About a month after we file bankruptcy, we meet with a bankruptcy trustee assigned to your case. It is his job to determine if you have any non-exempt assets (things I cannot protect) that he can sell off so that he pay a portion of those proceeds to your creditors.
Normally, the trustee asks for the following:
1. driver’s license and social security card,
2. bank statement showing the balance on the date you filed and the transactions in the account during the month around your case filing,
3. a current paystub (to show that your income is consistent with the paperwork we filed with the court).
At the meeting the trustee may demand that we produce other documents, like vehicle titles, or a copy of your divorce decree. If you’ve already disclosed everything to your attorney, none of the trustee’s questions or demands will be a surprise at all.
If you are missing one of the essential items, like a driver’s license or social security card, the trustee may even refuse to conduct the meeting and will reschedule it when you have those items.
You can bring alternate documents to the meeting if necessary:
- driver’s license — you can actually bring any government issued photo i.d. I have even had clients use their concealed carry permits (which seems like a vague threat to the bk trustee, but is really innocent, I hope). No, you cannot use your Costco card, and yes, I have had clients try to use the Costco card before.
- social security card — anything issued by a third party with your social security number will work, including a W2 or a 1099. i have even used a lawsuit where the creditor put the debtor’s social security number on the caption of the lawsuit to identify them (old lawsuit. We don’t do that kind of thing nowadays).
- bank statement — if you don’t have it, you can email an electronic copy later, but the trustee will not accept your online bank statement off of your phone. I probably have at least 1 client a month try to do that, and the trustee does not want to handle your phone.
- paystub — same as the bank statement. If you don’t have it, you can email it later, but you cannot show a copy of your paystub off of your phone.