Not long after you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will receive a notice to attend the 341 meeting.
What exactly is this and what can you expect to happen?
The 341 meeting takes its name from Section 341 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. This is the area of the code that contains requirements for the first meeting of creditors in a bankruptcy case. The “meeting of creditors” is another name for what is basically a short hearing that takes place outside of court.
Knowing what to expect
Although your creditors may attend the 341 meeting, it is unlikely that they will appear. They do not lose any standing in your bankruptcy case by staying away. Instead, you will meet the trustee from the Office of the United States Trustee assigned to administer your bankruptcy case. The trustee will ask questions that you must answer truthfully under penalty of perjury. The questions will concern your financial circumstances so that the trustee can manage your case as efficiently as possible.
Your bankruptcy attorney will accompany you to the 341 meeting and provide the trustee with pertinent documents, such as your tax returns, bank statements, proof of income, mortgage documents and car titles. You must bring a government-issued photo ID and proof of your social security number. Keep in mind that you must not fail to appear, or the trustee could ask the court to dismiss your case. The 341 meeting is an important first step on your journey to a brighter financial future.