A “341 Meeting” is also known as a creditors’ meeting. Section 341 of the Bankruptcy Code requires the debtor to make a personal appearance at a creditor’s meeting (which is why it’s called a 341 meeting). The purpose of the meeting is for the trustee to gather information and review the bankruptcy petition to ensure its accuracy, as well as for your creditors to ask questions. It is rare for creditors to appear at the meetings, unless the creditor believes there was fraud involved.
The debtor (the person who is bankrupt) is required to attend, along with their attorney. The meeting is not a formal court hearing, because the bankruptcy judge is not in attendance, but it is a formal proceeding, under oath, and is a necessary procedure to complete the bankruptcy.
What happens at the 341 Meeting?
You will be noticed to the meeting room usually at the federal building. The trustee who is presiding over the meeting will ask you to take an oath to tell the truth, after which they begin their questioning. The meeting will be either tape recorded or recorded by a court reporter, however it is typically tape recorded.
Typical questions asked by the attorney at the 341 Meeting include:
- Did you list all of your assets?
- How did you determine the values you gave for your assets?
- Did you list all of your debts?
- Did you read the schedules before signing them?
- Are the schedules accurate?
- Do you want to make any corrections to the schedules?
- Have you destroyed your credit cards?
If you have unusual assets, the trustee may ask for more information. In complex cases, it is possible that the trustee will adjourn the meeting and continue it at a later date, to give time to gather more information. It is imperative that you bring your driver’s license and social security card with you to the meeting. If you do not have a driver’s license, then any other government issued picture ID that has your name and address is acceptable. If you do not have a social security card, then another document (such as original W-2) that has your social security number would be sufficient.
Will my creditors be there?
All creditors are notified of the meeting. In most cases, the unsecured creditors (like credit card companies) do not attend the meeting.
Your creditors are permitted to ask you questions. Since you have sworn to tell the truth, you are giving answers under oath, and your answers will be recorded.
Because a trustee will generally hold many meetings each day, creditors are only permitted to spend a few minutes asking questions. In most cases 341 meetings only last for a few minutes.
Your bankruptcy attorney will provide you with more information on your 341 Meeting.