Soon after you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will attend the 341 meeting.
You may feel a bit anxious, wondering what this is all about. Be assured that this meeting is a good first step on your journey to a better financial future.
Naming the meeting
The 341 meeting, or meeting of creditors, takes its name from Title 11, Section 341 of the United States Code. It is this section that requires debtors to meet with creditors. However, creditors usually decline to attend since they lose no standing in a bankruptcy case if they choose not to appear.
Meeting the trustee
For you, the primary benefit of attending this hearing is to meet the trustee from the Office of the United States Trustee who is in charge of administering your case. The trustee will ask questions that you must answer truthfully under penalty of lying under oath. The questions concerning your property, liabilities and current financial condition will help the trustee conduct his or her responsibilities efficiently.
Failing to appear
The 341 meeting takes place outside of court. No judge will be present. Your attorney will accompany you and provide the trustee with documents pertaining to your bankruptcy case, such as bank statements, tax returns, mortgage documents, real estate deeds and car titles. You will only have to bring a government-issued ID and proof of your Social Security number. Keep in mind that attendance is mandatory. If you do not appear, the trustee has the power to recommend the court dismiss your case. The 341 meeting does not last long, but you will find it an important first step on the road to a brighter financial future.