Chapter 7 bankruptcy is often the easiest type of bankruptcy to qualify for, but this does not mean the process itself is simple. Those who pursue debt relief under Chapter 7 face a number of consequences and requirements, including subjecting themselves to a creditors’s meeting in the initial phases of the process. For some debtors, this meeting can carry great emotional impact and be difficult to withstand. It is sometimes helpful to remember that all the individuals involved in a bankruptcy have responsibility to remain professional and avoid personal attacks.
When a debtor makes it through the first steps in the process of filing for a Chapter 7, he or she must then submit to a creditors’ meeting. In many cases, the creditors’ meeting is the sole time that a debtor must appear in a courtroom. During the meeting, creditors consider the nature of the debt that the bankruptcy aims to discharge, as well as assess the property available in the liquidation. If a trustee determines that a person pursuing Chapter 7 has nonexempt property not yet liquidated, the trustee may order the debtor to surrender it, unless it is of little value or would prove too difficult to sell.
If the debtor does not appear for the creditors’ meeting, it is possible that the trustee may simply dismiss the bankruptcy altogether. This, clearly, could prove catastrophic to a person already in great need of financial relief.
The key to surviving and thriving in a bankruptcy, no matter what chapter you choose to file under, is proper guidance through the process, especially difficult portions such as a creditors’ meeting. While a bankruptcy is rarely easy or pain-free, the relief that it offers is often well-worth the discomfort, providing freedom that many debtors otherwise may never achieve otherwise.