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What Happens at the Creditors’ Meeting After You File for Chapter 7?

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a powerful legal remedy that, if successful, discharges most or all of your debts. However, your creditors have the right to object. Soon after you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will be required to attend a creditors’ meeting, the purpose of which is to verify the accuracy of the information in your bankruptcy filings and to determine if there is anything that would make you ineligible.

A creditors’ meeting —also known as a Section 341 meeting — takes place at a federal courthouse or office building. You and your creditors will receive notice of the meeting but only you are required to attend. In fact, you shouldn’t be surprised if no creditors appear. Your bankruptcy attorney will also attend and should advise you in advance of what to expect.

The meeting will be presided over by the bankruptcy trustee appointed to handle your case, rather than by a judge. You will be required to present proof of your identity (such as a driver’s license) and your Social Security number. The trustee will put you under oath and ask you questions. At the very least, he or she will ask you to verify the accuracy and completeness of the information you provided in your bankruptcy filings. The trustee might also ask you questions intended to determine if you have any current or future assets that might be available to pay your creditors.

If any of your creditors attend, they also can ask you questions while you are under oath, usually about your assets and other financial information. Creditors that attend might be thinking about challenging your right to discharge their particular debts or may want to use whatever they learn at the creditors’ meeting for their benefit. However, they won’t be permitted to ask you a lot of questions, because creditors’ meetings are intended to be brief. Typically, your meeting will be one of several scheduled the same day.

If the trustee concludes the meeting without requesting an additional hearing, you are likely to receive a discharge at the end of your Chapter 7 case without ever having to go to court again. If the trustee requires additional information, another meeting may be scheduled, but you can probably make it unnecessary by providing the requested information promptly.

Jeff Field & Associates provides reliable advice and effective representation to debtors throughout the Atlanta metropolitan area who need to file Chapter 7 bankruptcies, or need help with any other bankruptcy matter. We have offices in Athens, Douglasville, Gainesville, Lawrenceville, Marietta and Scottdale. To schedule an appointment, call 404-381-1278 or contact us online.

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