Ready For Your Closeup? Steps To Prepare For Meeting The Trustee

The bankruptcy process is filed with obstacles and milestones: hiring an attorney, filling out complicated forms and pulling the trigger to file the case itself. On top of all this is at least one public appearance: meeting with the trustee. In Chapter 7 the trustee’s meeting should follow careful planning and execution. In Chapters 11 and 13 it should be the starting point to successfully reorganize. The trustee can be both friend or foe depending on the circumstances, but their job begins by examining you under oath about your petition, your schedules and your finances.

The key to taking the anxiety out of this meeting is preparation. Knowing where you’re going and confirming the date, time and place with your attorney may seem like common sense, but many debtors would be surprised that they need to go through metal detectors and airport-style security if the meeting is held in a federal courthouse. And few debtors would know intuitively that they need to bring both a photo ID and their social security card.

Of course, reviewing the bankruptcy papers a day or two beforehand will help the debtors identify any changes they need to make to the official record, which may become important if there are significant errors or omissions in the papers they signed and that were filed with the Court. Testifying under penalty of perjury can be a stressful ordeal, but following the 7 steps in this article can help the meeting go much smoother.


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