Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Bankruptcy Filer Must Attend Meeting

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Bankruptcy Filer Must Attend Meeting

Article excerpt

Q: In bankruptcy, what is the meeting of the creditors? When does it take place?

A: After you file for a Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy, the bankruptcy court will appoint a trustee for your case. The trustee's job is to review your filing and make sure that your creditors are being treated fairly under the law.

Soon after you file, you will receive notice from the court that the meeting of creditors has been scheduled. You must attend this meeting, and your attorney will normally attend with you.

The trustee runs the meeting. Although no judge is present, the meeting is formal, a record is made of it and testimony is given under oath.

At the meeting, the trustee will ask you questions about your financial situation. The questions will usually be based on the information in your bankruptcy filing, although other matters can be explored. The trustee may also want to see some of your financial papers, such as your most recent tax returns or any bank statements showing how much money you had in the bank the day you filed. Your attorney will tell you what papers to take to the meeting.

While your creditors will be sent notice of the meeting, usually most of them do not attend. Sometimes creditors will show up to ask about the whereabouts of property in which they have an interest. If they think you have defrauded them, they may ask questions relating to the supposed fraud. They may try to persuade you to "reaffirm" your debt to them, meaning that the debt would not be discharged. You should never reaffirm a debt in bankruptcy without consulting with your attorney.

Meetings of creditors usually don't last very long. Many last only a few minutes, especially if your finances are simple or if you have no assets that creditors can take. But since several meetings are scheduled at the same time, you may have to wait awhile for your case to be heard. …

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