In the Riverside Division of the Central District of California, The United States Trustee’s representatives will come down to the meetings of creditors to ask questions. (Note the United States Trustee is different than the Bankruptcy Trustee assigned to each case.)
In Riverside, CA, the meetings of creditors are held at 3801 University Ave., Riverside, CA. The meetings are held in either rooms, 101, 102 or 103 on the first floor. The United States Trustee’s office is on the seventh floor of the same building. So it is common to see the representatives at the bankruptcy meetings of creditors.
It is interesting to listen to the representative’s questions as they show where the petitions presented have made mistakes. I reprint these questions as a learning tool to show what to avoid when drafting a petition for your clients.
Recently one of the US Trustee’s (UST) representative came to the hearings and asked the debtor the following questions:
UST: “Your gross income is higher than the pay stubs you presented to the Court. Why did you not list the accurate income in the petition as noted on the pay stubs?”. This question shows how important the evidence presented of income (i.e. the paystubs) have to match the income listed in the petition. Since qualifying for Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection is dictated by income, this evidence much match with the numbers in the petition.
UST: “You have not listed deductions on schedule I, you have not listed childcare expenses, did you have such expenses?. The question asks for more expenses. The UST has to determine if the expenses listed are valid and accurate in order to determine if a client should be in Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.
UST: “You list Home energy at $1300? I will need documents to justify that expense.Please provide utility bills for the last six months and Bank statement for the last six months”.
Any expense listed in the petition must be documented with back up information. The US Trustee may ask for all documentation.
Be sure to document your file with all backup evidence to justify all income and expenses listed in the petition.