Meeting of Creditors
This is usually a fairly informal meeting attended by your lawyer, the trustee and, possibly one or more of your creditors. It won’t be in a courtroom, and there won’t be a judge present. The meeting will be run by the bankruptcy trustee, who will review your petition and ask a series of what are usually standard questions. Because his or her job is to be sure that your creditors get repaid as much as possible, the main concern is that you haven’t forgotten to disclose any assets and that your income is accurately stated.
If creditors appear, they may also ask you questions. This typically only happens if the income or other information in your petition differs from that in your application for credit, or to see whether recent charges on a credit card may have been made with no intention of repaying them (if you go on a credit card spending spree just before you file, the bank can ask that you be required to repay what you charge in full).
The assistance of an experienced bankruptcy lawyer in preparing your plan will help you anticipate and avoid objections by creditors. However, creditors may appear and either try to persuade the trustee that you’ve understated you income or assets, or that they could be repaid more if your assets were liquidated (that is, if your case was converted to a Chapter 7 proceeding). Provided the trustee doesn’t believe any understatement was deliberate (remember, you’ll be answering under oath) you will most likely be allowed to amend and resubmit your plan. An amendment to your plan may also occur if there have been material changes in your income or assets since you first filed.
Proofs of Claim
All holders of claims, whether secured, unsecured or “priority” (for example, certain tax and child support obligations, which generally must be paid in full) must file a sworn “proof of claim” that states the amount they contend they are owed. If a creditor fails to submit a proof of claim, you as the debtor can do so on its behalf. This will help ensure that the creditor’s claim is included in your plan and is covered by your eventual discharge.
How is my payment plan determined? Find out here.