What to Expect at a Bankruptcy 341 Meeting of Creditors
When you file bankruptcy, you must go through a complex legal process which includes a meeting of creditors. It can be intimidating to think about facing people you owe money. However, when you know what to expect at a 341 meeting, it will seem more manageable.
Who Will Be Present at the Meeting of Creditors?
Although your attorney can attend most bankruptcy hearings for you, you must attend the meeting of creditors. However, your attorney will be by your side and can help you answer any questions that are asked. In addition to you and your attorney, your creditors will be invited to attend. Anyone you owe money to will have the option of attending the meeting of creditors. In many cases, though, they decline attendance.
The meeting of creditors will be conducted by your bankruptcy trustee. A trustee is the person whom the court appoints to oversee various aspects of your bankruptcy. They will ask questions, collect information, and record statements to submit to the bankruptcy court.
How to Prepare for a Meeting of Creditors
Before meeting with your creditors, you should review your bankruptcy documents and gather information to take to the meeting. Make sure all information submitted in legal documents is accurate and all creditors have been identified. If you need to make any changes, notify your attorney right away and submit amended documents before the meeting of creditors.
You should also take your Social Security card and driver’s license with you. Your bankruptcy trustee will use these documents to verify your identity. You can substitute other documents for your Social Security card and ID, such as W2 documents, tax statements, and correspondence from government agencies. If you’re unable to find these documents, talk to your bankruptcy lawyer.
What Happens During the Meeting of Creditors?
Your meeting of creditors will likely take place in a conference room instead of in a courtroom. There will be a table and chairs for everyone to sit near one another. You will likely face your creditors or sit beside them. But again, it is rare for creditors to actually appear at the meeting of creditors.
There won’t be a judge present at your 341 meeting. Instead, your bankruptcy trustee will instruct everyone on what to do. They will also ask questions and direct the flow of information during the meeting.
You will be asked about your assets and debts, and your trustee may review information you presented in your bankruptcy documents. Your trustee may also ask you questions about assets referenced on tax documents. Creditors may request information about your debts to them.
It is important to answer all questions carefully and truthfully. If you are unsure about whether to answer a question, you can ask your bankruptcy attorney. If you fail to disclose any information or answer any question dishonestly, you may be accused of fraud in the future.
What Happens After the Meeting of Creditors
Your trustee will compile a report to the bankruptcy court after the meeting of creditors. One the court receives this information, your bankruptcy will be moved forward in the process. If you filed Chapter 7, this may involve consideration of liquidating debts. If you filed Chapter 13, you may be establishing a payment plan. A lawyer can answer your questions about the process after a meeting of creditors.
An Attorney Can Represent You at the Meeting of Creditors
When you’re facing significant financial challenges, you are likely under a significant amount of stress. A skilled bankruptcy attorney can help you through this situation, and be by your side at the meeting of creditors. Call Allmand Law Firm, PLLC today at 214-884-4020 to learn more about how we can help you.