Many Georgian families have contacted our office to speak to one of our experienced staff members about the bankruptcy options available to families who are having trouble paying their bills every month. Depending on the person’s personal circumstances, filing for bankruptcy may be the right decision because doing so can greatly help reduce or even eliminate credit card debt, medical bills, and other forms of debt.
If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, you are urged to work with a knowledgeable bankruptcy lawyer who can assist you with this complex and confusing process. However, many people choose to file for bankruptcy on their own which can lead to delays in the process or even the bankruptcy judge denying or dismissing the case. Sometimes, people who file by themselves must undergo an extra process called the 2004 bankruptcy examination. Read on to learn more about this process.
The 2004 Bankruptcy Examination
When you file for bankruptcy, you must provide the bankruptcy court with a list of all of your creditors. This list is then provided to the bankruptcy trustee who is assigned to your case and who will administer your case from beginning to end.
At almost any time during your bankruptcy process, a person or business who has an interest in your bankruptcy can ask the court to investigate the claims you have made during your case. This investigation is called the 2004 Examination. Normally, during the examination the person who filed the bankruptcy (called the debtor) is questioned about the information he/she provided on the bankruptcy schedules, his/her conduct before and after the filing of the bankruptcy petition, and the person’s general financial state. While these are the most frequently discussed topics, the investigation can cover a wide range of subjects.
Who Can Ask for a 2004 Examination?
While the law states that “any party in interest” can ask the court to conduct a 2004 examination, in practice the only parties who generally do so are the bankruptcy trustee or a creditor.
It is important to note that a 2004 Examination is usually called for when the trustee suspects that the debtor may be trying to commit bankruptcy fraud. Bankruptcy fraud is a very serious issue that can result in hefty fines or even jail time, and any debtor who is accused of fraud should contact an attorney for help immediately.
How is the 2004 Examination Different from the 341 Meeting?
It is important to not confuse a 2004 Examination with the 341 meeting of creditors. First, there is a 341 meeting conducted for every case – but only a small number of cases are asked to undergo a 2004 Examination. Additionally, the 2004 Examination is a more formal hearing than the 341 meeting of the creditors. In a 2004 Examination, more questions (and more specific questions) will be asked of the debtor. It is essentially a 341 meeting on steroids.
As you can see, a 2004 Examination can be a complex procedure. To make sure you understand the bankruptcy process, contact our office today at 404-913-1529 to speak to an experienced attorney about your case. We look forward to speaking with you!