What Form of ID Should I Bring to My Creditors Meeting?

16 Mar What Form of ID Should I Bring to My Creditors Meeting?

If you have filed a bankruptcy case, you are no doubt aware you are required to attend a meeting with the trustee, about one month after your case is filed. Along with other important documents, you are required to bring proof of your identity to this meeting. This requirement is found in Interim Bankruptcy Rule 4002(b)(1), which reads as follows:

Personal Identification. Every individual debtor shall bring to the meeting of creditors under section 341 … a picture identification issued by a governmental unit, or other personal identifying information that establishes the debtor’s identity….

If you do not bring satisfactory ID to the creditors meeting, the trustee may actually refuse to proceed, and instead may request that you come back a different day for your meeting. This can create serious problems. You might face needlessly heightened trustee scrutiny upon your return, and your lawyer may ask you to pay for her additional time spent making an extra trip to the courthouse for your rescheduled meeting.

However, if the trustee disputes that you have brought satisfactory ID to the creditors meeting, it is worth arguing that the form of ID you did bring satisfies Rule 4002, which permits “other personal identifying information.” Rather than the typical drivers license photo ID, this could be a birth certificate, state photo ID card, social security card, library card, student ID, or other types of ID. After all, why should the trustee be allowed to force you and your lawyer to make a special, additional trip to the rescheduled meeting, when there is no bona fide dispute that you are who you claim to be?

If you bring to the creditors meeting some form of personal identification establishing your identity, the trustee is disregarding the plain language of Rule 4002 if she insists instead upon a drivers license photo ID, and demands that your meeting be rescheduled. The trustee is appointed by the court, and is a representative of the Justice Department, obligated to follow the bankruptcy law and rules. While it is best to bring a drivers license photo ID to the creditors meeting, if for some reason you do not have this form of ID with you at your meeting, be sure to have your lawyer present your other forms of ID to the trustee. This may save you from the unpleasant necessity of rescheduling your meeting.

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Craig W. Andresen is a consumer bankruptcy lawyer in Bloomington, Minnesota, with 22 years’ experience in consumer and small business bankruptcy cases. He is the Minnesota chair of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, and is a member of the Minnesota State Bar Association’s Bankruptcy Section. Mr. Andresen lectures often on the topic of consumer bankruptcy at local and national legal seminars.
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