Technical and Emotional Preparation for the 341 Bankruptcy Meeting of Creditors
No one plans far in advance to file for bankruptcy. But whether it is a Chapter 7 filing liquidation of assets (minus the generous exemptions allowed under New York bankruptcy law) or reorganization under Chapter 13, a bankruptcy can be the solution to financial problems that build over time.
Many bankruptcies, however, do come from sudden events: the loss of a job, a natural disaster (such as Hurricane Sandy) or an illness that means medical expenses on top of being unable to work. Mixed in with all of this, of course, is a great deal of emotion: guilt, shame and feeling a lack of control commonly accompany the process.
A good bankruptcy attorney helps guide the filer through the process in a way that accomplishes what bankruptcy is intended to do: allow the individual to be protected from the day-to-day hassle of creditors and collection agencies and to rebuild anew. The attorney should also prepare the filer for the 341 bankruptcy meeting of creditors. This is a required part of the process, but can be much less stressful if the filer does the following:
- Prepare: Make sure all documents are gathered and ready a day or two in advance.
- Notify in advance: If anything significant has changed since the paperwork was signed, discuss it in advance with your attorney.
- Present well: Dress conservatively, answer questions politely and don’t add extraneous information.
- Be punctual: There may be security checkpoints leading to the hearing, so expect delays. The bankruptcy trustee does not appreciate being kept waiting by your inability to plan ahead.
It makes sense to work with a bankruptcy attorney who creates that sense of reassurance from the first meeting. Contact a New York bankruptcy lawyer to discuss how it works and what options you may have.