The 341 meeting is also called the meeting of creditors because this is an opportunity for creditors to come face-to-face with debtors.
However, this meeting has an equally important purpose. This is where you will meet the trustee assigned to the administration of your bankruptcy case.
Learning about the meeting
Section 341 of the United States Bankruptcy Code sets out requirements for the initial meeting of creditors, hence the name given to that meeting, held at a location outside the courtroom. Here, creditors have the chance to question debtors about a particular bankruptcy, the available assets and other related matters. However, although invited to the meeting, they rarely take the time to appear, because they do not lose standing by staying away. From the debtor’s viewpoint, the more important business is meeting the trustee.
Knowing what to expect
The United States Trustee assigns the trustees who administer Chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcy cases. The trustee in charge of your case will conduct the meeting and ask you questions, which you must answer on penalty of perjury. Those questions will concern your financial condition, liabilities, property you own and anything else that helps in the efficient administration of your case. The trustee will also ensure that you understand both the positive and negative points about a bankruptcy filing.
Preparing to attend
Your bankruptcy attorney will provide the trustee with any pertinent documents, such as your car titles, tax returns, bank statements, real estate deeds and any other documentation requested. You will need to bring two items: proof of your Social Security number and a government-issued photo ID. Keep in mind that you must not fail to appear. If you are not present, the trustee could move to dismiss your case. The 341 meeting will not take long, and you will have time to prepare to attend. Remember that this is an important stop on your journey to a brighter financial future.