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Generally, the 341 Meeting of Creditors is a required meeting between the debtor and the Trustee to “review” the assets in the Bankruptcy Petition. The good news is that Judge won’t be present at the meeting so there won’t be any orders made on your Bankruptcy.
In theory, the 341 Meeting gives Creditors a chance to come and ask you questions regarding your assets and debts. For example, a Creditor may come and ask for details regarding your real property or question a transfer of assets.
In practice, these meetings last about 10 minutes and go forward without a hitch. In fact, Creditors rarely show up in consumer 341 Bankruptcy meeting. Those that do usually have very specific questions and the Trustee normally does not tolerate high tension extensive cross examinations.
How Do You Prepare?
No matter how simple the 341 Meeting sounds, there is some preparation necessary.
Read the Bankruptcy Frequently Asked Questions page.
Bring your social security card and current and valid picture ID (driver’s license or passport) to confirm your identity. I see several 341 Meetings not proceed because the debtor forgot to bring a driver’s license or come with one that has expired. The Trustee will not proceed without it.
Double check the time and location. Give yourself time to find parking. The meetings go fast and even being half an hour late may cause your meeting to be continued or dismissed. Make sure you have a map if needed. My office will provide you a copy if needed. The courthouse is shown at the top right hand corner of this page.
What Happens at the Meeting?
At the meeting, you will wait to get called by the Trustee. Listen to the cases being conducted ahead of you. The trustee asks almost the same questions in each case. When called, you go up to the table with me. The Trustee will confirm your identity with the documents on the record. You will then be sworn under oath to tell the truth. You will be asked to state your name and current address. Everything is being recorded so answer clearly. (Nod of the head will not record so speak up).
There are some basic questions that are always asked:
* The Trustee will want to know if you ever filed bankruptcy before, and if so, when.
* Are you aware of the different types of bankruptcy such as Chapter 7 and 13.
* Are you aware of the effect of bankruptcy on your credit.
* Do you know what a reaffirmation agreement is? A reaffirmation agreement is a contract that clarifies that one debt will survive bankruptcy such as a home mortgage or car loan.
* Do know that the Discharge Order is the order signed by the Court that eliminated your indebtedness on all dischargeable debts other than ones that you reaffirmed.
* How has your budget worked since your filed bankruptcy? Now that you are not juggling things you should be able to pay all your monthly expenses as they come due.
* Have you taken you pre-discharge financial management course? In order to receive your bankruptcy discharge and have your debts wiped out you must take a Debtor Education Course. This is separate from the Credit Counseling Class you took before the case was filed. Like the Credit Counseling Class, you can take the Debtor Education course on-line by clicking on the following link Debtor Education
* He will ask if there are any omissions or mistakes you wish to correct now.
The Trustee may have a few detailed questions on items that are missing or wrong on the Petition. After that, the meeting will progress a little differently for everybody. The Trustee may ask about some specific items in your bankruptcy petition, such as verifying your job. If unemployed, they may ask if you have found a job. They may ask what you plan to do with real property or cars. If you want to keep the house or cars, then they will ask if you are current on payments and insurance. If you have a business then there may be some questions regarding the income.
Next, the Trustee will allow any Creditors to ask questions. Creditors rarely come to the creditor meeting, but if any Creditors are present, then they are usually given a few minutes to ask questions. The questions are usually fairly simple. For example, I have seen Creditors ask if you plan on keeping your home or vehicle.
If you are a Chapter 13 Debtor, the Trustee may confirm your payment plan amounts and the dates when you pay them. You should go to our Chapter 13 FAQs page to get more specific information about your Chapter 13 case.
Afterwards, if there weren’t any problems, then your meeting will be concluded. If there were problems, such as missing documents (or taxes) then the meeting will be continued to another date or you may be given a few days to provide the documents. In a Chapter 13, the Trustee will announce if they plan to recommend confirmation of your plan or, if not, then what they will need in order to be able to give the recommendation.