Once you file a bankruptcy petition under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 of the bankruptcy code, there will be many deadlines and requirements you have to meet. It can be a lot to keep track of. In fact, one major benefit of hiring an experienced Nevada bankruptcy attorney is having the weight of tracking all of your required filings and appearances before the bankruptcy court lifted off your shoulders.
One of those requirements you must meet involves attending your meeting of creditors. The meeting of creditors is a meeting conducted by the bankruptcy trustee in your case. The purpose of the meeting is to give the trustee a chance to ensure that the information provided in your bankruptcy petition is accurate and that you are forthcoming. It is the job of the trustee to uncover fraud and discover unlisted assets, so the trustee may question you extensively about your assets.
You may not hear a lot about the meeting of creditors, but it can play an important role in your bankruptcy case. Here are five things you should know about the meeting of creditors on your case.
THE MEETING OF CREDITORS IS MANDATORY
The meeting of creditors is required by 11 U.S.C. 341 of the bankruptcy code and your attendance is mandatory. The meeting of creditors is an important tool of the trustee, which is why the bankruptcy code won’t let you skip it. There can be severe penalties for missing a meeting of creditors, including the possibility of your bankruptcy being dismissed entirely.
YOUR MEETING OF CREDITORS IS HELD WITHIN 6 WEEKS OF FILING YOUR PETITION
The meeting of creditors occurs fairly early in the bankruptcy process; this is especially true in a Chapter 13 case that can wind up lasting five years or more. While there is no hard deadline set out by the code, the court will typically schedule your Meeting of Creditors within six weeks of filing your petition.
YOUR CREDITORS ARE UNLIKELY TO APPEAR
The name “meeting of creditors” might bring to mind a large gathering of the parties that you owe money to, questioning you about your assets and income. In reality, it is unlikely if any of your creditors will appear at the meeting. In most cases, the meeting of creditors involves just the trustee and the debtor. Your creditors are entitled to be there, so it’s possible they could attend.
SKIPPING THE MEETING CAN LEAD TO A DISMISSAL OF YOUR BANKRUPTCY
The meeting of creditors, also known as a 341 hearing, is mandatory. While it is possible under certain circumstances to have the meeting rescheduled if you have a conflict, failing to appear at the meeting can result in your case being dismissed.
YOU ARE ENTITLED TO AN ATTORNEY AT THE MEETING
The good news is that you don’t have to attend the meeting alone. You are entitled to have an attorney present to guide you and walk you through the process. If you are considering a Nevada bankruptcy filing, the bankruptcy attorneys with Vohwinkel Law have extensive experience representing clients at creditor meetings. To learn what a Nevada bankruptcy attorney can do for you, contact Vohwinkel Law today for a free consultation.