A meeting with creditors also called the 341 meeting is part of the procedure when you file for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This is where you’ll meet with the bankruptcy trustee assigned by the court to handle your case. You may also meet your creditors, but this rarely happens since they not obliged to attend.
Generally, you can anticipate that a trustee will ask you several questions regarding all the paperwork you’ve provided. However, there are other things you can expect him/her to speak with you about. Thus, having a bankruptcy attorney is the best move you can do so you’ll not be misled or misinterpreted.
What usually happens during an interaction with a bankruptcy trustee?
A bankruptcy trustee will and will always ask questions.
Questions, of course, this tops the list. You need to understand first that a trustee has to ask questions to verify the eligibility of all the information you’ve given in the paperwork. Also, be ready to clarify discrepancies, errors, or anything that doesn’t comply with certain bankruptcy laws.
A bankruptcy trustee already went through everything.
Expect that the trustee is already knowledgeable about your case. He/She reviews your bankruptcy petition, schedules, and all supporting documents in advance.
A bankruptcy trustee does a mini investigation.
Part of making sure that all the information you disclosed are correct, a bankruptcy trustee will go in details. Therefore, avoid leaving out assets or transferring them under another name and disclose all your source income. Additionally, if you can think of other red flags that can be used by your creditors against you or any act you’ve done that violates the bankruptcy process, discuss it immediately with your bankruptcy attorney.
You can expect a short and smooth meeting.
You can think of this if you are only honest and confident that you’ve disclosed information accurately such as your assets, income, debts and expenses. A bankruptcy trustee will still have questions, but just very few.
A bankruptcy trustee’s question for Chapter 7.
When you file for Chapter 7, a bankruptcy trustee would probably ask mostly about your property and bankruptcy exemptions. This is because he/she will use the proceeds of your nonexempt assets to pay your creditors after selling them.
A bankruptcy trustee’s question for Chapter 13.
When you file for Chapter 13, expect to receive questions from a bankruptcy trustee focusing more on your monthly income and expenses. This will back him/her up in analyzing if you have enough money to fund a Chapter 13 repayment plan.
Other specific questions a bankruptcy trustee would probably ask:
- Are you aware with all of the information in your bankruptcy paperwork?
- Is all the information you filled in the documents accurate and complete?
- Did you review and sign your bankruptcy petition and schedules before filing them with the court?
- Did you list all of your property?
- Did you list all of your creditors listed in your bankruptcy schedules?
- Did you have a previous bankruptcy filing?
- Are there any changes you want to discuss with?
- When was the last time you used your credit cards for purchasing?
- Did you pay any creditors within one year of your bankruptcy?
- Do you own a business, corporation, or have a business partnership?
- Do you have home and car insurance?
The fact is, you can expect a lot during a meeting with a bankruptcy trustee. What you can do is to prepare yourself as well. Who can help you? It is always good to have someone who is an expert. For your bankruptcy troubles, it is best to have a trustworthy bankruptcy attorney.