The Section 341 Meeting of Creditors
The meeting of creditors, also called a Section 341 meeting in reference to Section 341 of the Bankruptcy Code, is a required meeting for bankruptcy filers conducted by the appointed bankruptcy trustee. The purpose of a 341 meeting is for the trustee (and creditors, if they choose to attend) to review the debtor’s petition and schedule and ask the debtor questions under oath. The debtor must answer all questions honestly and truthfully under penalty of perjury. The meeting of creditors will take place between 21 and 50 after the bankruptcy petition is filed and will usually only last around 10 minutes.
If debtors choose to hire a bankruptcy attorney (which is highly advisable given the complicated nature of bankruptcy proceedings), the attorney may be present at the meeting as well. Creditors are welcome to attend, but rarely do so, since the trustee stands in the shoes of the creditors. Additionally, if spouses have jointly filed for bankruptcy, both spouses must attend. The 341 meeting is conducted outside the presence of a judge, with only the trustee, debtor(s), debtor’s attorney (if they have one), and creditors (if applicable) present, though the meeting often takes place in a room with other debtors waiting for their turn on the calendar. Failure to attend the 341 meeting as a debtor or providing false information may lead to a dismissal of the bankruptcy case.
What Happens at the 341 Meeting of Creditors?
The 341 meeting will take usually take place in a meeting room, not a courtroom. It’s not uncommon for several meetings of creditors to be scheduled at the same time, so don’t panic if there are several other parties waiting. Parties are then called one at a time into the meeting where the debtor will then be asked to verify their identity for the trustee. It is extremely important to confirm the acceptable forms of identity for the 341 meeting. The trustee will begin by asking basic questions, including ensuring that the debtor understands the bankruptcy process. They will then move into asking questions regarding conduct, liabilities, assets, financial condition, and other information that may be pertinent to the bankruptcy proceeding.
What Questions Will be Asked at a 341 Meeting?
The experienced bankruptcy attorneys at Talkov Law have compiled a list of some of the most common questions that debtors are asked during their 341 meeting of the creditors:
- What is your name, present home address, and cell phone number?
- Have you reviewed your petition and schedule thoroughly?
- Have you listed all your assets?
- Have you properly listed all your debts?
- Is the information you provided in your petition and other documents true and correct?
- Are your schedules true and correct?
- Are there any errors or omissions that you are aware of?
- Do you have any change to your schedules?
- Did you sign the petition, schedules, and all related documents?
- Have you identified all ownership interests and real estate mortgages?
- Is anyone holding property for you?
- Does anyone owe you money?
- Have you identified all assets on the schedules?
- How did you arrive at the values you have listed for your assets?
- Have you properly included all of your creditors on the schedules?
- Have you previously filed for bankruptcy, including any previously dismissed bankruptcy petitions?
- Do you have a domestic support obligations (such as alimony or child support)?
- Are you current on these obligations?
- Have you filed all tax returns in the past four years?
- Why does your tax return show interest paid to you but your schedules don’t show anyone owing you money?
- Have you reviewed the bankruptcy information sheet?
- Have you repaid any debts to friends or family this year?
- What is the reason you are filing for bankruptcy?
- What is your hourly rate/salary?
- Do you own a business?
- Do you have a secured claim against anyone?
- Are you entitled to any life insurance proceeds?
- Are you a beneficiary or a trustee of a trust?
Sometimes, these questions are asked as a matter of course. Other times, the questions are asked because the trustee has information suggesting the debtor is not being honest. Even further, the trustee may genuinely want to find other assets. The key is that honestly is the best policy. Dishonesty to the trustee undermines the bankruptcy system, which is why courts do not take kindly to such behavior.
Contact an Experienced Bankruptcy Attorney in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Riverside, Palm Springs, San Bernardino, Palo Alto, and San Jose
Bankruptcy is stressful, but you’re not alone. The knowledgeable bankruptcy attorneys at Talkov Law have helped thousands of clients through their bankruptcy proceedings. Hiring an experienced bankruptcy attorney can provide much-need relief and guidance throughout the bankruptcy process. If you have questions about the 341 meeting of creditors or bankruptcy in general, contact the bankruptcy attorneys at Talkov Law by phone at (844) 4-TALKOV (825568) or online for a free, 15 minute evaluation of your situation.
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