If you're going to be filing for bankruptcy in the near future, it is common to be caught off guard with what the process involves. You'll likely need to attend a bankruptcy creditor meeting, which is where people you owe money to are invited to attend and potentially petition your bankruptcy filing. Here is what you need to know about this meeting.

What Happens At A Bankruptcy Creditor Meeting?

The general name of the bankruptcy creditor meeting can be misleading, because it will likely not be a traditional meeting that you are thinking of. While it can be held in a conference room with a trustee running the meeting, it will more than likely be held in court. Also, consider it less of a meeting and more of a formality, since you'll be required to appear at the meeting. You won't be grilled over your current financial situation, but will be asked questions about the documents you submitted, your current financial situation, and a proposed plan for debt repayment.

Will Creditors Show Up At A Bankruptcy Creditor Meeting?

Creditors are not required to attend the meeting and typically do not attend. The only time you'll see a creditor is if they feel like the bankruptcy is fraudulent and they want to prove their case so their debt is not discharged. This is more common if the creditor feels like you took on the debt with the intention of filing for bankruptcy. The creditor would want to petition in this case because the debt would be discharged and you'd never have to pay it back.

The other reason a creditor may show up is if you are reaffirming debts. This is when you will continue paying a debt during the bankruptcy because you wish to keep the assets associated with it. Many people do this if they are still paying off an auto loan or a mortgage and don't want to lose the car or home due to the bankruptcy.

If your bankruptcy creditor meeting is held in court, you should also know that it is a public courtroom. Other people may be there due to the nature of waiting their turn to have their meeting. However, others may come into the courtroom and observe the meeting. If your hopes were to keep the nature of your bankruptcy private, know that it won't be possible due to the meeting being part of the public record.

For more information about a bankruptcy creditor meeting, consult with a bankruptcy law firm.