Do I Have To Attend My Debtor's Exam?

Man clutching piggy bank

You are busy, tired, and exhausted from your daily life and you get a nasty letter in the mail. The letter reads something like "You have been summoned to attend a debtors exam". What now? Do you actually have to attend? What happens if you do not attend? Will you go to jail? Will you be fined?

First off, what exactly is a Debtor's Exam? In Nebraska, as in most other states, a Debtor's examination is "a special proceeding that judgment creditors use to look into ways it can collect a judgment from you, such as garnishing wages or garnishing your bank account. The purpose is to help the creditor determine how it can collect its judgment if you do not pay". In lamens terms, it's an opportunity for a creditor to have you swear under oath, what property you have so they can try and come take it.  

The exam itself is not something to look forward to. You are generally called to the courthouse in a tiny room with dozens of other similarly situated individuals. You wait until you are called and then are sworn in to testify about the property you own. It can be scary, demoralizing, and emberassing. It is not an enjoyable experience.

If you have been summoned to attend a debtors exam you can do three things. 1. Attend the Debtor's Exam and deal with the possible garnishments. 2. Not attend the Debtors exam but risk that you will be held in contempt of the Court and possibly have a warrant issued for your arrest (we strongly advise against this). 3. File bankruptcy before the Debtor's Exam occurs and start living your life again. 

When you file for bankruptcy it stops all pending court actions against you. This means that the bankruptcy stops the Debtors Exam from happening at all. It is important to make sure you file before the Debtors Exam happens. If you wait to file your bankruptcy until after the Debtor's Exam, you will still be required to attend The bankruptcy also stops the creditor from garnishing your wages or taking any funds out of your bank account. 

If you received a summons for a Debtor's Exam in the mail call an attorney right away. They can help you sort through the waters of bankruptcy and put an end to that exam. They can let you know whether or not bankruptcy is a good option and whether it can help you put an end to your problems with the creditor. 

If you have already had a Debtor's Exam, this likely means that the creditor will start garnishing your wages. If you are worried that a garnishment may be pending, please take a look at our other article that focuses on "How To Stop A Garnishment".  Act fast before the creditor can take 15-25% of your paycheck. 

At Lepant Law Office, PC, LLO we specialize in helping those in need file for bankruptcy. We can get you a fresh start, stop Debtors Exam's and stop garnishments.