What To Do At Your Bankruptcy Creditor's Meeting

Law Blog

Those filing for bankruptcy will often have only one court appearance to attend. However, many filers get worried about what will go on at that hearing. Sometimes, knowing what to expect can help relieve some of that anxiety. Read on for some information about what you can expect at your bankruptcy creditor's meeting.

Be Prepared to Attend

Set aside the date and make arrangements if you must travel to another town. Most bankruptcy hearings are held in federal courthouses. Get familiar with the location and where to park. The letter from the bankruptcy trustee about the hearing may contain helpful information about the hearing.

Plan not to bring any children with you if possible. You should also know that you will be entering the courthouse by passing through a security screening. That can take extra time so plan to arrive at the location several minutes early. Bring along government-issued identification and your bankruptcy paperwork.

At the Hearing Location

Follow the directions to the meeting or hearing room. You won't be alone at your meeting. Most people are responding to a morning or an afternoon meeting time. Have a seat and wait for your name to be called. If you have a bankruptcy lawyer, they will likely meet you there. They may, however, have other clients at the same meeting. When your name is called, stand up.

Your Time in the Spotlight

Those filing jointly should both stand and swear to tell the truth. The judge may ask you several questions and they can vary from time to time. Some questions often heard include:

  • Is the information on your bankruptcy paperwork correct to the best of your knowledge? 
  • Have you ever filed for bankruptcy in the past?
  • Have you filed your taxes for the most recent tax year? If the time of the creditor's meeting falls between January 1st and tax filing day, be sure you can tell the judge (or hearing officer) that you have filed your taxes.
  • Do you have any loans to be reaffirmed? A reaffirmation is when you agree to continue paying a secured loan so that you can keep the property. Auto loans are frequently reaffirmed at creditor's meetings.

Once the questioning is complete, you may be allowed to leave. However, in some cases, a creditor or two may attend the meeting. If they do, you will know about it in advance from your lawyer. Your bankruptcy lawyer will speak on your behalf if anything unexpected occurs at any point during the meeting.

For most filers, the meeting is over in a few minutes and your bankruptcy will be final in a few weeks. Speak to a bankruptcy lawyer if you need Chapter 7 bankruptcy assistance.


27 December 2022