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Bankruptcy, creditors and the 341 meeting

Perhaps a fresh start to your financial life is in order and you have decided to declare bankruptcy. One of your first tasks after filing either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 is to attend the 341 meeting.

This is where you will meet your trustee and, possibly, some of your creditors.

About the meeting

The 341 meeting, which takes its name from Section 341 of the United States Bankruptcy Code, is also known as the meeting of creditors. This hearing, held outside of court, is usually of short duration. You will meet the trustee appointed by the Office of the U.S. Trustee to oversee your case, and you must answer any questions the trustee puts to you under penalty of perjury. The questions will be about your assets, liabilities, current financial condition and anything else that may affect the efficient administration of your estate or your right to discharge your debts.

About creditors

Your creditors will be informed of the date, time and location of the 341 meeting and told they may attend. However, knowing they do not waive their rights by staying away, they rarely take the time to appear. Any creditor who does attend the 341 meeting may ask you questions that pertain to your bankruptcy, such as the disposition of your assets.

About your preparation

By the time the 341 meeting takes place, you will have provided your attorney with the documents appropriate to your filing, such as your tax returns, bank statements, property deeds, car titles and other financial information. In turn, your attorney will furnish these documents to the trustee. All you will have to bring to the hearing is proof of your Social Security number and a government-issued ID, such as your driver's license.

About your future

You probably feel a great sense of relief at having decided to declare bankruptcy. This will put you on the road to a brighter, more financially secure future, and the 341 meeting is an important milestone at the beginning of your journey.

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