The Creditors Meeting Process
The thought of being questioned under oath at a creditors meeting can be daunting. The good news is that most people get far more nervous than they should. To familiarize yourself with the creditors meeting process, you can always go to the court before your appointed date and watch other people. We’ve compiled a list of topics that may or may not be brought up during your creditors meeting.
The trustee assigned to your bankruptcy case will be motivated to find the right balance in your repayment schedule. A trustee’s commission is based on how much you pay into the Plan. If the payments are too high, there is a good chance you will not have the ability to continue paying into the Plan. If you can’t make the payments, they do not receive a commission. If your payments are low, the trustee will receive less commission. So a trustee wants to maximize how much you pay into the Plan without it being undoable.
The creditors meeting gives the trustee the ability to gather and clarify information to find the right balance in the Plan. This information is used to aid in the liquidation of assets for payment to creditors.
To initiate the process, you need to confirm your identity by stating your name and address for the record. You will also provide a picture ID and Social Security card for their review. They will also want to know how to get in touch with your current employer (to withdrawal payments from your paycheck).
Confirmation of Understanding
You might be asked if you’ve read and understand all of the documents you filed and signed. They will ask you if the information in the petition, schedules, statements, and related documents is complete, accurate and correct. All of your assets and creditors should be identified in the schedules. If any of the above aren’t true, they will want to know what errors or omissions should be brought to attention.
Past and Present Experiences
You might be asked if you have past experienced filing for bankruptcy or with the court system in general. Pending lawsuits and the status of lawsuits can be important.
Your tax information submitted to the trustee should be up-to-date and they will confirm the timeliness, accuracy, and completeness of your filings. Your tax returns can be garnished if you are expecting them.
They will ask you if you have domestic support obligations and check to see if the payments are current.
Real estate is a valuable asset. If you own or have interest in owning real estate, the trustee will want to know about it. They might ask about when the property was purchased, the cost, and the mortgages on the property. The present value and how you arrived at the value of a property will be a consideration.
If you don’t own, but rent, any relationships with the owner of the property should be disclosed.
Inquiries into property transfers through inheritance, gift, or giving might come up. Who gifted/received the property and what was the property is important. Compensation and what was done with the compensation might also be a topic. Property held in your name may also come under question.
The bank accounts in your name, the balances during the time you filed petition and any other cash holdings like savings bonds, stocks, certificates of deposit, and safe boxes, might be brought up during the creditors meeting.
They will want to know the status of any auto loans, what the auto loan is for, and how much is owed on the loans.
Potential Winnings, Insurances, and Inheritance
If you have a winning lottery ticket, or anticipate winning or inheriting any property or cash, you will be asked to disclose the items and their values. Property, cash, or other items retained as a result of insurance or divorce are included.
Entitlements to insurances and inheritance as a result of death might require explanation in detail. The name of the company, the amount of insurance or inheritance, and the beneficiaries will need to be made known.
If you are owed money, the person who owes you money and whether the money is collectible might be a consideration.
The trustee will want to know if you own or have owned a business and if anyone has a claim against you or your business. If so, where and when did the claim against your business happen. Large payments you have made, or made to you might be investigated.