Attending a Meeting of Creditors is far less stressful than you might think.
What to Expect at the Meeting of Creditors
This meeting is required whether you file for Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Three bits of good news have to be kept in mind. First, it’s usually the only time you need to go Court. Second, your creditors rarely show up at the meeting. The Meeting of Creditors is named after the bankruptcy code section that describes it. It is presided over by bankruptcy trustee, not a Judge. Finally, I will be at your side during the proceedings.
Prior to the meeting, the trustee will review your bankruptcy petition. He or she will probably be quite familiar with your case. This is why it is best to be prepared prior to the meeting. Know exactly what information is in your petition and schedules. Don’t be shy to ask your attorney if you don’t understand something. Finally, show up at your meeting about 30 minutes early. This will give you the opportunity to watch hearings before yours and get a feel for the questions that might be asked. It may also you calm your nerves to have a little time to see that the hearings aren’t such a terrible experience.
You will be asked to provide two forms of identification- usually your driver’s license and your social security card. After being sworn in, the trustee will ask if you are familiar with all of the information in your petition and schedules and if everything is still true and correct today. Now is the time to speak up and tell the trustee if anything has changed such as job loss or loss of a piece of property.
Depending on the trustee, the questions may now differ. Most trustees ask if you have any claims against someone else, expect an inheritance, etc. Some trustees dig a little deeper and will ask you about valuations on pieces of property. Again, be prepared. Be able to tell the trustee how you arrived at the valuation in your schedules.
Assuming your case is not too complicated, most meetings last less than 10 minutes. Preparation and honesty are the keys to success.