If you are going through bankruptcy, you will be asked to attend a 341 meeting, also known as a meeting of creditors. This meeting got its name from Section 341 of the Bankruptcy Code.
A 341 meeting is required for those filing bankruptcy and is led by the court-appointed bankruptcy trustee. The goal of this meeting is for the trustee and creditors to evaluate the debtor’s petition and ask any pertinent questions. As the debtor, you will be under oath – and therefore, you are required to answer all questions honestly or risk a perjury charge. If you fail to attend the meeting or knowingly answer the questions dishonestly, the court may dismiss your case.
The 341 meeting typically lasts only 10 to 15 minutes.
Who Attends the 341 Meeting?
- If you have hired a bankruptcy attorney, which is recommended given the complex nature of these proceedings, your attorney may attend the meeting with you.
- Although creditors are invited to participate in the meeting, they rarely do because the trustee represents their interests.
- If you are married and jointly filed for bankruptcy, both spouses must attend.
The judge does not attend 341 meetings.
What Takes Place at the Meeting of Creditors?
The 341 meeting typically occurs in a meeting room, not in a courtroom. This alone may help you relax and not let your nerves get the best of you. It is common for the trustee to schedule multiple 341 meetings simultaneously, so you can expect to see other parties waiting their turn.
When you enter the room for your meeting, the trustee will ask for identity verification. Be sure to ask your attorney or trustee which forms of ID are acceptable for this proceeding. The trustee will first establish that you understand the bankruptcy process. They will then ask you any relevant questions regarding liabilities, assets, financial condition, and other pertinent information. These questions may include:
- Your name, current home address, and cell phone number
- What is the reason you are filing for bankruptcy?
- What is your salary/income? Do you own a business?
- Have you correctly listed all your assets and all of your debts?
- Is all the information you provided in your petition, documents, and schedules factual? Are all documents signed?
- Are you aware of any errors or omissions? Do you have any changes to make?
- Have you listed all ownership interests and real estate mortgages?
- Does anyone owe you money? Have you repaid any personal debts to family and friends recently?
- Do you have a secured claim against anyone?
- What method did you use to value your assets?
- Have you included all creditors on the schedules?
- Have you previously filed for bankruptcy?
- Do you have alimony or child support obligations? Are you current on those obligations?
- Have you filed all tax returns in the past four years?
- Are you entitled to any life insurance proceeds?
- Are you a beneficiary or a trustee of a trust?
Your attorney can help you to determine what questions will be asked, as well as help you to determine the answers. While these questions are common, the trustee or creditor may think you are not being entirely honest. The courts do not tolerate deliberate dishonesty, so be sure you are completely upfront and truthful.
The bankruptcy attorneys at the Richard V. Ellis law firm have helped hundreds of Sarasota-area residents to navigate the bankruptcy process. Call today for an initial consultation.