Pursuant to 11 U.S.C. §341, whether you file a Chapter 7, 11 or 13 bankruptcy case, you are required to attend a meeting of creditors. The meeting of creditors is a time for the trustee and your creditors to ask you questions regarding your finances. It is also commonly called the “341 meeting” and it is typically scheduled about 40 days from your petition date. Failure to attend the meeting of creditors can result in your case being dismissed.
Common Questions Asked
The trustee often asks each debtor a variety of questions regarding his/her income, debts and assets. Below are a few examples of questions you may be asked at your 341 meeting:
- Have you reviewed your bankruptcy petition and schedules?
- Where are you currently employed?
- Where do you live?
- Do you expect a windfall (such as an inheritance, lawsuit, etc.) anytime soon?
- Have you listed all of your assets and debts in your pleadings?
- Have you transferred any assets within the last two years?
A seasoned bankruptcy lawyer will help you prepare for your 341 meeting, but below are some general tips:
- Arrive at your meeting early so you have plenty of time to proceed through the security line. Dress can be casual, but it should be appropriate attire for a court appearance.
- Make sure you bring the paperwork requested by your attorney and the trustee. Every trustee in Florida’s Middle District requires a valid government issued identification, and proof of your social security number. Proof of your social security number can be your social security card, a medicare card (with your social security number printed on it), an employer-issued W-2, or a 1099. Your tax return will not prove your social security number because you prepare your tax return. If you fail to bring either, the trustee will make you go get them and return either that day or the next time that trustee holds 341 meetings. Examples of additional documents you may be asked to provide include bank statements, tax returns, and payroll statements. If you do not bring documents requested by the trustee, it could result in your hearing being postponed to a later date.
- The most important tip is to answer all questions to the best of your ability and to be honest.
In most cases, creditors do not attend the meeting of creditors. However, if you have a creditor attend and start asking questions, it is very helpful to have a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney by your side. Contact us today for a free initial consultation!