When dealing with overwhelming debt, people may consider various options to regain control of their finances. One such step, filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, may help them wipe their slates and start fresh. However, bankruptcy filers have numerous obligations and requirements that they must adhere to in order to gain this assistance.

Understanding what to expect from the meeting of creditors may help people prepare for the final steps of their bankruptcy filings.

Testimony under oath

According to the U.S. Courts, the meeting of creditors takes place between 21 and 40 days after people file their Chapter 7 bankruptcy petitions. During this meeting, bankruptcy filers go under oath and must answer questions posed by their creditors and the trustees assigned to their cases. These questions may include, for example, asking for further information or details about the filers’ property and financial affairs. The trustees’ questions may also focus on ensuring the bankruptcy filers understand the consequences of seeking this type of debt relief assistance.

Required documentation

According to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, those who file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy must bring certain documentation to their meetings of creditors. The documents they should have with them, or send to their trustees prior to the meetings, include the following:

  • Supporting documentation for current income
  • Supporting documentation for current expenditures
  • Current statements from secured creditors indicating the amounts owed
  • Current property tax statements
  • Copies of mortgages, leases, deeds or land contracts for lands owned over the last six years

People should also bring with them the original copies of their bank books and check registers, as well as any bank account, credit card or brokerage account statements.