What Is The 341 Or The 341 Meeting Of Creditors?
The 341 Meeting of Creditors refers to section 341 in the bankruptcy code which mandates that any debtor that files a petition in the bankruptcy court be examined under oath.
It also mandates that the creditors of that debtor be given an opportunity to meet and question the debtor about everything contained in their schedules and also as to the existence of their particular claim and how their claim is going to be handled in the bankruptcy.
The 341 Meeting of Creditors is generally the only hearing or meeting that a typical Chapter 7 debtor will have to attend in their case absent something unusual.
The Meeting of Creditors normally takes place at the office of the United States Trustee. The hearing officer for the Meeting of Creditors is generally the Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 trustee assigned to that particular case.
Each calendar is approximately one hour long and the typical debtor will probably appear in front of the trustee for approximately five minutes.
Does This Meeting Take Place For All Types Of Bankruptcy?
The short answer for that is yes. In Bankruptcy, there are five chapters to file under. There is Chapter 7 and 13 for consumer debtors, Chapter 9 for governmental entities, Chapter 11 for businesses and high net worth individuals and Chapter 12 for family farmers and fisherman As to Chapter 7 and 13, in all of those cases a 341 Meeting of Creditors will be held.
What Happens At The Creditors Meeting?
What normally happens at the Creditors Meeting is that the trustee is going to ask a bunch of canned questions that they have to ask to get all the various information on the record.
For example: Did you sign your petition and schedules under oath? Do you know what the term “penalty of perjury” means? Did you list all your creditors? Did you list all your assets? Is the tax return that you provided to me a correct copy of the tax return that you filed with the IRS? Did your attorney review the petition and schedules with you before you signed them? And so on and so on.
Generally, people should just expect to answer the questions that their attorney has advised them about in advance of the meeting. There are generally not a lot of surprises that take place at the meeting unless the debtor has an unusual case or is attempting to hide or conceal assets. There is really no need to be nervous. All the debtor has to do is just tell the truth and it will go quickly and smoothly.
A vast majority of times after the hearing is over the debtors look at me lawyer and ask: “Well, is that it? What’s next?” My usual response is normally “No, congratulations, you are pretty much done.” The debtors generally then have a big sigh of relief. They feel better and then they go out and start to enjoy their lives again like they are supposed to.
If you have more questions regarding the 341 Meeting of Creditors, call the law firm of Steven F. Bliss at (858) 278-2800 or (951) 223-7000 now for a FREE Initial Consultation and get the information and legal answers you are seeking.