Concerns About the 341 Meeting
Many of my clients become concerned when they hear about the meeting of creditors. In most cases, providing a brief overview of the process alleviates their fears. The good news is that most creditors meetings, also called the “341 meeting of creditors” are a simple process of answering “yes” or “no” to some basic questions asked by a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Trustee assigned to administer your case. The Trustee is not a Judge.
What Will the Bankruptcy Trustee Ask?
The Trustee is concerned about the contents of your bankruptcy papers that you have filed with thecourt. Your bankruptcy attorney will be present during the examination. The meeting begins by the Trustee swearing you in under oath. The meeting is usually tape recorded. In rare instances, there may be a court reporter. You will need to bring your drivers’ license and social security card.
The best advice that I can provide is to be prepared. Before the hearing, take the time to read through your petition and schedules. Some standard questions include:
- Did you provide your attorney with all the information in your bankruptcy schedules?
- Did you read the schedules before signing?
- Did you list all of your assets and debts?
- Has anything changed after the filing of your case?
- Have you filed bankruptcy before?
- Have you used your credit cards within 3 months of filing of your case?
- Have you made any balance transfers within 6 months prior to filing your case?
- Do you owe anyone domestic support?
Each individual Trustee will have some variance on these questions. I always advise my clients to try and show up one hour early so he or she may watch the meetings of creditors held prior to his or her meeting. This should not only give you time to think about your answers, but should also help to calm your nerves.
The Trustee Might Ask About the Value of Your Assets
The Trustee may also inquire as to how you arrived at the values of your assets. This is especially the case when you have real estate that might have some potential equity. Usually the best way to answer these questions is to be armed with comparison values in the neighborhood.
Creditors Have the Right to Attend But Seldom Do
Your creditors have the right to appear and also examine you at this hearing. Again, some good news here. In most cases, a creditor does not show up at these hearings. Creditors who do attend are usually those with security interests and are seeking a reaffirmation agreement on their loans.
A. Forrest Morad, Atlanta Bankruptcy Attorney
Morad Law Group
4920 Roswell Rd.
Atlanta, GA 30342