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The Bankruptcy Creditor Meeting: How to Prepare

Part of the bankruptcy process is the creditor meeting. Before you can proceed with bankruptcy, you have to have a creditor meeting. Once you schedule the meeting, take the time to properly prepare to ensure you have a smoother, less frustrating experience. Ensuring you are prepared for this important meeting will help set you up for a more successful bankruptcy proceeding.

Here are some things you need to do to ensure a successful creditor meeting prior to bankruptcy.

Organize Your Documentation

You must provide a variety of documents to your bankruptcy attorney before your creditor meeting. One tip is to make copies of the documents for your attorney. You should always retain the original copies of all your documentation.

Your documents must include your proof of income, which can consist of pay stubs, invoices, and tax records. You should also have copies of recent bank statements. Your attorney will tell you how many months’ worth of bank statements to provide.

You also need to provide statements from your retirement and investment accounts, including 401(k) accounts, pensions, and certificates of deposit. If you have life insurance policies, you should provide statements that state the value of the policy.

In addition, you need to provide statements for car and home insurance policies, credit card statements, personal loan statements, car loan balances, and your mortgage statement.

Provide Identification

Prior to your creditor meeting, you must secure proper identification if you do not currently have it. You must show an identification issued by the government. This includes a driver’s license, military identification card, or passport. You also need to show your social security card or proof of your social security number. An IRS form with your social security number will suffice as proof.

Be Professional

You should treat your creditor meeting like you would a job interview. You should act and dress professionally for the meeting. Try to wear something conservative and neat. Be prepared to answer any questions asked of you in a professional and polite manner.

Plan for the Meeting Day

If you have kids, make sure you have a babysitter for the meeting. You do not need to bring children to the creditor meeting. This is an important meeting, and you need to pay full attention to what happens. If you do not have childcare, have your bankruptcy attorney reschedule the meeting for a different time.

You and your attorney should arrive at the meeting early to talk about any last-minute details or questions you have about what to expect. Do not be late for the creditor meeting. Most often, more than one creditor meeting is scheduled each day. If you are late, you will delay other meetings. Also, your meeting may have to end early if you run late.

If something happens on your meeting day that will make you late, you need to call your attorney right away to make arrangements. You may be able to have your meeting later in the day. If not, you will have to reschedule for a different time. It is best to avoid doing so, however, because missing or delaying a creditor meeting will prolong your bankruptcy.

Also, confirm that your attorney has your updated contact information in the event you need to know any last-minute details, such as a venue change. You should also have a mobile phone number for your attorney as well just in case.

A creditor meeting is a crucial part of the bankruptcy process. You must be as prepared as possible to ensure the meeting goes well. Your attorney can help you with the necessary preparations. If you have any questions about a creditor meeting or bankruptcy in general, please contact The Madden Law Firm.