Bankruptcy Petitions: what you need to know before your “341” hearing

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At Sadek Bankruptcy Law Offices, we realize that every situation is different. Our debt relief lawyers will take the time to learn about your situation and your goals. Our objective is to explain your legal options and offer the best debt relief strategy for you in the most compassionate and friendly manner possible. Call 24/7 to schedule your meeting with a lawyer.


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Bankruptcy Petitions: what you need to know before your “341” hearing

For a consumer bankruptcy case, meaning a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, it is required to provide your last 3 months of bank statements prior to filing plus any additional bank statements received after filing and prior to the Trustee’s “341” hearing. The “341” hearing is a non-adversarial review of the bankruptcy filers’ petition by an appointed bankruptcy trustee. The trustee’s role in a bankruptcy is to review the petition in its entirety and ensure that the filer is in compliant with the specific laws and procedures of the bankruptcy chapter they are filing for.

Nobody likes the idea of their finances being reviewed by a third party, especially because our financial trail can oftentimes be followed with a simple debit card history. The bank statements are used to determine if any out-of-the-ordinary transactions took place in contemplation of filing or determine the existence of any other accounts or assets not listed in the bankruptcy petition as filed.

On a Bankruptcy Petition, specifically Schedule “I”, one must list their current monthly income. The income listed shall substantially match the deposits in the bank statements. If more income is being deposited than what is listed in the bankruptcy schedules, then there is a rebuttable presumption that the bankruptcy petition as filed is not an accurate financial depiction for the filer.

Moreover, in a Bankruptcy Petition, specifically Schedule “B” one must list their assets including all bank accounts they have. If one has a savings account with a substantial amount of money that fails to be listed on the bankruptcy petition, but the submitted bank statement shows transfers from the unlisted account, this could create a possible issue, especially if there is an extraordinarily large balance in the unlisted account. Although it is realized that some accounts are signed up for during a bank incentive have little or no balance and are sometimes forgotten about. Such accounts shall be closed, or the low activity statements shall be submitted.

In Bankruptcy full disclosure and open communication with your lawyer is essential. Prior to filing a Petition, we will review the bank statements for any issues that could impact your case. Sometimes, there is a reluctance to provide bank statements because there are restaurant charges, small vacations, cell phone bills, and recreation expenses. The bankruptcy code is relatively strict; however, it does give financial leeway for hard-working people to enjoy the fruits of their labor and savings and it is assumed that recreation will be part of a filer’s monthly budget.

To determine if Bankruptcy is right for you, Brad J. Sadek, Esquire of Sadek Bankruptcy Law Offices, LLC. Brad has assisted over 5,000 clients with their debt relief needs, a 5 time listed Super Lawyer, served as an expert witness on Bankruptcy, and handles cases in the greater Philadelphia area and throughout New Jersey.

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