How Not To Panic When It's Time For Your Creditor's Meeting


If you thought the decision to actually file for bankruptcy was tough, you may be in for a surprise when you find out that you must attend something called a creditor's meeting. It's quite natural to be alarmed at the thought of having to personally meet with the representatives of the various credit cards that you included on your bankruptcy, but that is not exactly what this meeting is about. To clear the air about the creditor's meeting, read on—and don't panic.

What is a creditor's meeting?

The name of this meeting is somewhat misleading; creditors actually seldom show up for it. In fact, this meeting is likely the one and only time that you must make any appearance whatsoever in regards to your bankruptcy. While you may be expecting to have to appear before a bankruptcy judge to answer for your lack of financial acumen, that is not going to happen. These meetings sometimes do occur in a courtroom, but they can just often happen in large conference rooms in federal buildings. The person presiding over this meeting is not really a bankruptcy judge, but your bankruptcy trustee.

You may also be surprised to see other people at "your" creditor's meeting. Just like in a poorly-run doctor's office, you and many others have the exact same appointment date and time to appear. Names are called in alphabetic order, and you will stand and be sworn in when called.

What about the creditors?

There are really only two circumstances that would prompt a creditor to attend this meeting.

1. You wish to reaffirm a debt. While you can include most every debt you have on a bankruptcy petition, you may want to continue paying some debts. For example, if you want to keep your vehicle and continue to make payments on it as agreed, you will need to affirm it. This keeps it separate from the other debts in the bankruptcy. It is merely a formality in which you state your intention to pay the debt outside bankruptcy.

2. You have been suspected of using credit fraudulently. This is a more serious situation, but you should have plenty of heads up about it and your attorney will prepare you. There are strict rules about using credit and then declaring bankruptcy, so you may need to prove that you actually needed to take that cash advance to repair your car to get to work and not to use it for frivolous reasons.

Talk to your bankruptcy attorney for more information.


17 January 2017

Getting Through Bankruptcy With Minimal Stress

Filing for bankruptcy has a tendency to make people feel ashamed and stressed out, and can turn into a big source of depression if not handled properly. As a counselor for couples and families, I have worked with various families throughout the years who have had to go through bankruptcy. And during this time, I have seen firsthand how, with the right mindset, going through bankruptcy can make people stronger in their financial lives and careers. I started this blog to provide information about the right things to do and the things that should be avoided while going through bankruptcy to minimize stress and maximize potential once the process is over. If you have any questions or concerns, hopefully they can be addressed on these pages.