This just in from a debt collector's forum.
Fortunately, bankruptcy provides the creditor or JR person (also a
creditor) with a terrific means to determine what happened to assets. It's
called a Rule 2004 examination. This functions much like a judgment debtor
examination in state court, except fishing expeditions are allowed. You can
bring in the debtor or debtor's wife, business partner, or any other 3rd
party you suspect is holding or hiding assets. You can subpoena bank
records, taxes (maybe), and so on. That's the way to locate assets with
The 2004 is a terrific tool for a number of reasons. Obviously, the
discovery part is of enormous help. But also, I've had a lot of debtors
drop out of BK simply because they did not want to answer quesitons, or
because it was going to cost them another $1K-3K. Remember, the attorney
they hire only signs up for to prepare the petition and attend the 341
creditor's meeting. At that point most creditors lose interest and drop
out. But to press on with a 2004 exam can be pretty scary and costly.
Thus the debtor's themselves may drop out.
A mistake a lot of creditors make when following a bankruptcy is to
confront the debtor with inaccuracies in his/her petition. For example, at
the creditor's meeting (where creditors can appear and ask questions
regarding the debtor's assets) a creditor may say, Ah ha!! And what happened
to the Cadillac!! Or something like that, to show the trustee that the
debtor is a liar.
Well, when confronted like that, the debtor is going to say, "Oh, yeah,
thanks, I forgot about that." And the trustee will say, "Well, amend your
petition to include it." And that's as far as it goes.
What I do, and recommend to others in the course, is to let the debtor
lie and lie. Nod your head and say, "Uh huh, uh huh." Ask the question
again again, another way, until the debtor has committed fully to the lie.
Then bring a Rule 727 action agaisnt the debtor for false statements. Not
only is that expenive for the debtor to oppose, but he will likely lose if
the lies are serious enough. .Peter
Best Regards, Peter
Peter Gilboy, Ph.D
Director, Judgment Trackers
San Diego, CA
Creditwrench can help keep you out of bankruptcy.