Posted on: 20 February 2015
The absolute hardest part of filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy was your decision to file your case with the courts. Once your case has been filed, you no longer have anything to be stressed about. Moving forward you will simply need to attend your creditor's meeting and make your regular payments to the trustee. And, neither of these things should give you cause for worry.
Just the term "creditor meeting" might make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end. The good news is that this meeting is a very simple legal procedure and nothing to be concerned about.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Creditor Meeting
Approximately one month after the filing of your bankruptcy case, you will receive an appointment letter in the mail. This letter will give you the date, time and location of the creditor meeting for your case. You are required by the courts to attend this meeting. Your creditors can legally take one of two different options:
- agree to the stipulations in your case and not attend the meeting in person
- send a representative to the meeting to attempt to obtain a "reaffirmation" of the debt from you
Most lenders know that they have nothing to gain by attending your creditor meeting. They will be paid a certain amount of money based upon your filing papers, and attending the meeting doesn't make financial sense for them to do. This means that there will very likely be no creditors at your meeting at all.
However, if you have a secured debt for something like tires on your car, or a large appliance that you recently purchased on credit, then a creditor's representative may attend your meeting.
The creditor representative's sole job is to ask you if you want to reaffirm your debt. If you agree to reaffirm, then you will owe the entire debt to the creditor. If you deny, then the creditor will move to get their property back from you in the near future.
Creditor representatives do not personally care about your legal case. They are paid to simply attend your meeting and ask you to reaffirm. For this reason, you will find they are very agreeable and will not be confrontational in any way regardless of your choice.
The United States bankruptcy process utilizes a person referred to as a "trustee" to act as a mediator between creditors and those filing for the court's protection. When your case was filed with the courts, the court assigned it to a trustee. The trustee reads your case file and arranges an appointment time for your creditor meeting.
The trustee is an officer of the court and is paid by the court. You will need to pay for your own attorney to represent you in your case, but you will not ever pay the trustee.
By understanding the chapter 13 meeting of creditors and how the process works, you can now walk in to your own creditor meeting with your head held high and no stress. If you have additional questions about the process of filing for bankruptcy, then you should call a bankruptcy attorney like John G Rhyne Attorney At Law and make an appointment for a consultation.Share