Nervous About the Bankruptcy Meeting of Creditors? What to Know

If you are filing for bankruptcy, you probably have many questions and concerns. Even with the help of an experienced bankruptcy attorney from the offices of H. Lehman Franklin, P.C., you may continue to have some trepidation about the process until it is complete; after all, bankruptcy law can be complex and that is why you will require representation from a skilled legal expert. By the time you receive your discharge—about five to six months later in a Chapter 7 or three to five years later in a Chapter 13—you will have learned a lot about bankruptcy.

Although some stigma may still surround bankruptcy, whether you are filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, it could be the best decision you ever make—relieving you of the enormous burden of debt. There may be some stress in the unknown too, however, even as you continue down the path to immense relief from debt and new financial freedom. Many debtors are very concerned at first about their bankruptcy hearing, known as the Meeting of Creditors; however, with an experienced bankruptcy attorney on your side there is nothing at all to fear.

The key is to show up to your bankruptcy meeting (usually 20 to 40 days after your filing) and to be ready to present two forms of ID (typically a driver’s license and a social security card), and then wait to speak with the trustee in charge of your case. While meetings occasionally are rescheduled, your case can be dismissed if you fail to appear, so appearing at your meeting should be taken very seriously. It is recommended that you dress nicely, and make sure that you are on time. If you are not familiar with the courthouse or parking, ask for any pertinent information from your attorney’s office, and if necessary you may want to leave early to give yourself plenty of time for parking and walking—or even perhaps even check out the area ahead of time so you feel confident about where you are going and can ease any potential nervousness about getting there.

During this meeting, the bankruptcy trustee will place you under oath and then go over your bankruptcy schedules and other information you listed in bankruptcy paperwork filed with the court. The trustee also will verify certain things such as if you are current on tax return filings and paying child support, if applicable. The trustee will review your tax return and bank statements you provided to your attorney prior to the meeting. Most meetings are over quickly and last five to ten minutes. The meeting of creditors also gives creditors the chance to show up and ask relevant questions about your financial issues and the debt you owe them. However, in many cases, no creditors appear. Your job is to be prepared and answer all questions honestly.

You probably have many questions about bankruptcy, including which type of bankruptcy will work best for you,  how much you will have to sacrifice (very little in many cases), and whether you will have to go to court. Speak with a skilled bankruptcy attorney from the offices of H. Lehman Franklin, P.C. Call now to learn more at 912-764-9616, or contact us online.