Simple Tips to Get You Ready for Your Meeting with Creditors
All bankruptcy debtors are required to attend at least the first meeting with creditors in their case. In most instances, this is the only time that you will have to appear in person. However, it can be a very intimidating process to get ready for. Keep reading to learn how to do so and then contact California Bankruptcy Relief at (888) 748-0025 if you want a free bankruptcy consultation from an experienced attorney.
Understand the Purpose of the Meeting
Also sometimes referred to as the “341 meeting,” this meeting with creditors has two main objectives. First, it is meant to allow the debtor to validate the information that they have put into their bankruptcy papers under oath. Second, this meeting gives the trustee the chance to information they need to make determinations on exemptions and to administer any assets that are non-exempt.
Note that this meeting is also a chance for creditors to ask questions of you. However, the questions they are able to ask will be limited to questions regarding your assets and your debts. We strongly encourage you to have a bankruptcy attorney at this meeting with you.
What to Expect at the First Meeting of Creditors
First, know that it will be a trustee – not a judge – who will be conducing the meeting and leading questions. While creditors are invited, as discussed above, they are more likely not to attend than to attend. Remember that this meeting is not a test or an inquisition. It is meant only as a way for the trustee to validate and get more information about your debts.
If you are asked a question that you do not know the answer to, then say that. The trustee may rephrase the question or move on, depending on the specifics of the situation. You can expect that your entire testimony will take just a few minutes.
Follow These Rules for Testifying
When you work with California Bankruptcy Relief, we will talk to you before you testify to ensure that you know what to expect and how to act. There are some rules that we generally suggest following. First and foremost, be honest. There is nothing to be gained by lying. Second, always listen to the full question. Do not interrupt and answer before the person has finished the question.
Answer in as few words as you can, and resist the urge to expand, explain, justify, or guess unless you are asked to do so. If your attorney begins talking, you should immediately stop talking and follow their lead.
Get Help with Your Meeting with Creditors
This may seem scary but the truth is that it when you have a qualified bankruptcy attorney on your side, you can simply follow our lead. If you hare considering filing for bankruptcy, or have done so without an attorney, we strongly recommend that you contact a bankruptcy attorney today.