Everything About 341 Meeting: What Is A 341 Meeting and What to Expect
Today, we’re going to talk a little bit about what happens at 341 meeting in a bankruptcy. Hi, my name’s Mike Ziegler and I’m the managing attorney for the Debt Fighters. We’re a law firm based in Clearwater, Florida that helps consumers overcome their debt problems. So after either chapter seven or chapter thirteen, bankruptcy is filed. A few days later, you’ll get a notice about a 341 meeting also known as the meeting of creditors.
So what is the 341 meeting and what can you expect there? So bankruptcy is an exchange process. And what that exchange process involves is that when someone files, they offer transparency about their financial situation, that transparency allows the court supervisors, so to speak, review your qualifications and likewise it allows your creditors to review your qualifications and your commitments to the bankruptcy process. The 341 meeting is an opportunity for the trustee who is like a case manager to ask the filer questions in person, so that they can complete their obligation, perform diligence on your situation and fill in any gaps they may have or questions they may have about your situation.
So in that bankruptcy petition, you’re providing disclosures about what’s coming in, or much do you make, what’s going out, what are your expenses? What do you owe? Who are your different creditors? And what’s the stuff that you have. And again, it’s going to be primarily those topics that they’re going to want to learn a little bit more about at 341 meeting.
Time wise the 341 meeting is held about 45 days after the case has been filed. While in some instances a 341 meeting can be rescheduled. That is pretty exceptional. And it’s going to be case by case depending on your trustee and the judge that’s assigned to your case. So you really want to do your best to clear your calendar and make it there. What to bring with you. Now, this is the important part.
Two most important things to bring with you at 341 meeting, are going to be your driver’s license and social security card. If you’ve done it right before the 341 meeting, you would have provided the trustee with financial disclosures, things like tax returns, proof of income, and bank statements, because the trustee is going to want to assess that information before your meeting takes place.
At 341 meeting itself. Usually, there are several different filers that are scheduled for each half hour. So you could be called up anytime in that timeframe, it is a little bit uncomfortable for those filers. I’ll tell you for most folks that we work with, the 341 meeting may be the only time they’ve come to anything near a court hearing. Now this is a little bit different than a regular court hearing because there’s not going to be a judge there. In general, you’re not going to be in a formal courtroom. It’s generally going to be in a federal building with an open almost classroom looking room for attendance.
In most 341 meetings that trustee me is situated at the front of the room at a desk. The filer will come to the front of the room and sit adjacent to the trustee at the desk. If the filer has an attorney, the attorney will also be seated at the desk, but most of the questions will go directly to the filer. It’s the filer’s testimony. That’s important in order to complete the 341 process. The trustee will ask some questions again, verifying the same information that was put into the petition. Usually for a normal, if you will, a chapter seven case, the 341 meeting questions lasts for anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes.
For more complicated case, it can go longer, maybe 10 to 30 minutes for cases with the most complexity, particularly if there’s someone who owns a business who has filed for the business itself that is filed. Sometimes the 341 meeting can go for half an hour or several hours. Again, usually, it’s just the chapter seven trustee is going to be asking questions, but many instances, creditors or other participants in the bankruptcy process may ask questions as well.
In some instances for an asset case, meaning a situation where the filer might have more things than what they’re allowed to keep them in chapter seven case the trustee may have some questions about that if there’s any pending litigation. So for example, if the filer is in different lawsuit. The trustee may ask some questions about that lawsuit. At the conclusion of the questions, sometimes the trustee will say, they’re going to hold the meeting open. That means they need some additional documents or information before the filer’s obligation to 341 meetings over.
Otherwise, the trustee will say that the meeting is included and that will be the end of that step.
If you have questions, and if you’re not otherwise represented by an attorney about the bankruptcy process, please feel free to schedule a consultation with us. Our Calendly link is going to be included alongside with this video and we do complimentary half-hour consultations.
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