The bankruptcy Meeting of Creditors, for both Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy, is largely a formality. The hard work in preparing and filing a bankruptcy petition is mostly complete. However, this does not mean you should show up unprepared. If certain information is not brought to the meeting, your case could be delayed, and even dismissed (in rare cases!)
The two most important things you need to bring in EVERY bankruptcy case is a valid, government-issued photo ID (normally, this will be your drivers license) and your Social Security card. You must bring BOTH. Otherwise, the Trustee will refuse to conduct your Meeting of Creditors, which will need to be rescheduled. This information is used by the Trustee to verify your identity.
If you cannot find your Social Security card (I know mine has been lost for periods of time!) you will need to bring an original document showing your complete Social Security number, with none of the numbers obscured or redacted. An original Social Security payment statement (with all of your Social Security numbers visible) will also be accepted if you are retired.
If you absolutely cannot find your Social Security card, and you do not have a pay stub or any other original proof, you will need to visit the Social Security office downtown and order a new card. They will give you a receipt with you Social Security number on it... this will be sufficient for the Meeting of Creditors.
A valid government-issued photo ID is also necessary. For most people, this will be their drivers license. A military ID card would also suffice. Something like a Costco card will NOT (remember, it needs to be government-issued). Non-drivers can still be issued a state ID card (they look just like normal drivers licenses), and this may be necessary if you have no other government-issued IDs.
A brief list of things that would be helpful to bring, but are not mandatory, include:
- your most recent pay stubs
- proof of payment to the Trustee (Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases only)
- any documents or paperwork your attorney requested you to forward before the Meeting
- your completed Certificate of Financial Management
Prepare to be at least a half-hour early so your attorney can review your petition with you one last time, and review the questions normally asked at the Meeting. If you bring your government-issued photo ID, your Social Security card, and the above-listed material, your bankruptcy Meeting of Creditors will likely be a breeze!