If you struggle with mounting debt and have finally decided to file for bankruptcy, you will soon attend the 341 meeting, also called the meeting of creditors.
This is basically a hearing that creditors are welcome to attend. However, of most importance to you is that you will meet the trustee assigned to administer your bankruptcy case.
About the meeting
The 341 meeting takes its name from Section 341, Title 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. This section requires debtors to attend the meeting and answer questions under oath. If you file Chapter 7 or 13, the United States Trustee Program trustee assigned to your case will preside over the meeting and inquire about your financial condition, liabilities, property and other topics related to your bankruptcy filing. The goal is to administer your case as efficiently as possible, and you must answer the questions the trustee puts to you under penalty of perjury. The trustee will also want to be sure that you understand both positive and negative points with respect to your bankruptcy filing.
The decision of creditors
Your creditors will receive a notice of the date, time and location of the 341 meeting. The rules allow them to question you about your assets and other matters related to the bankruptcy. However, creditors do not usually appear and will not lose their rights with respect to your case if they choose not to attend.
If you fail to appear at the 341 meeting, the trustee could ask the court to dismiss your bankruptcy case, so circle the date on your calendar. Keep in mind that the meeting is held outside of court without the presence of a judge and is usually of short duration.
Your attorney will accompany you and provide the trustee with pertinent documents related to your case, such as bank statements, tax returns, mortgage documents and vehicle titles. You are only required to bring a government-issued ID and proof of your Social Security number. You should also bring a positive attitude. The 341 meeting represents an important step on the road to a better financial future.