Among other issues, you may be dreading your bankruptcy court appearance. After all, just the action of declaring bankruptcy is embarrassing enough without having to face a judge in a public courtroom. The good news is that unless your bankruptcy goes seriously wrong, you will only need to appear at your creditor's meeting. This meeting, though less intimidating than a court appearance, can still evoke anxiety, so read on to learn the 7 important things to know about your creditor's meeting.
1. This meeting, sometimes called a 341 meeting in reference to its section in bankruptcy law, allows your bankruptcy trustee to question you under oath about the details of your bankruptcy. This is likely the only time you will come in contact with your bankruptcy trustee in person.
2. Sometimes the creditor's meeting will be held in an actual courtroom, but it will be far less formal than a court event. The meeting could also be held in a large conference room, but it will always be in a federal building of some sort.
3. You should plan to spend several hours, usually the better part of a morning or afternoon, at the meeting. Don't worry, your case is but one of many that will be heard in the same time period. Try to leave your children, food, drinks and chewing gum at home on that day.
4. This meeting's purpose is two-fold: to have you swear under oath that your bankruptcy petition is correct and honest, and to present an opportunity for creditors to come forward with objections. Your attorney will prepare you ahead of time for the latter, and these appearances are very rare.
5. You will need photo identification, your Social Security card and a copy of your bankruptcy petition.
6. Your attorney may have other clients at the same meeting, so don't expect them to hold your hand throughout the duration. They will be available to stand by your side once your case is called, however.
7. When your name is called, (cases are usually called in alphabetical order by your last name), rise and approach the trustee. Once you have been sworn in, you can expect to answer questions like:
- Have you read your bankruptcy petition, is it accurate and is that your signature?
- Have you ever had a past bankruptcy?
- Have you filed your tax return yet?
Your bankruptcy attorney can be counted on to ensure that you are prepared for whatever may happen at your creditor's meeting. If you'd like more information about how an attorney can help you through the process, check out http://timgeorgelaw.com. You can consider the creditor's meeting to be the final step before your bankruptcy is completely discharged, and, before you know it, you will be on your way to a much brighter financial future.