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What Is The 341 Meeting of Creditors

Posted on Jun 27, 2012 in Bankruptcy, Bankruptcy Information, Chapter 13, Chapter 7, Illinois, Wisconsin

 

So you filed for bankruptcy and now learn that you are required to attend a “Creditor’s Meeting,” also known as 341 Meeting.  That sounds pretty intimidating.  The last thing that you want right now is to go to court or meet with your creditors.  Don’t worry; this meeting is not nearly as scary as it sounds, once we clear up some misconceptions.

So what is a Creditor’s Meeting?

This meeting generally occurs a month or two after you file for bankruptcy, and you are required to attend.  For a Chapter 7 bankruptcy a 341 is basically a time for the Trustee to make sure that the information in your bankruptcy petition is correct and that you have listed all of your non-exempt assets.  For a Chapter 13 bankruptcy the Trustee also wants to make sure that your repayment plan is feasible.  Technically, this is also a time reserved for creditors to ask questions about your finances and your bankruptcy petition.  Not to worry, though, creditors almost never come.

What is the meeting actually like?

The actual meeting is much less frightening and much less glamorous that you probably imagine.  First, this meeting does not take place in a courtroom, but rather in a relatively bland room inside a government building.  As you walk in you will see the trustee at a table in the front of the room, probably in the middle of another debtor’s 341 Meeting.  You and your attorney will sit in that room and wait to be called; this will give you a chance to hear what the meeting will be like before you are called up.

When the Trustee calls your name, you and your attorney go up to the table.  You will be put under oath and the Trustee will verify your identity.  After this, the Trustee will proceed to ask a number of yes/no questions and may ask you to clarify a point or two on your petition.  All in all, the meeting will last about 15 minutes and, if your petition is in order, it will be relatively painless.  Follow up work may be necessary, but in all likelihood you will not have to meet with your trustee again.

That is the 341 Meeting.  It is not meant to intimidate or test you, in fact, it is mostly a formality on the way to a fresh financial start.  Just remember to arrive a few minutes early, bring your driver’s license and social security card (or W2 form), and not to worry.

This post was the first by Lakelaw summer intern Tatiana Barry.

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