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Craig D. Robins, Esq. New York Bankruptcy Attorney, Longisland bankruptcy attorney

“ Craig D. Robins, Esq., has been a practicing Long Island bankruptcy attorney for over twenty-four years ”

Craig D. Robins, Esq.

Archive for November, 2010

Meeting of Creditors: Duty to Provide Bank Statements

Posted on Friday (November 5, 2010) at 11:00 am to Bankruptcy Practice
Bankruptcy Tips Consumers Should Know
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Bank Statements in Bankruptcy Cases at the Meeting of CreditorsWritten by Craig D. Robins
 
Debtors in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy cases are required to provide certain documents to the trustee prior to the Meeting of Creditors. 
 
Bankruptcy attorneys generally make sure that all of the required documents are collected in advance and furnished to the trustee in a timely fashion.
 
These items include, as specified in Bankruptcy Rule 4002, sixty days of pay stubs and the most recent tax return.  In addition, debtors who own real estate that they intend on keeping must provide the trustee with some kind of valuation or appraisal.
 
Do Trustees Require Bank Statements?
 
Bankruptcy Rule 4002 requires the debtor to bring to the Meeting of Creditors all bank and other financial account statements showing the balances in the accounts on the date the bankruptcy petition was filed.
 
However, not every trustee requires debtors to strictly adhere to this rule.  For those cases in the Central Islip Bankruptcy Court, which is in the Eastern District of New York, there is only one Chapter 7 trustee who requires debtors to bring this information to the Meeting of Creditors — Kenneth I. Kirschenbaum.   
 
Mr. Kirschenbaum is actually one of only two Chapter 7 trustees in our district who requires debtors to provide a laundry list of documents prior to going to court.  He is the only one who requires debtors to bring bank statements and he sometimes threatens to refuse to examine those debtors who do not.
 
Even if your trustee is someone else, it is nevertheless a wise idea to bring copies of these statements, especially if there are large amounts in the account, or if you are claiming your homestead exemption, or if you are entitled to a tax refund.  In many cases involving these situations, the trustee will ask you to provide the account statements.  Turning them over at the meeting of creditors will save you some time and bother.
 
Incidentally, in many Chapter 13 cases, the trustee will require the debtor to provide copies of the past 12 months of bank account statements.
 
What Happens If You Don’t Have the Account Statements?
 
Bankruptcy Rule 4002 provides a solution for those debtors who do not have these documents in their possession.  Simply providing a verified statement to that effect will suffice.
 
So as long as you do not have the documents in your possession, and you state so in writing, you do not have to provide them at the Meeting of Creditors.  Be mindful that the trustee may likely require you to obtain and provide copies later on.
 
For More Information About the Meeting of Creditors
 
I wrote a very comprehensive post about almost everything you should know about the Meeting of Creditors.  Click here to see Going to Your Bankruptcy Court Hearing — The Meeting of Creditors.  
 
 
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Professional Civility Has Been Ordered in the Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of New York

Posted on Tuesday (November 2, 2010) at 11:30 pm to Bankruptcy Practice
Info on Bankruptcy and the Court
Lawyer to Lawyer

Civility in the Bankruptcy CourtWritten by Craig D. Robins, Esq.
 
Last week, on October 28, 2010, Bankruptcy Judge Carla E. Craig, who is the Chief Judge of the Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of New York, issued an administrative order adopting guidelines for standards of civility for the legal profession.
 
These guidelines were originally developed by the New York State Bar Association and incorporated into the New York State Rules of the Code of Professional Responsibility.
 
In adopting these guidelines, the Bankruptcy Court seeks to set a standard of practice in the Court that will promote the professional, civil, efficient and effective practice of bankruptcy cases.
 
The rules are essentially a list of common sense manners and protocols that all lawyers should be following in any event.  It is unfortunate that some lawyers fail to act in a civil and professional manner, but having a set of standards will certainly make clear what is expected of the bar.  The guidelines are aimed at maintaining the status of the legal profession as honorable and respected.
 
For the past 20 years I have been actively involved as a board member of the Theodore Roosevelt Chapter of the American Inns of Court, which is an organization of attorneys, judges and law students dedicated to the enhancement of civility, ethics and legal excellence in the practice of law.  The recently-adopted guidelines are nothing new to our organization.
 
 
Click here to see the administrative order providing for the Adoption of New York State Standards of Civility
 
What Does Civility in the Bankruptcy Court Mean?
 
In a nutshell, here are some of the basic principals espoused by the guidelines.
 
1.    Attorneys should be courteous and civil.  “Lawyers can disagree without being disagreeable.” 
 
2.   Lawyers should cooperate with opposing counsel in an effort to avoid litigation and to resolve litigation that has already commenced.  As a pragmatic attorney, that echos my sentiments in all litigated matters.  I feel that most litigation emanates from matters in which the parties cannot work together to reach a reasonable disposition.
 
3.    A lawyer should respect the schedule and commitments of opposing counsel, consistent with protection of the client’s interests.
 
4.    A lawyer should promptly return telephone calls and answer correspondence reasonably requiring a response. 
 
5.    The timing and manner of service of papers should not be designed to cause disadvantage to the party receiving the papers.
 
6.    A lawyer should not use any aspect of the litigation process, including discovery and motion practice, as a means of harassment or for the purpose of unnecessarily prolonging litigation or increasing litigation expenses.
 
7    In depositions and other proceedings, and in negotiations, lawyers should conduct themselves with dignity and refrain from engaging in acts of rudeness and disrespect.
 
8.    A lawyer should adhere to all express promises and agreements with other counsel, whether oral or in writing, and to agreements implied by the circumstances or by local customs.
 
9.    Lawyers should not mislead other persons involved in the litigation process.
 
10.    Lawyers should be mindful of the need to protect the standing of the legal profession in the eyes of the public. Accordingly, lawyers should bring the New York State Standards of Civility to the attention of other lawyers when appropriate.
 
11.    A Judge should be patient, courteous and civil to lawyers, parties and witnesses.
      
 
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Craig D. Robins, Esq. is a Long Island bankruptcy lawyer, who is focused primarily on helping individuals and families, find solutions to their debt problems. Read more »

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Craig D. Robins, Esq.
35 Pinelawn Road, Suite 218E, Melville, NY 11747.

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