Five Meeting of Creditor Reminders
When your client files bankruptcy, he is directed to attend a meeting of creditors in front of a bankruptcy trustee. While this may be your hundredth or thousandth time at a 341 meeting, this is your client’s first time. Here are five reminders to help your client at the bankruptcy meeting.
1. Remind your client of the location and time and date of the hearing in writing.
The Bankruptcy Court sends your client a notice of the time date and location of the hearing. This is the official notice that is alos sent to your office. Follow up with your client and send a short letter about three weeks before the hearing. Again note the date, time and location of the hearing.
Your client has never been to this location and will need to be reminded that this location is different than where they met you. If the client misses the meeting, then the hearing may be continued. Take special pains to make sure they know where it is.
2. Remind them to bring photo identification and proof of Social Security number.
Most people carry their driver’s license with them. However most people do not carry their Social Security card them. Remind your client to bring both photo ID and Social Security proof to the hearing. If you do not remind them, they will not show up with the proper identification. Without the proper ID, the case will be continued.
3. Remind the clients to bring their recent tax return
The bankruptcy rules dictate that you, the attorney, send the trustee the recent tax return at least 8 days prior to the meeting of creditors. Advise your clients to bring a copy of their taxes to the hearing. This copy is just in case the trustee did not receive a copy from you. The trustee may view the copy at the hearing and
4. Remind to bring child support spousal support claimant information
According to the Chapter 7 and 13 Trustee’s manual, the trustee is required to send spousal and child support claimants a letter within a few days of the hearing. The trustee will ask your child support and spousal support paying clients for the name and address of the the ex-spouse. Remind your clients to bring the address or the hearing will be continued.
5. Remind them by calling the day before.
One law firm I know describes this as the “wake up call”. Some people receive information through reading and some through listening. Call your clients the day before the hearing and remind them to appear at the hearing. This is also an opportunity to verbally prepare them for the hearing and remind them to bring photo ID, Social Security, Taxes. And explain how to get the the hearing.
6. Bonus–Remind them through text message
A short text message on the day of the hearing will help some people make it to the hearing. People will not read their mail, they will not answer telephone calls, but text messages are never ignored. So use a text to remind your clients one more time.