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At a court trustee chapter 7 bankrupcy hearing, do you have to give them money?

Dayton, OH |

When I bring my bank statement to trustee, what does that mean? Does he want that money right then?Even if I only have $50 will he want it?

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Attorney answers 3


NO. The trustee wants to examine the bank statement. Usually cash is shown as exempt.

Disclaimer of California Attorney. Laws differ form state to state. Although the above response is believed to be accurate, it should not be relied upon as any type of legal advice because the information provided is incomplete. It is intended to educate the reader and a more definite answer should be based on a consultation with a lawyer. No attorney client relation is formed with me without a written contract.

Good Luck starts with a strategy and a plan.

Robert J. Suhajda, MS,CPA
17721 Norwalk Blvd. #43
Artesia, CA 90701

Tax Relief Lawyer. Former financial auditor and controller. Admitted to US Tax Court, Income Tax, IRS representation, Fiduciary income tax returns, Estate and Gift tax returns, Homeowner Association Strategist.


Oh ye poor wanderers in wilderness! Let me at least give you a little light for the rugged path you have chosen. Doing a Chapter 7 without an attorney is very brave, but very scary.

No, the Trustee NEVER demands cash on the spot at a first meeting. The reason that the Trustee wants your bank statement is so that they can calculate your exemptions and the property you are allowed to keep. The Trustee needs to know exactly what you had available on the date of filing. And yes, it's too bad if you had some "float" in your account from checks that had not cleared.

In Ohio, you are allowed to exempt $400.00"cash and right to receive cash", plus $1,150.00 "any property chosen by debtor." If you are married, you can double the exempted amounts. Ohio law also exempts a lot of other stuff, like cars and homes.

I hope that you listed all of your cash on hand and bank accounts on Schedule B of your petition. You also should have listed your 2011 tax refunds "unknown amount" and your 2010 tax refunds (if not already received). If you failed to do so, you should amend that schedule now.

Likewise, you should have listed those exact same assets on Schedule C of your petition, which lists your exemptions. If not, you should amend your Schedule C to show that these assets are exempt. Also take an exemption for the 25% of the last 30 days wages before the bankruptcy filing as "any property chosen by debtor."

The Trustee will add up all of your assets and subtract the exemptions. They will tell you what is not covered by exemptions. Usually all of your assets are covered by exemptions. If you have any "non-exempt" property, the Trustee will advise you by letter and you will call the Trustee and make arrangements to pay over the cash or surrender the non-exempt asset.

The trustees in my area are usually willing to let you pay "6 months same as cash." You simply make a monthly payment of 1/6 of the balance due. No interest. Be sure to obey the trustee and pay absolutely on time or you will not have your debts discharged, or even worse. Smart people negotiate with trustees, but they don't even dream of not obeying.

You need a guide book. Get a copy of "The Attorney's Handbook On Consumer Bankruptcy and Chapter 13" by Harvey J Williamson, 35th Edition. Buy it used, but get the latest edition. It's the very best available and despite it's title, it is written for laymen. And no, I don't have any connection to the author and publisher, except that I have used it well for over 30 years. It costs about $40.00. Good luck.

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Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.


The Trustee will review your bank statements and compare them to what you claimed on Schedules B adn C of your petition. You will not be paying any money at your 341 hearing. however, if you had more funds in your bank account then what you actually disclosed in your Schedules, then the Trustee may seek to collect those funds which were not exempt and use them to pay creditors.