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     To assist our visitors, we are providing the answers to our most frequently asked questions.

Question: What happens at the “creditor meeting”?


There is the myth that the trustee hearing or creditor meeting is indeed a "creditor meeting." This could not be further from the truth. It may be called a creditor meeting but in actuality, there is no real meeting of anybody, creditor or not. Here is how the process works.

trustee hearingOn the day of your meeting you walk into a crowded room with no place to sit. At the end of the room is a desk with a trustee and a pile of bankruptcy files. The names of the people are called off one at a time. When it is your turn, you will usually be asked three standard questions. The first one is whether or not you were coerced or forced into filing bankruptcy. The second one is whether or not you want to complete the bankruptcy process, and the third one is whether you want to change anything on the documents you filed. You answer those questions and you are done. It is that simple. The whole process will be over in a few minutes.

Question: Do I need a lawyer to represent me at my hearing?


No. What many people tend to believe is that a lawyer can represent them at the trustee meeting. Lawyers can no more represent you at the trustee meeting than they can represent you to watch a beautiful sunset on your behalf. It is something you have to do yourself.

A lawyer can come to the trustee meeting with you, but so can your best friend or anyone else for that matter. If you bring a lawyer to the hearing, they can only state their name and no more. They cannot answer the three standard questions for you. If they try, the trustee will stop them in their tracks. So why do some people hire lawyers for their chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy filing?

They do so simply because they are afraid and they do not know any better. It is like a kid having their parent take them to school on their first day. It does not accomplish anything other than to calm them down.
The one thing most people regret about their bankruptcy experience is that they let themselves get conned into paying money they did not have to hire an attorney they did not need for the trustee meeting.

Your chapter 7 and chapter 13 bankruptcy success depends solely on the documents you file, not on what happens at the trustee meeting. The meeting is merely a formality and nothing more. Should one or more of your serious creditors challenge your request to discharge, then you might consider an attorney.

Question: What is the Trustees’ role in the process?


The trustees are only administrators and they have no power to make any orders or to decide anything. For chapter 7 and chapter 13 consumer cases, their job is mostly to look over the papers and to hold the meeting. Some trustees are not even lawyers. Anyone can apply for a job as a trustee. If you are good with numbers, you too can become a trustee.
If you follow the rules, the discharge of your debts is virtually an automated process. You have a constitutional right to have your debts discharged and no court or judge or trustee is doing you a favor. The trustee and the judge are there to make sure you are following the rules.

Bankruptcy is strictly an administrator process and not really a legal one. It more naturally belongs in accounting and bookkeeping but because it is overseen by a judge, it has been dominated by lawyers.

Get ahead of the process...

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