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Florida Bankruptcy Lawyer:The Meeting of Creditors

After filing a bankruptcy petition, all clients must attend the 341 meeting of creditors. The meeting is presided by the Trustee and creditors may attend and ask questions of the debtor about his/her petition, schedules,statements and finances. Typically, only the Trustee does the questioning and it is rare that any creditor shows at all. The meeting is usually recorded and is held under oath.
Debtors must produce a form of identification such as a driver’s license and their social security card to the Trustee.

Documents are submitted to the Trustee before the meeting which usually include proof of income and tax returns. Additional documents may be requested by the trustee to clarify potential discrepancies in the petition or other supporting documents. It is not a time where the debtor will be intimidated or be asked embarrassing or humiliating questions.

The Trustee usually asks about the debtors background, assets and liabilities as well as income and expenses. They will inquire whether the debtor realized he filed his documents under the penalties of perjury; whether the documents were reviewed for their accuracy, completeness and truthfulness; whether anything needs to be added or changed regarding the petition, schedules or statements; if they have any interest in any real estate; if any transfer of property occurred in the year preceding the bankruptcy; if anyone holds property that belongs to the debtor; if they are owed any monies or are a party to a lawsuit or anticipate receiving funds in the near future. In the event of the debtor being self employed, the Trustee will look into the financial aspects of the business as well. Though this sounds like it may take a while, the typical meeting is concluded in 5 to 10 minutes.

When the meeting is concluded, creditors then have a limited time to object to the debtors claimed exemptions.

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