Today we are going to talk about Bankruptcy 101: The dreaded 341 meeting. What does this even mean? First of all, the 341 meeting is a statutory meeting required in the bankruptcy courts. It’s called a meeting of the creditors. It takes place within 35 days of the filing for bankruptcy petition and it takes place in the Federal Courts.
Now, the 341 meeting is called the meeting of the creditors because your creditors will have had a chance to review the petition and they can come to the meeting and challenge your bankruptcy and ask you any questions. Please do not let this scare you. 99% of the meetings go on without a creditor showing up.
The Trustee is at the meeting also and the Trustee is the person that handles your case. The Trustee is NOT a Judge. The Trustee is often times a lawyer, like me, whose job is to make sure that everyone plays by the rules of bankruptcy. They make sure the creditors are playing by the rules and make sure you, the debtor who has filed bankruptcy, have played by the rules.
The bankruptcy Trustee will check and verify all of the documents in the petition. They’ll check your bank statements, your paystubs, and the debts that you have incurred. They’ll as you why you’ve filed bankruptcy. They’ll ask you questions such as “have you repaid any debts to relatives in the last year?”, “Have you transferred any assets out of your name?”, “Where do you work?”, “How much do you earn?”, “Can you sue anyone for any reason?” “Are you going to get an inheritance?”
Questions like these are what take place in a 341 meeting. It is highly recommend that you do not go about bankruptcy on your own. Hire a competent bankruptcy lawyer who can prepare you for your 341 meeting. Most importantly, TELL THE TRUTH!