If you have decided to file for bankruptcy protection, you have taken the first step toward a more secure financial future.
The next step in your journey is to attend the 341 meeting, also known as the meeting of creditors.
The 341 meeting gets its name from Section 341, Title 11, of the United States Bankruptcy Code, which contains the requirements for the first meeting of creditors. If you are filing either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, it is here, in a location outside of court, that you will meet the trustee appointed by the U.S. Trustee’s Office to administer your bankruptcy case.
Questions and answers
The trustee will ask questions that you must answer truthfully under penalty of perjury. The information you provide about matters such as your liabilities, your current financial condition, property ownership and other subjects related to your bankruptcy help the trustee to better understand your circumstances. The goal is to provide efficient administrative assistance.
Notification of the time and place of the 341 meeting will go out to your creditors. If they attend, they may question you about matters pertaining to your bankruptcy. However, creditors rarely appear; they do not jeopardize their standing in your case if they choose to stay away.
A word of caution about the 341 meeting: Be sure that you attend. Otherwise, the trustee could ask the court to dismiss your bankruptcy case. In fact, the court could order you to cooperate or face charges of contempt.
You do not have to attend the 341 meeting alone. Your attorney will accompany you. All you need to bring is your Social Security card or a document showing your Social Security number along with government-issued photo identification, such as your driver’s license. Your attorney will provide the trustee with the necessary documents for your case, such as tax returns, bank statements and property deeds. At the end of the day, the 341 meeting usually only takes a few minutes. Once it is over, you will have cleared an important mile marker on the way to your new financial future.