Everyone who files for bankruptcy must attend a meeting of creditors. Attending the meeting is a mandatory part of any bankruptcy proceeding in the US. Your application for bankruptcy will be denied if you don’t attend the meeting.
Here you will learn what is the Meeting of Creditors and how you can prepare for one after filing a bankruptcy plan.
Meeting of Creditors: An Overview
The Meeting of Creditors takes place between 20 to 45 days after filing for bankruptcy. The meeting is carried out to confirm that the assets you have disclosed in your bankruptcy petition are complete and accurate.
This meeting is also known as 341 Meeting of Creditors. The meeting is aptly named since it is required by section 341 of the Bankruptcy Code.
The meeting is generally held in a federal building, but it does not take place in the courtroom. Most likely you may be required to meet in a conference room. The Bankruptcy Trustee will conduct the meeting. While creditors may be present in the meeting, but this is not always the case.
How to Prepare for the Meeting of Creditors?
Here are some of the important things you need to do before you attend the Meeting of Creditors.
1. Verify Information
Before attending the meeting, you should verify that all the information in the application is accurate. Make sure that the personal information in the bankruptcy petition matches with the state issued identification card.
Also, you should double check that you have listed all the assets in the application. This is critical as your application will be rejected if you don’t declare all your assets.
2. Gather Required Documents
You should have with you all the documents that are mentioned in the letter sent by the Bankruptcy Trustee. The following are some of the documents that are generally required for the meeting.
- Pay stubs
- Tax returns (last two years)
- Mortgage documents (copies)
- Car titles
- Property deeds
Apart from the above, you may also be required to bring documents that can be used to check your identity. These include government ID that mentions the name and social security number, driving license, US passport, resident alien card, etc.
3. Anticipate Questions
The Trustee can ask you anything during the Meeting of Creditors. However, generally, the question relates to the declared assets.
You may be asked to confirm under oath that you have declared all your assets. You may also be asked that all the information in the bankruptcy petition is accurate. You will be asked whether you want to make any changes in the document.
The Trustee may also ask if you have any claims such as personal injury or worker compensation claims. As well as if you have read the information in the Bankruptcy information statement and know the difference between different types of bankruptcy such as Chapter 7., 11., and 13.
A Meeting of Creditors is a mandatory requirement when filing a bankruptcy application. The aim of the meeting is to ensure that the applicant has divulged all the information, and also that he/she understands the procedure moving on forward. The meeting is not a cross-examination but an attempt to ensure the applicant is honest and fully understands the purpose of filing bankruptcy.
You should consult with a professional bankruptcy lawyer. An experienced bankruptcy attorney will provide you detailed information and fully prepare you for the Meeting of Creditors.
Attorney Eli Tamkin is a Cleveland bankruptcy lawyer. He has been practicing law since 1989 and in Cleveland Ohio since 1994. Since then, he has dealt with a variety of legal issues, including bankruptcy, real estate, divorce, personal injury, and probate. Many times, answering questions on bankruptcy draws on knowledge of other legal areas as well. His experience in these other areas, as well as in bankruptcy enables him to address your particular needs and to offer you advice that is applicable to your situation.