What Is The 341 Meeting Of Creditors In Bankruptcy Law?

When we file a bankruptcy case, we are submitting a number of documents that show information about the bankruptcy filer or filers. In essence, those documents tell about the filer’s financial profile. The 341 meeting is the opportunity to put a human being behind the pieces of paper. It allows the trustee, who is the administrative supervisor of the case, to be able to see and talk to the person who has filed the case. It allows them to learn about the person and confirm the information that has been submitted on their behalf. It’s also an opportunity for creditors to have that same fact-finding opportunity. However, more often than not, creditors do not appear at the 341 meeting.

Is A 341 Meeting Held For All Types Of Bankruptcies?

A 341 meeting is held for chapter 7 and chapter 13 cases.

Do I Need To Complete All The Required Courses Prior To The 341 Meeting?

There are two courses for consumer filers. There is a pre-filing class that has to be completed before your bankruptcy is even filed. There is also a post-filing class, which does not have to be completed before the 341 meeting, but it should be completed promptly after that time.

What Actually Takes Place At The 341 Meeting Of Creditors?

In summary, the trustee will first confirm the identity and address of the participant so that they know that you’re getting the notices that are important for the case. They will go through the information that has been submitted for the case, learn a little bit about who you are, the things that you have, whether or not you’re working, and whether or not your income corresponds to the income that’s been disclosed in the case. They will potentially inquire as to financial information that may be relevant to the case, such as transfers or the sale of important assets.

If a bankruptcy filer has non-exempt property (meaning property that they are not allowed to keep in the bankruptcy), then the trustee may have a dialogue with the bankruptcy filer to see what their intent is with those assets. Sometimes there can be some case-specific questions that the trustee, the creditors, or the United States trustee may have for the bankruptcy filer.

At What Point In The Bankruptcy Process Does The 341 Meeting Take Place?

The 341 meeting takes place between 20 and 40 days after the case has been filed.

Who Will All Be Present At The 341 Meeting?

The bankruptcy filer would be present, and if they are represented by an attorney, then their attorney would also be present. However, the questions are directed toward the filers, not the attorney. In all instances, the chapter 7 trustee would be present. In some instances, a United States trustee and the creditors would be present as well.

What Questions Should I Expect The Trustee To Ask At The 341 Meeting?

The trustee may ask a variety of questions to confirm the information that’s in the petition. They may also ask questions about the debtor’s financial situation, both at the time of filing and in the years leading up to filing. They may ask what caused the individual to file bankruptcy, or inquire about employment, certain debts, and certain assets. They may ask about transfers leading up to the bankruptcy and any businesses that the bankruptcy filer owns.

What Happens After The 341 Meeting Is Completed?

After the 341 meeting is complete, the trustee may have some follow-up arrangements to make with the filer if there is property that the filer is required to turn over. The filer should complete their second credit counseling class if they’ve not already done so. There may be some other requests from the trustee with respect to the case but notwithstanding any complexities. At that point, the next step is to allow the appropriate waiting periods to go by at the bankruptcy discharge.

Additional Information Regarding 341 Meeting Of Creditors

Filing for bankruptcy can be a very nerve-wracking experience. Most filers have little exposure to the court system, and for many individuals, the 341 meeting is the closest they get to a legal hearing. I compare the 341 meeting to going to the doctor’s office to get a shot; oftentimes the expectation leading up to the meeting is much scarier than the meeting itself. The meeting usually lasts for about 10 minutes. It is a little uncomfortable because it is a public hearing, so there will be other individuals in the room who are waiting for their own meeting. But it will be over before you know it.

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