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Why the Meeting of Creditors is the Scariest Part of Bankruptcy

Business ChartsFiling for bankruptcy is a scary experience, but within the entire process from start to finish, the 341 Meeting of Creditors is perhaps the most daunting. The idea of coming face to face with people who are trying to collect on a debt is understandably intimidating.

How can you make the 341 Meeting of Creditors a little less frightening?

Everyone Goes through It

Something that might bring the most comfort is knowing you aren’t the first person to be in your position.

Every single person who files for bankruptcy must go through the Meeting of Creditors, and chances are most of them are as nervous as you. Understanding you aren’t the first, or the last, person to go through this doesn’t change your situation, but it can help to know others have survived it.

The good news is your attorney will be at your side throughout the meeting and in most cases, people report the experience is far less unpleasant than they predicted.

It’s All Business

If you’re like most people, you have fairly vivid expectations of what to expect during the Meeting of Creditors. In most cases, whatever you’re imagining is going to be worse than what actually happens.

The Meeting of Creditors is a business meeting. It isn’t an opportunity for your creditors to intimidate you, make you feel bad, or scold you. As a matter of fact, most of the people involved in the meeting have no personal interest whatsoever. Everyone acts professionally and if someone chooses not to, there are others there who will bring the focus of the meeting back to its primary focus – to determine if your debts are eligible for discharge.

The 341 Meeting is not a test or an inquisition. No official action can be taken against you at the meeting. It’s just an opportunity for everyone to discuss the situation and for the trustee to separate fact from fiction. In many cases, your actual creditors won’t even attend the meeting.

Unless any of your creditors intend to dispute the discharge of your debt, chances are the meeting will be only you, your attorney, and the bankruptcy trustee.

As long as you’ve been honest from the beginning of the process and you’ve provided your bankruptcy attorney with all of the information that’s been requested of you, chances are the meeting will go smoothly and everything will be fine.

Questions to Expect at the 341 Meeting of Creditors

Knowing what to expect in advance can help to put you at ease for our upcoming 341 Meeting.

Your attorney can review what to expect, but in general, you’ll probably be asked:

  • Have you read the bankruptcy schedules?
  • Have you listed all of your assets and debts accurately?
  • Are there any corrections that need to be made to the bankruptcy schedules?
  • Are any of your debts related to domestic support?
  • Are you currently using your credit cards?

To view more questions and see the basic script followed by trustees at the Meeting of Creditors, view
this document from the Justice Department.

The trustee wants to ensure the information he or she already has is accurate and determine if there has been anything left out that’s pertinent to your case.

It’s an opportunity to collect information and aside from that, there’s really no reason to worry about your 341 Meeting.

For more information or to discuss what you can expect at your meeting, contact the Law Office of Robert M. Geller at 813.254.5696 for more information.

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At the Tampa Bay law firm, the Law Offices of Robert M. Geller, P.A., we help people with consumer bankruptcy matters in the Tampa Bay-St. Petersburg,  Florida communities such as Clearwater,     St. Petersburg, Tampa, Thonotosassa, Riverview, Lutz, Plant City, Brandon, Carrollwood, Wesley Chapel, St. Petersburg Beach, Lakeland, Mulberry, Dade City, Pinellas Park, Largo, Seminole, Odessa, Oldsmar and Lithia, and counties such as Hillsborough County, Pinellas County, Pasco County, Polk County and Manatee County.