There are many steps that must be taken when going through a bankruptcy. One of them is the 341 meeting, which is sometimes called the meeting of creditors. This meeting gets its name from the fact that it is a mandatory meeting according to section 341 of the bankruptcy code. If you are going through bankruptcy or considering bankruptcy as a solution to your financial situation, it is important to learn about this meeting as soon as possible.
Who is in the Meeting?
In the 341 meeting, you will be talking with the trustee who was assigned to your bankruptcy case. Additionally, your creditors will be invited to the meeting, though generally do not attend. You can have your attorney with you through this meeting as well. The judge handling your case will not attend.
What Does the Trustee Do?
The trustee is the person who has been assigned to administer your bankruptcy estate. Their job is to make sure your creditors get as much of the money that they are owed as possible. To achieve this goal, they will make sure that you have properly included all of your assets in your bankruptcy papers and accurately reported your income.
How to Prepare for a 341 Meeting
In most cases, you will have around a month from the time you file for bankruptcy until this meeting takes place. During that time, you will want to make sure you are prepared with everything you need. You will have to bring a photo ID, your social security card (or other proof of SSN), bankruptcy papers, proof of income, recent bank and investment statements, and other documentation as requested by the trustee. Additionally, you will want to prepare for the types of questions that you are likely to be asked in the meeting. The following are among the most common questions:
- Do you typically receive a tax refund?
- Have any property or other major assets been transferred out of your name in the past year?
- Do you have any property that is jointly owned with another party?
- Have you made any large payments or gifts to creditors, loved ones, or other individuals?
- Are you getting a divorce in the next year, and if so, do you expect to get any assets through the divorce?
- Does anyone have any outstanding debts that they owe you?
Of course, each meeting is going to be unique and based on your specific situation. If you have an attorney representing you in your bankruptcy case, they will be able to help you to prepare for the types of questions you are most likely to hear. They can also help to answer these questions during the meeting. Please contact Cutler & Associates to discuss your bankruptcy and get the help you need.