341 Meeting: What Should I Expect?

If you are thinking about filing for bankruptcy, you have probably heard about the 341 Meeting. This meeting usually causes much trepidation and anxiety in people who are going through the bankruptcy process.

What is a 341 Meeting?

A 341 Meeting or First Meeting of Creditors is a gathering of you (the petitioner), your lawyer, and a bankruptcy trustee who will meet to examine the facts of the bankruptcy case.

The meeting usually occurs 30 – 40 days after the bankruptcy is filed. Anyone who files either a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy will be required to attend one of these meetings. The main object of this gathering is to give your creditors the opportunity to challenge any aspect of your bankruptcy. It sounds daunting, but the truth is, creditors rarely appear to challenge a bankruptcy.

What happens at a 341 Meeting?

To start, you will be sworn in and then asked some basic questions about your identity. They will then move on to more specific questions about your bankruptcy petition. They want to get you on the record that you are being honest and that you understand what you are doing. Here are some questions you may be asked:

* Did you read the paperwork before signing?

* Are you a resident of the state?

* Did you inventory all of your assets and debts?

* Do you carry insurance on your vehicles?

The 341 Bankruptcy meeting is usually short. It generally takes about five minutes, although you may have to wait in a line if the court has scheduled several 341 Meetings in a row.

Tips for Survival

The 341 Meeting is not an exam that you can fail. Nobody is trying to catch you in a lie or trick you into giving wrong information. This is simply a meeting to collect information. It is important to stay calm and honestly answer their questions.

After the 341 Meeting is concluded, your creditors have 60 days to challenge the discharge of debts. If there are no issues, you will receive the discharge soon after.

Reasons to Look Forward to the 341

*It is short and painless. The questions are routine.

* This is the only occasion you are required to meet with the trustee.

* Creditors rarely show. In the unusual circumstance that they appear, at least you have your bankruptcy attorney there to speak on your behalf.

* You are not alone. If you have any concerns or questions, your bankruptcy attorney is by your side to help. Bankruptcy lawyers have been through many of these meetings and know what to expect.

* It is the last step! After your 341 Meeting, all you have to do is wait to receive your discharge. Now you have made it through your bankruptcy and you can begin to rebuild your credit so you never have to be in this situation again.

Hiring a Bankruptcy Lawyer

If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, or would simply like to learn more about what is involved, you should contact a qualified bankruptcy attorney in your area. He can answer any questions you may have and offer advice specific to your situation.

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Beth L. is a content writer for Better Bankruptcy. Good content and information is one of many methods we utilize to bring you the answers you need.