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What to Bring to the Meeting of Creditors
You must bring photo identification and your Social Security card. If you don’t have your original Social Security card or a driver license, you need to order replacements immediately.
The trustee won’t conduct the meeting unless you have both of these documents. You’ll have to come back another time, which will waste more of your time as well as your money in the form of additional legal fees for a needless appearance.
Some trustees have other requirements, but we’ll cover that well in advance of your meeting.
Most Creditors Don’t Show Up
Your creditors will be notified of the date and time of the meeting of creditors, but most times none will show up.
Think about it – every year, well over 1 million bankruptcy cases are filed in the United States. If the credit card companies sent someone to every meeting of creditors then they’d be filing for bankruptcy due to the expense.
From time to time, a creditor will show up to ask you questions. This is usually an ex-spouse, a disgruntled former business associate, or a creditor who thinks there’s a problem with your case.
If that happens, don’t panic – chances are pretty good that we’ll know there’s a problem before the meeting of creditors.
You Will Not Be Alone
If we’re working together on your bankruptcy case, either I’ll be at the meeting of creditors with you or one of the lawyers from my office will be there.
The only reason I won’t be there with you is if I’ve got to be in two places at the same time. If that happens, I flip a coin to see where I’m going to be.
If one of the other lawyers from my office is with you, that lawyer will be prepared with full knowledge of your case. I would never send a newbie lawyer or someone who’s flying blind.
The Meeting Of Creditors Is Over Before You Know It
Once you’re called by the trustee, the entire meeting takes about 4 minutes to complete. You’ll be sworn in, show your photo identification and Social Security card, and answer a few standard questions.
Once that’s done, you’ll be sent home.
The Wait Can Be Annoying
Each month, thousands of people file for bankruptcy. Each one of those people needs to be seen by the trustee for a meeting of creditors.
That means there will be dozens of other people called for their meeting at the same time as you’re there.
At 5 minutes each, the wait adds up. That’s why I tell my clients to bring some reading material and to clear their schedule for the day.
Don’t Lose Sleep Over It
The meeting of creditors is simple and quick. So long as you’re prepared, it will be relatively painless.
My job is to make sure your meeting goes smoothly, so breathe easy.
Image credit: Dougtone