Understanding the 341 Meeting of Creditors
Any person filing for bankruptcy will be required to attend a court hearing called a 341 meeting of creditors. During this meeting, the bankruptcy trustee assigned to the case verifies the debtor's identity, asks the debtor to answer questions under oath regarding the accuracy of the petition and schedules, and offers the debtor the opportunity to revise any information relating to the bankruptcy petition. Creditors may also question a debtor during this meeting, but this rarely happens. In most cases, the 341 meeting is over in less than ten minutes. Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys will be of great help in providing more information about this meeting.
A debtor is provided a 341meeting date approximately one week after the filing of the bankruptcy petition. This information is provided in a notice mailed by the court. Review the notice to learn the date, time and location and to verify the bankruptcy trustee name and the bankruptcy case number.
Preparing for the Meeting
Bankruptcy attorneys need 521 documents prior to the 341 meeting. Make certain these documents are provided to the trustee a minimum of seven days before the meeting. The documents required include two months worth of paycheck stubs and bank statements and two years of tax returns. Additional documents may also be required. In addition, debtors filing for bankruptcy need to complete the counseling course required after a bankruptcy filing.
Questions That May Be Asked During the Hearing
The bankruptcy trustee asks questions during the hearing. These questions cover the accuracy of the filing, any changes to the information in the filing, and questions regarding possible income sources. Additional questions may be asked depending on information presented in the petition. Furthermore, in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the trustee will question the debtor about elements of the repayment plan. Creditors may also question a debtor in a 341 meeting. They may question earnings, assets, collateral and more. However, creditors only tend to appear when there is an issue, and debtors usually are aware of the issue beforehand.
Problems rarely arise during a 341 meeting. However, any person looking to file for chapter 7 bankruptcy or chapter 13 bankruptcy should consult an attorney. Doing so provides the debtor with peace of mind, as they gain a better understanding of the process and what it entails. In addition, the attorney can help to spot any problems that may arise so they can be addressed before the hearing. Consider retaining a lawyer so you can have this peace of mind too.