I have been called to a Rule 2004 Examination and have no idea what they are going to ask me. I had help filing my chapter 7 bankruptcy petition but cannot afford an attorney. Can you please give me any advice as to what to expect in the examination and what they can ask me. Thank you.
A creditor taking a 2004 examination has a wide scope of discovery. It is somewhat akin to a deposition in a civil lawsuit.
Through the 2004 examination, a creditor can ask about anything contained your bankruptcy petition (literally each and every page).
A creditor can and will also ask about your property, your assets, your liabilities, and your financial condition. It is very broad in scope.
The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author (who is only admitted to practice law in the State of California). For specific advice about your particular situation, consult your own attorney.
The 2004 examination allows any part of interest to seek further inquiry into your assets and the information you provided on your bankruptcy petition and schedules. It is highly advisable to have an attorney present to protect your interests. The 2004 exam is like the 341 meeting in the sense that you will be asked questions under oath, but the 2004 exam will permit more time and more detail. If your summons requested that you provide paperwork, you will have to do so unless you properly objected and the court set a hearing on the matter.
Advice on this forum is for informational purposes only and should never be mistaken as a substitute for legal advice. If you are in need of legal advice, you should consult local legal counsel.
Generally, either a creditor or the United States Trustee holds a Rule 2004 examination to elicit testimony which will support a complaint objecting to your discharge. If the examination is being conducted by one of your creditors, the questions will be focused on getting you to admit that you engaged in some fraud in obtaining the credit or did something else which would be grounds to deny discharge of that creditor's particular debt. On the other hand, if the United States Trustee is conducting the examination, the questions would deal with any of the grounds set out in section 727 of the Bankruptcy Code and the denial of discharge would be of all of your debts. You may have gotten a hint about what will happen at the Rule 2004 Examination when you testified at the section 341 meeting of creditors. As most creditors don't even bother to attend this meeting, if one of your creditors was present and asked questions, you should be able to figure out the direction that the Rule 2004 examination will take. Each Rule 2004 examination is different so you will not be able to prepare for specific questions.
Beary Law Offices PLC is not acting as your attorney in providing this response.
This generally occurs when the Creditor suspects fraud. The creditor will attempt to use your petition against you.
I would suggest that you completely read over you bankruptcy petition cover to cover. If ANYTHING is incorrect, file an amendment to correct prior to you meeting.
Bring your petition with you so you can refer to it during your meeting.
If things get to hairy ask for a continuance so you can retain counsel. If you live in the Los Angeles area contact the self help desk at the court. Their are a few organizations that will send an attorney with you at no cost.
If you are not absolutely sure of your answer say you do not remember.
The Creditors Attorney maybe very nice, however, remember they are NOT you friends.
Jonathan Leventhal, esq.
Leventhal Law Group, P.C.