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Debtors’ Examinations: Make Sure Your Lawyer Is Present


Even people who are financially secure are usually uncomfortable talking about their finances; there is a reason for the etiquette rule saying that you should not talk about religion, sex, politics, or money except with people you know very well.  If you received an allowance as a child, your early memories about money probably include your parents grilling you about how you spent your allowance money and embarrassing you about making such silly purchases.  Arguing with your spouse about money is one of life’s least pleasant experiences; dishonesty about money ruins at least as many marriages as extramarital affairs do.  Having the divorce court scrutinize your finances and set the amount of child support based on the money you should be earning instead of the money you actually earn is even worse.  None of these can compare to the agony of debtors’ examinations.  A Miami debt lawyer can help you survive debtors’ examinations, or even avoid them altogether.

Almost as Bad as a Criminal Interrogation

There is a reason why stories like The Trial by Franz Kafka and “The Pit and the Pendulum” by Edgar Allan Poe continue to inspire fear in readers more than a century after they were written, even when movies with horrifying special effects are readily available.  There is nothing like the torture of being interrogated, when every answer you can possibly give is wrong.  A debtor’s examination is almost as bad as being interrogated after being arrested for a crime.

A debtor’s examination is a deposition, where lawyers question you under oath and use your answers as evidence in a trial.  The lawyer representing the creditor will ask you about every detail of your income, spending habits, and debts.  Then they use your answers to persuade the court to issue a judgment requiring you to pay the debt or to garnish your pay, if they have already gotten a judgment; remember, you are under oath, so you must answer truthfully, or else risk getting criminal charges for perjury.  The worst thing about debtors’ examinations is that they exist at all.  Typically, debtors’ examinations occur in the context of business to consumer lawsuits, which are as unfair as they sound.  A company with which you have unpaid bills sues you to get you to pay your debts; it has a lot more resources to sue you than you do to defend yourself.

Hiring a Lawyer in a Debt Lawsuit Is Completely Worth It

If a creditor is suing you, the best thing you can do is to lawyer up.  Business to consumer lawsuits are an egregious example of corporations using their corporate muscle to bully people who are experiencing financial hardship.  A lawyer can help you settle your debts before getting to the debtors’ examination phase, or else protect you from unfair questions during the deposition.

Reach Out to Us Today for Help

Even if your debt situation is so bad that creditors are suing you, a debt lawyer can help.  Contact Nowack & Olson, PLLC for help with your case.

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