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While the act of declaring bankruptcy can bring financial relief, the process leading up to it can have stressful moments. One of those difficult times can be the meeting of creditors, although there is usually no reason to be concerned. In the meeting, a trustee ensures all paperwork is accurate and that there is no bankruptcy fraud. To help the process go smoothly, there are many things you should do to prepare.

Gather needed information

Justice.gov reports that there are many pieces of personal information the trustee needs to have. In addition to proof of bank account records, you should come prepared with the following:

  • Contact information for your current employer
  • Any record of previous bankruptcy filing
  • A list of all creditors and schedules
  • Proof of domestic support obligations and contact information
  • A list of all assets

Bringing the needed information to the meeting will not only present you as a prepared applicant, but also allow the trustee to quickly verify the accuracy.

Report payments

In addition to the previous information, you also need to report on transactions you have made. Any payments made to anyone in the past year that surpass $600 need to be reported. Property transfers made in the last year also need to be detailed and, if you were the seller, you need to indicate what you did with the funds. You must also report payments made to you by others.

Bring all necessary documents

To verify your identity, trustees require a valid Social Security number and picture ID. While this might seem inconsequential, it can disrupt proceedings and require the trustee to make statements explaining why you failed to bring the necessary items.

Income possibilities

If there are any possibilities of you receiving payment in certain circumstances, they need to be reported. These include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • If you are named as inheritor on a life insurance policy
  • If you are involved in legal claims
  • If you are invested in real estate
  • If you own cash value life insurance policies
  • If you expect to receive cash or property in any divorce proceedings

Should anything change in your situation concerning these factors, it needs to be reported to the courts within 10 days.

By contacting a law firm experienced in handling bankruptcy, you will have professional guidance throughout the process. Declaring bankruptcy is a way to reach financial independence, and expert legal advice can help you achieve your goal as quickly as possible.