The Meeting of Creditors
One of the most commonly asked questions in bankruptcy is “what is the Meeting of Creditors?” The thought of attending the Meeting of Creditors is anxiety inducing to many people and something that holds them back from filing a bankruptcy case.
What is the Meeting of Creditors?
In all bankruptcy cases the debtor is required to attend at least one Meeting of Creditors. The bankruptcy court schedules this meeting 20 – 30 days after the debtor or the debtor’s bankruptcy attorney files the petition. The Meeting of Creditor’s main purpose is for the trustee, creditors, and any other party in interest to ask the debtor questions, which the debtor must answer under oath. Your bankruptcy attorney will be seated next to you during the length of the meeting. The meeting usually lasts between 10 – 15 minutes, however you must show up at least an hour earlier because it is difficult to determine when the trustee will call the case. The wait for the case to be called could be a long one.
Where does the meeting of creditors take place?
The Meeting of Creditors takes place at a federal office building. It does not take place at the bankruptcy Court and it is not presided by a judge, but administered by a trustee.
What questions are asked in the meeting of creditors?
The trustee will start the recorder and ask you for your license (or other form of ID) and for your Social Security Card. After the trustee confirms your identity, he will then proceed to ask some standard questions such as your name, address, and date of birth.
Generally in most bankruptcy cases the questions are going to be similar. Here’s a list of the most commonly asked questions:
- State your name for the record. Is the address on the petition your current address?
- Please provide your picture ID and social security number card for review.
- Did you sign the petition, schedules, statements, and related documents and is the signature your own? Did you read the petition, schedules, statements, and related documents before you signed them?
- Are you personally familiar with the information contained in the petition, schedules, statements and related documents? To the best of your knowledge, is the information contained in the petition, schedules, statements, and related documents true and correct? Are there any errors or omissions to bring to my attention at this time?
- Are all of your assets identified on the schedules? Have you listed all of your creditors on the schedules?
- Have you previously filed bankruptcy? (If so, the trustee must obtain the case number and the discharge information to determine the debtor(s) discharge eligibility.)
- What is the address of your current employer?
- Is the copy of the tax return you provided a true copy of the most recent tax return you filed?
- Do you have a domestic support obligation? to whom? Please provide to me the claimant’s address and telephone number, but do not state it on the record.
- Have you read the Bankruptcy Information Sheet provided by the United States Trustee?
Sample General Questions
(To be asked when deemed appropriate.)
- Do you own or have any interest whatsoever in any real estate?
If owned: When did you purchase the property? How much did the property cost? What are the mortgages encumbering it? What do you estimate the present value of the property to be? Is that the whole value or your share? How did you arrive at that value? If renting: Have you ever owned the property in which you live and/or is its owner in any way related to you?
- Have you made any transfers of any property or given any property away within the last one year period (or such longer period as applicable under state law)?
If yes: What did you transfer? To whom was it transferred? What did you receive in exchange? What did you do with the funds?
- Does anyone hold property belonging to you?
If yes: Who holds the property and what is it? What is its value?
- Do you have a claim against anyone or any business? If there are large medical debts, are the medical bills from injury? Are you the plaintiff in any lawsuit? What is the status of each case and who is representing you?
- Are you entitled to life insurance proceeds or an inheritance as a result of someone’s death? If yes: Please explain the details.
Speak to an experienced Maryland and Washington D.C. Bankruptcy attorney before filing for bankruptcy. A bankruptcy attorney will advice you if bankruptcy is a good option for you depending on your individual circumstances.
A Washington D.C. bankruptcy attorney could give you advice on the effect that filing for bankruptcy will have. Ready learn more about the bankruptcy process? Call 202-445-4775 or contact us for a consultation.