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Is there any reason to fear the first meeting of creditors?

Charlotte Bankruptcy attorney Bryan W. Stone answers the question: “Does Bankruptcy stop foreclosure?”

 

One of the things most people considering filing for bankruptcy are confused by and concerned with is the meeting of creditors. The name can seem ominous, implying that the debtor is placed on a chair in the center of the room and then picked apart by angry lenders. The reality is, thankfully, far more boring.

 

contemplating woman Charlotte Debt Attorney North Carolina Bankruptcy LawyerWhen does the first meeting of creditors happen?

 

Once you officially file for bankruptcy you will receive a notice from the bankruptcy court informing you that the case has begun. This letter will typically appear about a week after you first file. In the letter, the date and time for the first meeting of creditors will be found. The meeting itself is usually scheduled a few weeks after the letter is delivered, ensuring that the process moves along at a relatively fast pace.

 

What is the meeting about?

 

The meeting of creditors is also known as a 341(a) meeting and it exists so that the bankruptcy court trustee, as well as your creditors, receive an opportunity to ask you questions under oath. This allows creditors to get a more complete understanding of your overall financial picture and clear up any confusion that may exist regarding your bankruptcy filings.

 

How long does the meeting last?

 

You should expect the meeting of creditors to last up to two or three hours, in addition to travel time to the courthouse.

 

How should you prepare?

 

Be sure and bring a copy of your photo ID, either a driver’s license or a passport, as well as your social security card. The bankruptcy trustee is not allowed to hold the meeting of creditors without this proof of identification, a critical way of ensuring that identity theft or bankruptcy fraud has not occurred.

 

In addition to ID, you should be prepared to bring some financial documents, including pay stubs, ta returns, the most recent copy of your mortgage statement, deed to your home and a copy of any papers showing other debts, including car loans or credit card statements. Your lawyer will explain exactly what you need.

 

Is it under oath?

 

Though the meeting will usually not take place in a courtroom, you should understand that it will be under oath. This means that you will need to swear to tell the truth and could face charges if you are found to have knowingly lied.

 

There is no reason to worry though, the meeting is not a test that requires preparation. You can ask your lawyer about any issues you are worried about prior to the meeting and remember that you only need to answer questions to the best of your knowledge. You will be asked about the truth of your bankruptcy petition and some standard financial questions about other outstanding debts and assets. Answer directly and honestly and if you do not know the answer, it is okay; you are allowed to say you don’t know.

 

If you find yourself needing the services of a Charlotte, North Carolina bankruptcy attorney, please call the skilled lawyers at Arnold & Smith, PLLC  today at (704) 370-2828 or find additional resources here. As professionals who are experienced in the bankruptcy arena, our attorneys will provide you with the best advice for your particular situation.

 

 

About the Author

Bryan 1Bryan Stone is a Partner with Arnold & Smith, PLLC, where he focuses his practice on all aspects of bankruptcy, including: Chapter 7, Chapter 11, Chapter 13, home loan modifications and landlord-tenant issues.

A native of Macon, Georgia, Mr. Stone attended the University of Georgia, where he earned a BBA in Banking and Finance, and Wake Forest University School of Law, where he obtained his law degree.

Following law school, Mr. Stone relocated to Charlotte, where he currently serves as Chair of “Bravo!” – a young professionals organization associated with Opera Carolina – and founded the University of Georgia Alumni Association of Charlotte.

In his spare time, Mr. Stone enjoys perfecting his barbeque skills for the annual “Q-City BBQ Championship” and playing softball in the Mecklenburg County Bar softball league.

 

 

Source:

“341 Personal Bankruptcy (Creditors) Meeting,” published at Lawyers.com.

 

 

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