It is natural if you are feeling nervous about your upcoming meeting with your creditors in Ohio. However, you should realize that your meeting with your Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee and your creditors is not complicated and proper preparation can help ensure that the meeting is a success. The U.S. Courts website explains what you can expect and how you should prepare for your meeting.
One of your first tasks before the creditor meeting is to send financial and tax information to your trustee. This information will consist of your most recent federal income tax return, though in lieu of the actual return, you can give your trustee a transcript of your return. Your trustee should also receive copies of your pay stubs from within sixty days before you filed your petition for bankruptcy.
Depending on the specifics of your case, you may need to bring specific documents to the meeting. However, there will be some documents that are mandatory for any initial creditor meeting. These consist of a picture identification and a proof of your Social Security number. Additionally, if you own a piece of real estate, you will also have to produce documents that show the market analysis of your property.
As you prepare your financial documents, keep in mind that you should not file your pay stubs and tax returns with the court itself, as such information will become public record. You must make sure that sensitive information, like the names of your children, your account number, birth dates and full Social Security number are not revealed. See that such information is redacted and reveal only what is necessary. For instance, you may show the last four digits of a Social Security number or only the year in a birth date.
At the actual meeting, the trustee will place the debtor under oath and ask questions about what the debtor owns and the income the debtor receives. Your creditors may also ask questions if they wish. To make sure you are not surprised by what your creditors or your trustee want to discuss, ask a bankruptcy attorney for advice on how to prepare for the questioning.
Keep in mind that this article is written only to provide general information about Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Do not consider it as legal counsel for your particular situation.