What is a 2004 Exam?

What is a 2004 Exam?

A 2004 exam is something you do not want to happen in your case.  This is not to be confused with a 341 hearing.  A 341 hearing is a 10–15 minute hearing that happens in every bankruptcy case where the trustee asks you questions and clarifies information listed in your petition.  A 2004 exam is more like a deposition where any interested party can compel your testimony (deposition) or force production of additional documents.

Typically, this is something that would be initiated by the United States Trustee’s office/Department of Justice in cases where they suspect a debtor has not filed their case in good faith, is hiding assets or income, or did not properly disclose information on their bankruptcy schedules.  Once the additional information, such as bank statements, are obtained, you will likely be examined under oath.

The scope is broad. It is very important to always disclose all information to your attorney so they can properly advise you on whether filing bankruptcy is a good course of action or if the timing or circumstances of the filing are ideal.  You do not want your attorney surprised with facts after your case is filed.  Unlike regular civil state court actions, if the plaintiff no longer wants to pursue their case, they can just dismiss it.

You cannot “dismiss” or get out of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy once it is filed.  Once it is filed, its filed and there is no turning back. Your then required to participate.  If there is a finding of fraud or lack of good faith, it usually results in one of the following: 1) converting your case to a Chapter 13;  2) paying more money to the bankruptcy estate; 3) being permanently ineligible for a discharge; or 4) having your case dismissed where you are barred from refiling your case for a designated period of time.

While these situations are not routine, every case should be filed by your attorney with the attention to detail required as if it is getting audited. That is why communication and disclosure are so essential between client and attorney.



Will bankruptcy get rid of my solar panel debt? 

Will bankruptcy get rid of my solar panel debt? 

Many people in Florida get solicited and opt to install solar panels in their home to reduce their electric bills.  It’s not uncommon for the cost of the solar panels to be in the $30,000 range with relatively high interest rates.

The contracts usually last for 20 years.   With interest, the solar panels end up costing closer to $40,000 once its paid in full.  So, it’s not a small investment.  There are a lot of customers who end up having buyers’ remorse after that purchase.

Most of the solar panel companies will file what is called a UCC (Uniform Commercial Code) statement with the secretary of state to notify other creditors that there is a secured lien on their property.  It creates a lien against the collateral so if your home is sold, their lien gets paid off.  It also ensures that their collateral is not sold or not used as collateral for another loan. They typically use language in their financial statement that protects the rooftop solar panels, batteries, cables, wires, support brackets, and ground mounted racking systems and secures the solar system only.

If you no longer want the solar panels, then bankruptcy will afford you some options. You can surrender the solar panels and system and see if the company will come and remove them.  Another option would be to see if they send a reaffirmation agreement and try to renegotiate the terms of the loan.  Alternatively a Chapter 13 case is where you can file a motion to value the panels so that you are paying back the value of the system instead of what you actually owe on it.  This might also reduce your interest rate.

The only way to satisfy the UCC lien is to pay off the debt.  UCC filings expire every five years.

Call Now Button