Bankruptcy Meeting of Creditors

Chapter 7 Charleston, SC

What to Expect

Update: Due to COVID-19, Meeting of Creditors are currently being held by phone. We will review the process with you, attend the meeting (call) with you and fully prepare you for the meeting.

After your Bankruptcy case is filed, you will be required to attend a "Meeting of Creditors". Unless there are other issues with your case, which is rare, this is more or less the only "hearing"/ court date you will be required to attend.

We will let you know your meeting of creditors date in advance (it is usually 30 days after your case is filed but we will let you know the date as soon as we have it). Be sure to mark this important date on your calendar and arrange time off of work and/ or childcare if at all possible. Your attorney will meet with you about a week or so beforehand to make sure you are well prepared.

Where do I go?

Update: If your Meeting of Creditors is being held by phone, you will come to our office 

145 King Street, Room 225

If you are heading down King Street towards Broad, the building is on the corner of King Street and Queen Street. It is the SunTrust Building (it looks like a bank from the outside). There are 2 parking garages, one on the right and one on the left and either one is fine to park in. Parking is not validated. After you park: (1) walk into the SunTrust building; (2) take the elevators up to the second floor; (3) go left down the hall off the elevators; and (4) the court room is on the left after the bathrooms (through glass doors) There are metal detectors when you walk in the glass doors, so be prepared to show your license to the security officers. The officers will not allow you to take electronics (cell phones, tables, etc.) or any food or drinks into the court room.

What do I bring?

Update: If your Meeting of Creditors is being held by phone, we will upload your DL and SS Card to the Trustee prior to the meeting and verify your identity on the record

Bring your driver’s license and social security card. If you forget either one of these things, the Trustee will not hear your case and your meeting of creditors will be continued to the next month. You may also bring your Bankruptcy schedules although you probably will not need them.

What do I wear?

Update: If your Meeting of Creditors is being held by phone, you can wear whatever you want

This is a “working man’s court” so you do not need to wear a suit. Dress in business casual clothing or something you might wear to church.

When should I get there and what should I expect?

If you have ever been in a court room or seen one on TV, that is exactly what the meeting of creditors room looks like. There are benches where everyone sits, a railing with a swinging gate (just like the movies), desks, a podium, a witness box and the Judge’s bench. All of the Debtors who have filed Bankruptcy that month will be sitting on the benches.

When you get into the Court room, try to sit in the front because the acoustics are not good and it is hard to hear. You can listen to other Debtor’s testimony. The more people you hear testify, the more comfortable you might feel when it is your turn. The earlier you get to the courtroom, the better. Again, not only will you get to hear others’ testimony but you will not be rushed. It is usually best to get to the parking garage about 45 mins before your hearing time so you will be in the courtroom about 30 mins before your hearing time. There will be 5 cases starting at 9:30; 5 cases at 10; 5 cases at 10:30; and so on. As such, the Trustee might fall behind. Be prepared for a possible wait. There is a break after the 11 session until 1:30 and the court will usually be closed.

When the Trustee calls your name/ case, your attorney will hand your driver’s license and SS card to the Trustee. The Trustee will then swear you in.

What will I be asked?

The questions vary from case to case but your attorney will go through the possible question with you and give you a general idea of what to expect.

Some examples are: Did you list everything you own? Did you list all of your debts? Is everything complete and honest?

Will my creditors be there?

Usually creditors do not appear unless there is something unusual going on with your case. Your attorney can usually advise if you have a creditor that might show up to ask questions in your case.

What should I expect after the Meeting of creditors is over?

The Trustee will declare your case one of the following:

Asset: there is an asset the trustee would like to sell/ administer

No asset: there are no assets to sell

Hold open: the trustee wants to investigate something further, such as a home appraisal

Your attorney can usually give you an idea which one of these will happen in your case.

You will need to go to your second financial management course and sign any reaffirmation agreements (if you so choose) within 60 days after the meeting of creditors.

Your attorney will remind you of this and send you instructions. You should receive your discharge after 60 days has passed as long as there are no issues or objections to your discharge.

After you receive your discharge, your attorney will have an exit conference with you to discuss how to recover from Bankruptcy.

General suggestions and reminders:

- Say yes ma’am/ no sir. This is a polite way to address the trustee.

- Speak clearly and audibly. The testimony is being recorded.

- Listen to the questions.

- Make sure you understand the questions.

- Let the trustee finish asking a question before you answer.

- Answer the questions truthfully and honestly.

- Your testimony needs to come from you. The trustee does not want your attorney to answer questions for you. That said, your attorney will be by your side and, if anything legal comes up, such as an amendment required or a question about an exemption, your attorney will speak up and handle that legal issue.

- Try not be nervous. Breath. Your attorney will have you well-prepared. Your situation is what it is; you have nothing to hide. Your attorney knows your situation well and reviewed your options and you decided together that this was the best option for you based on your circumstances. Your attorney will be there with you.

If you have a question, give us a call. Consultations are free. Contact Information 

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