There are several steps to your chapter 7 bankruptcy filing that must be completed, including the meeting of creditors. Once you have met with the creditors and your bankruptcy trustee, you are almost finished with the process. To help you better understand that process, here is some information on what to expect following the meeting.
The Trustee Makes a Decision
The purpose of the meeting of creditors is to determine if all of your debts and income sources are included in your filing. Your trustee has to review any challenges to the discharges that are made by creditors. In some instances, the trustee might request additional information from you or your creditors to further investigate debts. If that is the case, another meeting will be scheduled for a future date and you will need to bring the requested information.
The trustee also has the option of declaring that all of your debts and income are accurately reported and that your filing should move to the next level.
Attend a Debtor Education Course
The debtor education course is designed to help you pinpoint what led to you filing for bankruptcy and help you identify steps you can take in the future to avoid it. Once the meeting has passed, you must complete the course or your bankruptcy could be dismissed. If your case is dismissed, you will not receive the discharge of debts that comes with a chapter 7.
The debtor education course is available online. Once you complete it, you will receive a certificate of completion that you must provide to the trustee.
Fight a Creditor Challenge
In the event that one of your creditors has decided to fight the discharge of its debt, you will need to formally object to the challenge. To object, you need to file a written notice with the bankruptcy court. You must be able to prove that the debt is not valid and should be discharged. For instance, you could argue that the amount the creditor is claiming you owe is not accurate.
You will be notified following the meeting with creditors if one of your creditors is objecting to the discharge. A hearing will be scheduled before the bankruptcy judge to determine whether or not you should be held responsible for the debt. If the judge decides in your favor, the debt can be discharged. However, if the judge sides with the creditor, you will still have to pay the debt.
Once all of these steps are completed, you can receive the discharge and completion of your case. For further questions, speak with your bankruptcy lawyer.