Breaking Down Bankruptcy: Meeting of Creditors
The meeting of creditors is a mandatory hearing that you must attend when you file for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in order to receive a discharge. The meeting of creditors gives the bankruptcy trustee and your creditors the opportunity to ask you about the financial details of your bankruptcy documents. Essentially, it is meant to double check your bankruptcy papers and confirm that the information is accurate and complete. To prepare for the meeting of creditors, here is what you need to know:
You will be examined under oath.This means that you will be sworn to tell the truth in a court of law, making you legally liable for your statements. If you lie, you could face punishment for perjury.
The meeting will be open to the public. Meetings of creditors are public hearings that anyone can attend. There are typically many hearings scheduled for each hour. Therefore, it is likely that other Chapter 7 bankruptcy filers will be present to observe your hearing while they are waiting for their own case to be called.
Creditors rarely attend meetings of creditors. Most people are surprised to learn that creditors rarely attend these hearings. All of your creditors will be invited, but they are only given a very short window of time to ask questions. Therefore, attending the meeting is usually only worth their while if they suspect that you are hiding assets or trying to commit some sort of bankruptcy fraud. In most cases, you will be examined by the bankruptcy trustee only.
You will need to provide your social security card and picture identification. Expect to provide this information to the trustee once your case is called. This will occur once you go up to the trustee’s desk and are sworn under oath.
Most questions will involve your assets. Although there is no judge presiding over the meeting of creditors, the trustee will ask you questions to verify the accuracy of the information in your bankruptcy papers.
Your hearing will conclude once all necessary information is gathered. Once the bankruptcy trustee has asked all of the pertinent questions, the hearing will be concluded. This means that you will not have to go to another hearing in front of the trustee and will likely receive a discharge.. If the trustee needs further information from you, they will set another hearing date to allow you to gather the necessary documents.
If you are considering filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, call a West Palm Beach Bankruptcy Attorney right away. The team at Kelley, Fulton & Kaplan has extensive experience and success with protecting the rights of debtors and will help you through the entire process.