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Bankruptcy Meeting of Creditors: You Have No Reason For Anxiety

Indianapolis Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyer Describes the Bankruptcy Meeting of Creditors: You Have No Reason For Anxiety

Indianapolis bankruptcy definition in dictionary

Being a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyer in Indianapolis, I have experienced the bankruptcy meeting of creditors possibly thousands of times. The Bankruptcy Meeting of Creditors can cause anxiety for many people who have never experienced it before. This article will describe the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Meeting to show you that there’s no cause for anxiety.

The Bankruptcy is Only a Procedural Requirement Under Section 341 of the Bankruptcy Code

Although you may have some anxiety about the Bankruptcy Meeting of Creditors, keep in mind that it is only a very routine procedural requirement of the Bankruptcy Code. Section 341 of the Bankruptcy Code requires the debtors in bankruptcy to be personally examined by the Bankruptcy Trustee through a series of simple questions. These questions are usually very routine and usually the Trustee does not anticipate for there to be any problems or assets in your case.

Your Creditors Will Most Likely Not Attend Your Bankruptcy Meeting

Although the Bankruptcy Meeting is many times referred to as the Meeting of Creditors, creditors very rarely attend these bankruptcy meetings. It is very unlikely that you will be examined by creditors in any way.

Keep in mind that the Bankruptcy Meeting is not a place for your creditors to object to the bankruptcy: it is only a place for your creditors to ask questions. Because there is usually no objection that creditors can bring to stop the discharge of their debt, creditors rarely find it necessary to attend the Bankruptcy Meeting.

Your Bankruptcy Meeting Will Go Smoothly Most Likely Because Your Attorney is Required to Present Documents to the Trustee Before the Meeting

When a Chapter 7 case goes as planned, documents will be sent to the Trustee ahead of time in order for review before the Trustee asks you any questions. Therefore, it is not very likely for there to be any surprises at the Bankruptcy Meeting. On occasion, additional documents or asset information may be needed after the Bankruptcy Meeting. However, such a request for additional documents is somewhat common and is no cause for alarm.

The Bankruptcy Meeting is Simple: You Sit Down and Answer Some Questions

Although it can be intimidating to come before a Bankruptcy Trustee, the reality is simply that you must sit down and answer some questions. Make sure to bring your driver’s license and Social Security card to the meeting and any other documents your attorney has requested. Also, be on time. After that, there is no reason for anxiety: just go to the Bankruptcy Meeting and answer the simple questions.

~Indianapolis Bankruptcy Attorney John F. Bymaster

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Who is This Bankruptcy Trustee?

Indianapolis Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Attorney Explains the Role of a Bankruptcy Trustee

Bankruptcy Trustee Gavel

Who is This Bankruptcy Trustee?

Many times I am asked, “Will I have to come up before a judge for my bankruptcy?” In response, I answer, “No, you will be required to be examined by the bankruptcy trustee assigned to your case.” The next question follows, “What is a bankruptcy trustee?” Being a bankruptcy attorney in Indianapolis, I can explain very clearly the role of a bankruptcy trustee.

A Bankruptcy Trustee is Assigned Automatically in Chapter 7 or Chapter 13

When you file your bankruptcy case, a bankruptcy trustee will be automatically assigned to administer your bankruptcy. These trustees are pre-selected groups of attorneys and accountants who are familiar with creditor and bankruptcy law. You will meet with this trustee to answer some questions during your bankruptcy meeting of creditors.

The Role of a Chapter 7 Trustee

To put it simply, the role of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee is to examine the value of your property to see if there are any nonexempt assets that should be sold to repay a portion of your debts. If no such assets exist, the trustee will file a report to the court stating that no money will be available for your creditors. However, if the Chapter 7 Trustee determines that assets do exist that can be properly sold to pay back some of your creditors, the trustee will follow through to ensure that such proper repayments will be eventually made.

The Role of a Chapter 13 Trustee

The role of the Chapter 13 trustee is to review your petition and repayment plan to make sure that your Chapter 13 case will be successful. The Chapter 13 Trustee will also conduct a meeting of creditors, but this meeting is more geared towards working out the details of your repayment plan instead of looking for assets. After your Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan is confirmed, the Chapter 13 Trustee will administer your plan and monitor it until completion.

Is the Bankruptcy Trustee on My Side or the Creditor’s Side?

Although arguably it can be asserted that the bankruptcy trustee represents the creditors, in reality the bankruptcy trustee is more of a facilitator of the bankruptcy system. The real goal of a bankruptcy trustee is to ensure that the requirements for the proper administration of all their bankruptcy case are met. Although Chapter 7 Trustees are motivated to find assets in their cases, proper administration of their cases under the bankruptcy code is the predominant agenda and duty of the bankruptcy trustee.

How to Address the Bankruptcy Trustee

The Bankruptcy Trustee assigned to your case should be addressed with respect in a way similar to how you would address a judge. The proper title in which you should address the trustee is either as “Mister Trustee” or “Madame Trustee.” When you answer your questions during the bankruptcy meeting, show similar dignity and respect to how you would address a judge.

Conclusion: The Role of the Bankruptcy Trustee is of the Highest Importance to the Bankruptcy System

Without a bankruptcy trustee being assigned to your case, our system of bankruptcy would have no examiner or facilitator in order to meet the requirements of the bankruptcy code. The bankruptcy trustee plays the most critical role in the bankruptcy system: the individual review and approval of each bankruptcy case. If you file bankruptcy, be sure to respect and cooperate with the bankruptcy trustee assigned to your case: his or her role is absolutely vital for your successful completion of your bankruptcy.

~Indianapolis Bankruptcy Attorney John F. Bymaster