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Can I use a Power of Attorney for my wife so that just one of us has to show up at the creditor's meeting?

Warrenton, VA |

My wife and I are both listed in a Chapter & bankruptcy filing and we are representing ourselves. Do we both have to show up if one of us holds a Power of Attorney for the other?

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Attorney answers 3

Best Answer

Unlikely, since holding a power of attorney doesn't give you full access to the other person's brain. In instances where someone is unable to personally appear to testify, you should contact the office of the US Trustee to make advance arrangements for either telephone testimony or testimony by affidavit. Someone with the legal authority to swear in a witness to testify must be present with the nonappearing Debtor to confirm their identity & to make sure that they take the legal oath before answering questions.
Examples of where this process is appropriate would include when someone is serving in the Armed Forces, is in jail or prison, or suffers an illness that prevents them from traveling to the Courthouse. Since the courthouse has wheelchair ramps, if you use the illness excuse, you must produce a physician's letter to explain why the person cannot attend and arrange for an official to appear either at the home or hospital bed.

Hope this perspective helps!


It depends on your situation for why your wife can't attend the meeting (incapacity, disability, etc.). It also depends on the Trustee and the local practices in your jurisdiction. I recommend your wife attend if she can, so the meeting doesn't need to be reset if the Trustee doesn't accept your POA and wants live testimony.

The information provided in this post is not "legal advice." Rather it is general information on common legal issues. If you have questions concerning your specific situation, it is always best to consult an attorney in your area.


The bankruptcy rules require appearance of a debtor for their creditor meeting, subject to being excused for good cause.

The nature of bankruptcy practice, requires a person to personally swear to the truth of matters presented at a creditors' meeting, and a power of attorney is not a substitute that allows one person to swear for another.

As my colleague has stated, it depends on the reason she can not be there.
The reason(s) are initially up to the trustee(s) to evaluate, and may require the Court to excuse appearance, with an order.

In the districts I practice in, a power of attorney is not a valid document to substitute for an appearance.

General legal advice is offered for educational purposes only. A consultation with a qualified attorney is required to determine specific legal advice as to your situation and applicable law. We are a debt relief agency and we help people file for relief under the bankruptcy laws.