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At a payment hearing called by a creditor on a debtor, the debtor has the uncanny ability to avoid answering questions or gives misleading answers. I understand in the payment hearing the creditor can put questions to the debtor. How exactly does this work? Does the creditor ask him directly, debtor replies to creditor, and if creditor is not satisfied with the reply he requests the judge to tell debtor he has to answer more clearly, or what?

For example

Creditor: do you own any companies?
Debtor: I think you already know the answer to this.
Creditor: You honor, the Debtor did not answer.
Judge: Debtor, answer the question.

Does the judge do most of the talking or will the debtor talk some?

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Subsection 12 of Rule 12 of 's Small Claims Rules identifies "What happens at a payment hearing?"

(12) At any payment hearing under these rules, evidence may be heard about any of the following:

(a) the income and assets of the debtor;

(b) the debts owed to and by the debtor;

(c) any assets that the debtor has disposed of since the claim arose;

(d) the means that the debtor has, or may have in the future, of paying the amount owed.

This Rule is supplemented by the Payment Hearing Fact Sheet #16 which says:

The Judge will then direct you as to the procedure the Judge wishes to follow. Sometimes the Judge will start by asking the Debtor and Creditor if they have been able to come to an agreement as to a Payment Schedule. If not, the Debtor may be sworn or required to affirm to tell the truth. The Debtor will then be asked questions. Sometimes the Judge will ask most of the questions. Other times a Judge will allow the Creditor to ask the questions.

Contempt of Court may be found at subsection 1 of Rule 19 which identities the Consequences of refusing to comply at a hearing

(1) If a person at a hearing before a judge

(a) refuses to be sworn, or to affirm or to answer a question,

(b) refuses to produce a record or other evidence,

(c) does not obey a direction of the judge, or

(d) repeatedly fails to attend court when summoned or ordered to do so and does not provide adequate reasons for failing to attend,

the judge may issue a warrant (Form 15) requiring the person to be imprisoned for a specified period of not more than 3 days.

Therefore the conduct of any particular hearing, such as who asks what questions and the management of unsatisfactory answers, is at the direction and discretion of the judge.

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