After filing bankruptcy so many clients still feel worried and scared. Why? They can be sure that a qualified bankruptcy lawyer would do everything he or she can to put them at ease…and quite frankly, once their case is filed, most of the work is already done! But their next concern is attending the Meeting of Creditors also known as the 341 Meeting. At this meeting the client will meet with the trustee assigned to their case and be asked a series of questions regarding the bankruptcy petition. Creditors may appear at the meeting and ask questions in reference to the bankruptcy filing. This is what makes them nervous! It is a good reason to hire a bankruptcy attorney …who would want to attend this meeting without representation?! In an effort to ease their mind, we will discuss what they can expect at the 341 meeting and some of the questions that may be asked after filing a Chapter 7 petition. First, the trustee will ask the client to state their name for the record and to confirm that the address on the petition is their current address. At this time, they must also provide a photo ID and social security card for review. Some of our clients call in a panic when they don’t have or can’t find their social security card. What happens then? Most of the time a trustee will accept an original W2 or a letter from the SS administration stating that a card has been issued. However, not being able to produce a valid social security card or other acceptable documentation may lead to a continuance of the 341 meeting. This means the client would have to drive all the way back to Fort Meyers or Tampa!? Therefore, being prepared is very important. The client has about a month after the filing of the case to prepare for this important meeting. Some other questions that may be asked are: Have you previously filed bankruptcy? What is the address of your current employer? Is the copy of the tax return you provided a true copy of the most recent tax return you have filed? Do you owe any alimony or child support? Have you read the Bankruptcy Information Sheet provided by the United States Trustee? Questions about your assets and liabilities…the list goes on and on. If you retain a competent bankruptcy attorney you will be prepared for your 341 meeting. Remember, first and foremost, be truthful.
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