy trustee question. Your question is, how do I talk to my lawyer?
When you dial in to the trustee phone number, you don’t know that whether I’m there. (And I don’t know if you’re there, either.) That’s the biggest disadvantage to doing these on the phone.
You for sure want to know I’m on the call and you might have a last minute question, too. You can’t ask me a question out in the hall because there is no hall.
We can’t whisper–because we are broadcasting to the whole room. That why we need to email each other ten minutes before the hearing starts.
I’ll shoot you and email letting you now I’m on. Please reply. And email any last minute questions. Use email@example.com. That goes straight to me.
(We’ve been doing these bankruptcy trustee hearings by phone for ten months now. And I overhear a lawyer whispering with their client almost every hour. And of course the whole room hears it. So far I haven’t overheard anything really bad–like, I’m sure glad they didn’t ask about that farm in Kentucky. Anyway, you and I won’t do that. We know to whisper by email.)