Whether you file a bankruptcy case under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, federal bankruptcy law requires that you attend what bankruptcy attorneys, judges, trustees, and other industry regulars refer to as a “341 meeting” after its code section in Title 11, the bankruptcy code.
More formally known as a meeting of creditors, the meeting involves your bankruptcy trustee overseeing and handling your bankruptcy case. Every bankruptcy case is different and unique, requiring the bankruptcy trustee to tailor his or her questions to your personal circumstances.
Typically, the following questions are basic inquiries asked of every bankruptcy debtor:
- What is your name, Social Security number, and current address?
- Are you personally familiar with all the information contained in the bankruptcy petition and schedules that you filed?
- Is this information accurate and complete?
- Do your bankruptcy forms list all of your assets, liabilities, and creditors?
- Did you sign your bankruptcy forms?
- Have you ever filed for bankruptcy in the past?
At the beginning of the meeting, the trustee will inform you that you submitted all information in your bankruptcy documents under penalty of perjury. Many trustees require a driver’s license and social security card to prove valid personal identification. Debtors should be prepared to discuss and explain any discrepancies, errors, or contradictions of fact contained in the schedules filed with the court.
In addition to these standard questions, the trustee may ask about income, assets, debts, expenses, and anything else that relates to the payment of personal liabilities. Debtors must be prepared to answer questions about the following issues:
- employment and income
- bank and investment accounts
- recent tax returns
- real property owned or rented
- motor vehicles
- other valuable personal property
- any forthcoming income or money resulting from pending or future events such as a lawsuit, inheritance, life insurance, divorce, business, or even the lottery
- any property or cash sold or transferred to family members and non-family members in the year before the bankruptcy filing
- any owned or operated business within the past six years
- your intentions as to how you plan on resolving and paying secured debts.
Although a 341 meeting is technically a meeting of creditors, very rarely do any creditors appear at this meeting. If creditors do make an appearance, it’s usually for one of the following reasons:
- To clarify how the debtor plans on resolving a secured debt. For example, a car lender may want to know whether you intend to give back the car, pay the lender its replacement value, or enter into a reaffirmation agreement to continue the loan after your bankruptcy. But even this is extremely rare.
- To inquire about or even allege suspected bankruptcy fraud by asking about recent charges or cash advances.
- To ask about discrepancies between the information in your bankruptcy documents and any information submitted when applying for credit.
Most relatively simple cases where the debtor owns little or no nonexempt property will probably have no creditors appear and ask questions. Typically, a 341 meeting is over in just a few minutes.
Theron Morrison and the Morrison Law Group may help any Utah resident better understand 341 meetings and their bankruptcy options as the Morrison Law Group offers free consultations. Call 801.456.9933 today to schedule a FREE consultation. We have locations in Ogden, Logan, Sandy, Orem, and St. George to serve the residents of the counties of Weber, Cache, Salt Lake, Utah, Morgan, Davis, Washington, and surrounding areas.