In a Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy, you must attend a “341 meeting," also known as the meeting of the creditors. This meeting typically takes place at a federal building in a meeting room with other debtors, the trustee (who looks over the case.) and in some cases, creditors.
Here's how you can prepare:
Receive Notice from the Court- Shortly after filing, you will receive a notice from the Bankruptcy Court setting your 341 meeting date, time, and location. This notice will also indicate your assigned Bankruptcy Trustee. The 341 meeting will take place at least 21 days but no more than 40 days after you file bankruptcy.
Provide Documents to your Trustee- Your Bankruptcy Trustee will request that you bring certain documents such as your tax returns, bank statements, pay stubs, mortgage documents, or car title. Contact your attorney, the court, and/or the Trustee to find out what the requirements are and when they should be provided. Generally, the Trustee wants this information at least 14 days prior to the Meeting. Send them early to avoid a rescheduled meeting. If you have an attorney, they will probably already have collected this information from you and will provide this to the trustee on your behalf.
Review your Petition & Other Requests- It's a good idea to go over your income, expenses, debts, and property listed in your bankruptcy. The Trustee will ask you about this information, and it's best to be prepared. Your Trustee may also send additional requests for documents, make sure you comply with these requests in a timely manner. Your attorney will be familiar with the questions and requests from the trustee, so ask your attorney for
What to Bring to the Meeting- You must arrive at the meeting with proof of your identity such as a government issued photo ID and proof of your social security number. Also bring any other documentation that the trustee has requested. If you are represented by an attorney, she or he may also ask you to bring additional information, but she or he will be there with you at the meeting.
Answer the Trustee's Questions- Before attending the 341 meeting, the bankruptcy trustee will examine your bankruptcy petition. He or she may have some questions about it and will present those questions to you at the meeting. Typical trustee questions may include the following: Have you repaid any creditors in the 3 months prior to filing bankruptcy? Have you disclosed all of your assets and income on your bankruptcy petition? In the past 12 months have you repaid any loans made to you by friends and family? Additionally, your Creditors may ask you a few questions regarding property and debt.
What Happens Next- Sometimes the trustee will find non-exempt assets, or request additional information. Sometimes this means you will have to turn over money or property. Check with your Bankruptcy Attorney to ensure all of your assets are properly exempted. You will have to provide this information to the trustee or else they will not allow the bankruptcy to proceed and you may be permanently liable on all of your debts. In other cases, once your meeting is over, the trustee will conclude their review and you will receive a Discharge in 2-3 months. Creditors may still file motions in your case, so pay close attention to any mail you receive.
Check out the Federal Law regarding Meeting of Creditors, and be sure to be in contact with your trustee regarding the requirements needed. Your bankruptcy attorney will already know this information, so contact them to make sure you are complying with all the rules.
U.S. Code › Title 11 › Chapter 3 › Subchapter III › § 341 11 U.S. Code § 341 - Meetings of creditors