Every debtor must attend a meeting called the meeting of creditors or 341 creditors meeting. It’s a mandatory requirement for anyone who files for bankruptcy. If you happen to miss your first meeting, it could be rescheduled, but if you miss your second 341 meeting you run the risk of having your bankruptcy case dismissed. (If you fear that you might fail to appear at your 341 meeting, give your bankruptcy attorney a call to advise them as soon as possible).
Before the 341 Meeting:
- You’ll meet with your attorney or your attorney’s paralegal
- You’ll receive a copy of the file documents and the original documentation you provided (paystubs, etc.)
- Your attorney will go over the questions with you that are most likely to be asked during the meeting
At the 341 Meeting:
- Your attorney will attend the meeting with you
- You will answer the trustee’s questions yourself; your attorney does not speak for you at the meeting
- If the trustee or the creditor’s get out of hand, your attorney can object on your behalf
- If the trustee requests additional documentation or any changes, your attorney will handle the request
- If you need assistance, your attorney will provide it
- The trustee conducting the meeting will most likely be an attorney, not a judge
- The trustee will advise you on the procedures and then each individual filing for bankruptcy is called up to sit at the table and answer the trustee’s questions.
- You will need to provide the trustee with your photo ID and insurance card
- The trustee will ask basic questions about your identity, your bankruptcy filing, your debts, etc.
- The trustee will invite any creditors in attendance (in many cases, no creditors attend the 341 meeting) if they have any questions
- The entire meeting typically takes approximately 5 minutes
While it’s completely natural for individuals filing for bankruptcy to feel uncomfortable or even scared of the creditor’s meeting, it’s important to note that you will have an experienced bankruptcy attorney on your side. It’s also important to remember that in almost all creditors’ meetings, there are no problems, no additional requests, and everyone is civil. Answer the trustee’s questions honestly and concisely and you will be finished before you realize you’ve started.
For more information on the bankruptcy process and how to file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, contact the experienced bankruptcy attorneys at Westgate Law.