If you have filed bankruptcy you may be surprised by the amount of forms you have had to complete. Bankruptcy will also require not only specific forms or schedules to be completed, but there will also be meetings which you must attend.
One of the most important of these meetings is the 341 Meeting of Creditors which occurs within a month of filing bankruptcy. Failure to attend this meeting may result in a bankruptcy dismissal.
General information about the 341 Meeting of Creditors
The bankruptcy trustee, your bankruptcy lawyer, you and your creditors may all be present at the 341 Meeting (although creditors are not required to attend). The goal of this meeting is to discuss your debts, assets and financial situation.
Questions are asked by the bankruptcy trustee and are generally related to the information you have already provided in your bankruptcy petition. If you have hired a bankruptcy lawyer they will review the process with you prior to the meeting. The meeting is generally very short and can last as little as five to fifteen minutes.
If you have questions about the date, time or location of the meeting this information should be provided by the bankruptcy trustee.
What questions are asked at the 341 Meeting of Creditors?
You will be sworn in and the bankruptcy trustee will have ask you to verify your name and address. Basic questions which the bankruptcy trustee will ask can include information about your employment, income, debts, assets, assets which you have recently sold, any support obligations you have, your current financial status and whether you have filed bankruptcy in the past.
Next the bankruptcy trustee will ask you to verify the schedules and petitions that you have completed, ensuring that you have listed all property and debts. They will also have you verify your employment, the accuracy of your scheduled income, and any significant changes in your budget.
Finally, all creditors who are present are allowed to ask relevant questions. The 341 Worksheet is updated, payroll deductions to finance the plan are finalized (for Chapter 13 bankruptcy) and the meeting is concluded. Debtors are allowed to ask questions, and the confirmation hearing is scheduled.
Considerations at the 341 Meeting of Creditors
If you have hired a bankruptcy lawyer they should be able to answer your questions prior to the meeting and help you understand what information you will need to provide at the meeting. Always be truthful and honest. Answer each question thoroughly. Hiding information or providing misleading or false information can result in a case dismissal or the creditors may request an investigation. Remember all statements you make are under oath and are used to verify the information you have already given on your bankruptcy petitions.
Hiring a Bankruptcy lawyer
Although it is tempting to file bankruptcy on your own, unless you have a simple Chapter 7 Bankruptcy with no assets this can be difficult. Bankruptcy laws vary by state and unless you have the time to researching bankruptcy laws, hiring a bankruptcy lawyer can be worth the extra money. If you have bankruptcy questions, contact a bankruptcy lawyer today.
- Bankruptcy Trustees are Only Human (betterbankruptcy.com)
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