Chapter 7 Trustee Howard Grobstein starts each of his calendars with the same announcement that the Unites States Government provides free of charge a translator for those you do not understand english. All the debtor has to do is ask the trustee when he comes up for his examination at the meeting of creditors.
The translator comes via telephone by a service that the United States Trustee subscribes to. The service has over 170 different languages available. Most commonly the service is used for Spanish translation, but is it not uncommon for Vietnamese or Arabic as well.
If your client speaks another language and does not understand English, you can request a translator. The US Trustee wants to make sure the debtor understands the proceeding and that the correct information is relayed at the hearing. On the flip side, the trustee will ask if the bankruptcy was explained to the client in his native language, so be aware of that question.
Trustee Grobstein also goes the extra mile for those that speak Spanish as he has his opening announcements printed in Spanish so the Spanish speakers can follow along.
The announcements are on a laminated yellow card that Mr. Grobstein’s assistant Wendy has with her at the hearings.
Practice Pointer 2:
If your client will use the Spanish Interpreter, then ask Wendy for the announcements in Spanish so your client can follow along as Mr. Grobstein starts the calendar.
The US Trustee’s Guidelines are also printed in Spanish for your client. In Riverside this is done by a green sheet on the hearing table. The US Trustee has the Guidelines also written in several languages (Korean, Chinese, etc.) which is kept in a binder on the hearing table. Please give the Guideline Binder to your client before the hearing and replace the binder after he has read it.