Joseph J. Bellinger, Panel Member of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Trustees for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maryland, Baltimore Division

Joseph J. Bellinger, Panel Member of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Trustees for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maryland, Baltimore Division

For all requests to reschedule a meeting of creditors or other general information about a chapter 7 bankruptcy case, contact Mr. Bellinger’s Bankruptcy Case Management Assistant, Starria Cuffee at 410-209-6461 or

What documents are required by the Trustee for §341 Meeting of Creditors?

If the Debtor does not have these documents at the meeting of creditors, the meeting will NOT be held, and the Trustee will reschedule on his next available date.

  • Original Picture Identification — Acceptable forms of identification are (1) a valid driver’s license, (2) a government ID, (3) a state picture ID, (4) a student ID, (5) a United States Passport, (6) a military ID, or (7) a Resident Alien card.
  • Original Proof of Social Security Number — Acceptable proof of a social security number is (1) a social security card (not a photocopy), (2) a medical insurance card that indicates the Debtor’s social security number, (3) a pay stub that indicates the Debtor’s social security number, (4) a W-2, (5) an IRS 1099 Form, or (6) a letter from the Social Security Administration indicating the Debtor’s social security number.
  • Most Recent Federal Income Tax Return — Under 11 U.S.C. §521, the Debtor shall provide the Trustee no later than 7 days before the date of the first set Meeting of Creditors, copies of Federal Income Tax Returns for the most recent tax year ending immediately before the commencement of the case. Failure to comply with the above shall result in the Debtor’s case being dismissed.
  • Pay Advices — Copies of the Debtor’s most recent pay advices for the past six months.

During the course of the meeting, the Trustee often requests additional documentation. The following are common requests, and in order to conclude the meeting, Debtors are encouraged to have them available at the meeting of creditors.

  • Domestic Support Obligations — If the Debtor owes alimony or support, the Trustee sends notices to the recipients and certain government agencies, whether or not the Debtor is current with support obligations.
  • Bank Statements — Copies of any and all bank statements for the three (3) months preceding the commencement of the bankruptcy filing.
  • Retirement Accounts — Copies of all retirement documents and a current statement reflecting the balance on the date of filing.
  • Vehicle Titles — Copies of vehicle titles to show that the lender for the car loan has perfected its interest in the vehicle.
  • Ownership Interests in Real Property — If the Debtor owns real property, bring the documents relied upon in the value placed on the real property, and a recent statement for each mortgage loan on the real property.
  • Ownership Interests in Legal Entities — If the Debtor owns or recently owned stock or other interests in a corporation, partnership or limited liability company, be prepared to provide the most recent Maryland state personal property tax return filed for the entity. A current list of all assets owned by the entity is also helpful.
  • Documents Related to Exemptions — The Debtor’s claim of exemption is subject to review and challenge. The Trustee will request documents to enable him to determine if the exemption is valid. Examples include statements for retirement accounts (Number Six Above), and for a claim of exemption as tenants by the entireties and no joint debts, the Trustee will require proof of each element of the claimed exemption: (a) marriage certificate; (b) the document that evidences ownership (title and registration for vehicles, deed to real property, etc.); (c) credit reports for the Debtor and non-filing spouse.


Can I change the date of my §341 Meeting of Creditors?

The Trustee only grants continuances in those cases where there is a medical emergency, illness, or death. Requests for a continuance should be sent to the Trustee with an explanation for the request as soon as possible before the §341 Meeting of Creditors..

If the Debtor misses two meeting dates without prior approval, the Trustee will file a motion to dismiss the case for failure to appear at the meeting of creditors.