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If you have made the decision to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection, you are on the road toward a better financial future. However, that road can be a bit bumpy so it is best to be prepared.

For instance, as part of the filing process, you will need to meet with your creditors to discuss the repayment plan. Going into this meeting without adequate preparation can be unwise, as you will be discussing details about your finances and answering creditors’ questions. If you are not ready or organized for the meeting, it can be a much more unpleasant experience.

Below are a few common questions and answers that can help you prepare for your meeting with creditors.

  • When does this meeting happen? Federal bankruptcy laws dictate that this meeting happens between 21 and 50 days after you have filed your petition for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
  • Who will be there? The people required to attend this meeting are you, your spouse (if you are filing a joint petition), the trustee assigned to your case and your creditors. However, some creditors may choose not to attend this meeting.
  • What questions will be asked? Generally speaking, creditors (and/or the trustee) will be asking you for more information about your financial standing and resources. They may ask you to elaborate on what factors led to your filing or to clarify or confirm details about your assets and liabilities. The questions essentially serve as a way for creditors to address any potential problems with a repayment plan.
  • How long will these meetings last? In many cases, these meetings are relatively brief, especially if the information you provided with your petition is accurate and complete. They may only last 15 minutes. However, if creditors need to ask more questions or if issues arise that affect the repayment plan, the meeting can continue until such issues are resolved.

If you come to the meeting unprepared or if you fail to show up, your case could be dismissed and you could wind up having to file for bankruptcy protection all over again.

However, with proper preparation, the support and guidance of your attorney, and an understanding of what to expect at this meeting, you can get past it and move on to the next step of the Chapter 13 bankruptcyprocess.