Nerves Run High At Bankruptcy Creditors Meeting

It is understandable that nerves will run high at a bankruptcy creditors meeting. After all, the debtor is likely filing his first and only bankruptcy case in his life. He understands that he must appear in front of a trustee and be examined under oath with regard to the petition and schedules that were filed on his behalf. He really is unsure as to what the trustee is going to ask. He does not know how long the meeting is going to last.  He does not know which of his creditors will attend and try to ask probing questions. He may start to wonder whether or not he was 100% accurate in the information that he provided to his attorney. He may have neglected a particular item and he is wondering about the truthfulness of his documents. These along with many other concerns will cause a debtor to be extremely nervous at the meeting of creditors.

As a bankruptcy attorney, I understand that a debtor is going to be nervous about the meeting. For that reason, I try to prepare him the best way I know how. In addition to explaining everything that will happen at the meeting, I like to run my clients through some of the sample questions. For example, did you sign the documents to provide truthful answers to the questions that were presented? Did you list all of your assets and all of your liabilities to your attorney? Have you given away or sold anything for less than its fair market value in the last two years? Do you expect to inherit any money in the next six months? Do you expect any major changes in your income or expenses in the next six months? In addition to these types of questions, the client should be prepared to answer where they live, where they work, what they earn, and basically what they spend per month on expenses. Once they become comfortable with the types of questions that are going to be asked and their answers, the meeting should be relatively easy.

On rare occasions, there may be a surprise that comes up at the meeting. The surprise could be that the debtor reveals a particular item of property for the first time. This could be a piece of land up in rural Wisconsin or it could be a vehicle that for some reason was not disclosed. You may also have a creditor who appears and advises the trustee with regard to the assets of the debtor. You can have the United States Trustee appear and put additional pressure on the debtor and the trustee with regard to assets and liabilities. These happen on rare occasions and they should not be expected as the norm. If this should happen, your attorney will be able to guide you through the process, make any additions or corrections that need to be made and deal with asset issues should they arise.

For the best chance of success, I would recommend you hire an experienced, bankruptcy attorney who handles bankruptcy cases on a day-to-day basis. That attorney is going to be in a better position to guide you through the process and understand what hurdles or obstacles may be in front of you. That attorney will also have the ability to work out deals with the trustee and/or convert cases to the proper chapter when necessary. If you are someone who is struggling financially and you’re considering bankruptcy, do your homework and find an experienced attorney. There is no substitute for a caring, experience, compassionate bankruptcy attorney who has made their life’s work all about helping people get out of debt.

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