Everyone who files for bankruptcy must go to the bankruptcy court at least once (more in some cases). The purpose is to attend the meeting of creditors.
At the meeting of creditors, the bankruptcy trustee—the official appointed to oversee your case—will place you under oath and review your identification (usually a driver’s license and Social Security card) to ensure that you are the individual who filed the matter. The trustee will go over your bankruptcy petition and ask you a set of standard questions. For instance, you can expect the trustee to ask:
The trustee will also ask you questions about your particular petition. (A bankruptcy lawyer representing you will likely be able to predict such questions beforehand.)
Once complete, the trustee will invite any creditors in attendance to the front to ask you about your financial situation. Creditors don’t appear in most cases (and again, you and your attorney will likely know which creditors—if any—will potentially show up).
The trustee might want further information, additional documents, or to inspect a property or storage facility. In that case, the trustee will continue the meeting to allow additional time for review. In most cases, however, the trustee will be satisfied and conclude the meeting.
(If you’re wondering what will happen next, read What Happens After Your Meeting of Creditors?)