January 21, 2016

About a month after your bankruptcy case is filed, you will have to attend the Meeting of Creditors.  This may sound intimidating, but, creditors rarely attend.  Generally, it will be you, your attorney, the Trustee, and other people who are also filing for bankruptcy.  It is held in a conference room, and is a relatively casual environment. While you do not have to dress up for this meeting, we recommend that you dress appropriately for a work day.

You must to arrive about 15 minutes early for your Meeting of Creditors.  Most of the Trustees have a supplemental form they want filled out prior to the meeting, so you will want to have time to go over  and prepare it for the Trustee.  Your attorney will generally arrive early in case you have questions. 

 

There are a few things you need for your Meeting.  You will be required to show the Trustee your photo I.D. like a driver’s license and Social Security Card, so you should find those items as soon as possible.  If you cannot find your Social Security Card or I.D., you will need to go out immediately and apply for a replacement, as they will not hold the meeting without them.  You should also contact your attorney and paralegal to advise you do not have the documents.  If you do not believe you will have the replacements by the time your meeting is scheduled, we may be able to adjourn the meeting one time only for this reason.  Most Trustees will require that you come back for a second meeting if you do not have these identification items available.  The second meeting could add an additional cost.

Your meeting will be assigned to a time slot, along with a number of other cases.  The Trustee will be seated in the front of the meeting room on the opposite side of a conference table.  There are seats in the room for people waiting for their case to be called.  You may sit in the meeting room, and may have the opportunity to listen to other meetings being conducted.  This will give you an idea of what to expect when your case is called. 

When the Trustee calls your case, you and your attorney will go to the conference table and sit across from the Trustee.  You should have your I.D. and Social Security card ready.  You will be sworn in, stating that you will be honest with the Trustee, and then the Trustee will ask you basic questions under oath.  Always tell the truth. Ask your attorney if you have questions. Normally you will spend around ten minutes actually meeting with the Trustee, but you should plan to be at the meeting location for an hour or so.

The Trustee is going to ask questions very similar to the ones asked by your  attorney and paralegal while preparing your case.  They will be trying to determine if there are any assets that were missed when you filed, and also to make sure that you are aware of exactly what you have filed and why.  They want to be sure that you are in the correct type of bankruptcy, and that you have been made aware of your options.  They will want to make sure that you have disclosed all of your income, expenses, assets, debts, and that you believe all of the documents filed with the court are true and complete. If you have failed to disclose anything now is the best time to fix that over site. If a creditor does come to the Meeting of Creditors, they will be asking the same sort of questions.  This is part of why it is very important that you have provided your attorney with information about all of your circumstances, so that they can make sure your filings are accurate, and there are no major issues for the Trustee to examine.

The Trustee may need a bit more clarification on something they asked, or may require additional documents.  This is common and not a representation that you or your attorney has done anything wrong.  If that is the case, they will adjourn the meeting to a later date to provide time to provide the information requested.  It is unlikely you will need to attend the adjourned meeting, as long as the Trustee receives everything they need. 

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