While many people are unsure of what the purpose of Rule 2004 Examinations in Bankruptcy is, this article aims to clarify some of the basic principles involved. In bankruptcy, these examinations are not intended to harass a debtor or to inquire into matters beyond its scope. Further, a Rule 2004 examination does not afford a witness the same protections as adversary proceedings, such as the right to legal representation. Further, a witness may not be able to object to certain questions or even to have an attorney present.
When a debtor files for bankruptcy, they must appear before a trustee. They must answer questions, comply with document requests, and be transparent about their financial situation. Having no idea about the details of the bankruptcy can have negative repercussions. As such, debtors must listen carefully and only answer questions they have been asked. Moreover, they should be honest and upbeat during the examination, as this will reflect negatively on their bankruptcy case.
When a debtor requests a 2004 examination, they must file a motion to the bankruptcy court stating why they need it. They must also have a “just cause” for the examination. A creditor cannot abuse the 2004 examination process to harass a debtor. In such a case, the debtor must appear at the time and place listed on the order. Otherwise, he or she will need to issue a subpoena to force the debtor to appear before the court.