What happens at a 341 Meeting of Creditors?
A 341 Meeting of Creditors is also best known as your bankruptcy hearing and in most cases is usually the only time you will need to appear in Court (due to Covid-19, most of these hearings are occurring via telephone or zoom at this time). This hearing is usually held in a conference room, not a large courtroom. Your attorney will attend with you as well as the Trustee. Your creditors do have the right to attend, but in my experience, this very rarely happens.
A Trustee, who oversees and administrates your bankruptcy case, will ask you a series of questions and verify your identity. Your attorney, as an Officer of the Court, will verify that they have verified your identity and witnessed you signing your bankruptcy paperwork. These questions are usually tailored to verify the information you have provided in your Bankruptcy Petition and to see if the Trustee can discover if you have more assets that you have not disclosed. It is very important to disclose all of your assets, debts and payments to your attorney when you are preparing your bankruptcy case.
Your Trustee may be very friendly, but it's important to remember that your Attorney is the one protecting you and your assets. If you haven't disclosed something to your attorney, you need to do so BEFORE your case is filed. Don't mistake the friendliness of a Trustee as a good time to share things you haven't shared with your attorney, this demeanor is an excellent way to get information out of you! Your attorney will have asked you for documentation to prepare your case and had you complete or disclose details about these items.
When the Trustee asks you questions, keep your answers short and sweet, a "yes" or "no" is usually the best answer. The Trustee's job is to keep you talking! Don't go off on tangents or try to "explain" things, as this may lead to more questions. Don't make jokes or ask the Trustee questions during your hearing, save your questions for AFTER your hearing to ask your attorney!
Here are some sample questions you should make sure you have the answer to before your hearing, depending on your Trustee, these questions may or may not be asked:
The Trustee may verify your address and legal name, make sure you have your driver's license in front of you in case they ask you to read your license number.
Did you provide the documents to your attorney's office and did your attorney's office prepare your bankruptcy petition?
Did you review your bankruptcy petition before you signed it? Was everything in it true and correct?
Did you review a bankruptcy information sheet? (this is reviewed when you go over your bankruptcy paperwork with your attorney)
Did your attorney tell you the difference between a Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy before you filed?
Did you pay your attorney in full before your case was filed? (usually only asked for Chapter 7 cases)
Have you filed all of your tax returns?
Did you pay any one creditor over $600 in the three months before filing your case?
Have you paid any friends or relatives over $600 in the last two (2) years? (If you have, TELL your attorney immediately!)
Are you a part of any class action lawsuit, been in a car accident or do you plan on receiving any settlement money?
Does anyone owe you any money? (don't make a joke when this question is asked, a simple "no" is fine)
Specific Questions that might be asked for a Chapter 13 case:
Do you own real property? (this means a house or land)
When did you buy this property?
How much did you buy it for?
How much do you owe on it today?
How much do you think it is worth today? (This number should be the value you have listed in your petition)
A 341 Meeting of Creditors is usually a simple proceeding and nothing to worry about. Ask your attorney if you have any questions before your hearing to make sure you're prepared.
Attorney Allison Greenlee Korr handles cases in Kalamazoo, Battle Creek and all surrounding counties, call today for a consultation. 269-381-4471