The Meeting of Creditors is generally held 20-40 days after the filing of the bankruptcy petition. Once the debtor answers pertinent questions about their financial affairs and property at the meeting, the trustee must, within 10 days, report to the bankruptcy court their decision as to whether the case at hand shall be permitted to proceed under the chapter filed or alternately, that there is evidence of abuse.
Is Appearance at This Meeting Mandatory for The Debtor?
Yes, appearance by the debtor is mandatory for this meeting, because it is a chance for the creditor to obtain information or ask the debtor about specific financial matters. The examination period however, is generally very limited and brief - (the trustee usually schedules ten examinations per hour..so that translates to roughly 5 minutes spent on each case).
Protective Safeguards for The Debtor
The Bankruptcy Code requires the trustee to ask the debtor certain questions at the Meeting of Creditors to ensure that the debtor is aware of all consequences of seeking a discharge in bankruptcy. The general consequences discussed are; effect of bankruptcy on credit history, the ability to file again under another chapter, the effects of receiving a discharge, and the effects of reaffirming debts.