You need to attend the meeting of creditors. I am amazed that this would even be a question in a bankruptcy case. It does come up though. You spend loads of time coming up with papers to prepare your petition. Once we have it together you come to the office for a signing appointment which can go anywhere from 45 minutes to over two hours. When you sign I tell you that you will have to identify the signature on page 3 of your bankruptcy petition at the meeting of creditors.
Once I file the bankruptcy petition the court sends out notices of the meeting of creditors. Even you receive one. Sometimes this is where understanding breaks down. Most clients take my word for it that they have to be there and show up as instructed. However if you look at the notice all you will see is that there is a meeting of the creditors and some other deadlines. Top to bottom there is really no mention that you need to attend the meeting of creditors.
Ever want to be a detective? This is your Sherlock Holmes opportunity. I will wait a moment for you to get your double billed hat, Meerschaum Calabash pipe and violin. Ready? Now hold the notice of meeting of creditors at a comfortable reading distance. Grasp it in both hands. Now quickly, turn it over. What do you see? If your answer is lots of small print you qualify as a sleuth. Now scan down the page. Stop where it says:
A meeting of creditors is scheduled for the date, time, and location listed on the front side. The debtor (both spouses in a joint case) must be present at the meeting to be questioned under oath by the and by creditors. Creditors are welcome to attend, but are not required to do so. The meeting may be continued and concluded at a later date without further notice.
Here is the answer. Even though the front of the notice says nothing that you are required to attend, the reverse side of the document is part of it, and your instructions are there. From here on I do not want to hear that the notice was just for creditors. It isn’t. You are the star. You need to attend the meeting of creditors.