What to Do If Debtor Won't Obey Court's Order to Give You Information

Is a creditor, if you request an Order for Disclosure from a court ordering the debtor provide you with information about the debtor’s assets, but the debtor doesn’t obey the court, you are not done.

If the debtor fails to comply with the court’s Order for Disclosure and does not provide you with the debtor’s completed Financial Disclosure Form within 10 days as ordered by a court, you may seek a show cause hearing from the court.

The Show Cause Hearing

A show cause hearing is a hearing where the court will ask the debtor to provide a good explanation, or show cause, for the debtor’s failure to comply with the court order.

The debtor must provide the court with a reason that the court finds to be a sufficient basis. If not, the court may find the debtor to be in civil contempt of a court order and fine the debtor, put the debtor in jail, or both.

The Show Cause Request

In order to request a show cause hearing, for the debtor’s failure to provide you with a completed Financial Disclosure Form as ordered by the court, you will need to file an Affidavit in Support of Order to Show Cause with the court.

The Minnesota form for this affidavit may be found online at http://www.mncourts.gov/default.aspx?page=513&item=485&itemType=formDetails.

This form will provide additional instructions. For example, you may not file this form until 10 days have passed since the court ordered the debtor to disclose information to you, along with time for the debtor to receive the order in the mail.

The Show Cause Order

Next you must complete an Order to Show Cause for the judge to sign.

For Hennepin County in Minnesota you may find the form for this online at http://www.mncourts.gov/forms/fourth/forms/Civil/Order%20To%20Show%20Cause%20Form.doc.

Leave the date of the hearing blank for the court.

Serving the Show Cause Order

After filing the Affidavit in Support of Order to Show Cause and Order to Show Cause with the court the court will choose a date, and possibly time, and sign the Order to Show Cause. You will receive the signed Order to Show Cause. Make a copy of the Order to Show Cause.

Next you must have a person who is not a party to the case serve the debtor with the Order to Show Cause directing the debtor to appear on the time and date entered by the court. You need to retain a copy of this document for filing with the court later.

This service of the Order to Show Cause on the debtor must be done personally, by either:

  1. handing the Order to Show Cause directly to the debtor at any location, or
  2. leaving it with a person of suitable age and discretion residing at the debtor’s usual place of abode.

The person serving the debtor must be careful to ask the person to whom he or she hands the Order to Show Cause for his or her name, in order to inform the court later. The person serving the debtor must remember the date, time, and address of service as well.

The Affidavit of Personal Service

The person who served the debtor must complete an Affidavit of Personal Service.

A form for an Affidavit of Personal Service for Minnesota can be found online at http://www.mncourts.gov/default.aspx?page=513&item=208&itemType=formDetails.

This document must be completed and notarized.

You will then need to file the a copy of the Order to Show Cause and the Affidavit of Personal Service with the court.