341-A Meeting

This video explains the 341 meeting and what you can expect at your hearing.

Everyone who files bankruptcy must attend a meeting of creditors known in bankruptcy circles as the 341 meeting (after the code section where it's found). It's a requirement, but luckily it's not scary. It's not in front of a judge, but with the trustee appointed to your case. The trustee is a court officer and his/her primary goal is to verify that everything in the bankruptcy filing is true and correct and to look for any assets available to see to satisfy creditor claims. You've discussed all of the issues in your bankruptcy with your attorney and thoroughly reviewed your bankruptcy petition filing so there should be no surprises.

Your hearing date will be held about 30-35 days after your petition is filed and you'll get about 2-3 weeks' notice. You need to bring a valid driver's license and original social security card to the hearing. If you are missing either one of those your DLF paperwork tells you what other documents the trustee will accept. Plan to arrive 30 minutes early to meet your attorney and go all the way into the courthouse to the designated room. You need extra time to park, get through security and find the right room. Your attorney will make the process as easy as possible. You will receive information about who your attorney is and what he/she looks like. The attorney may be waiting inside or outside the room depending on his/her schedule of hearings that day. Once you enter the room, please proceed to the front of the room and pick up a green brochure that contains general bankruptcy information. Please be sure to read the brochure while you wait. If you are unsure which brochure to pick up, ask the clerk sitting at the front.

Before the session begins, the trustee will introduce him or herself and give general instructions on how to proceed. After the instructions, the trustee will begin calling cases based on the order of the schedule. Each case will take only a few minutes. It is not a formal court procedure, but more of an informal meeting to review the bankruptcy petition. If you need a translator you can bring your own or the court will provide one for you for most languages. If you bring your own translator they can't be related to you and must be over 18. Once your name is called, your attorney will come forward and will be right next to you in front of the trustee. The trustee will swear you in and then proceed with questioning. Please be sure you answer questions loudly and clearly as this is a taped proceeding.

Questions will vary from case to case, but some will be similar – sounding something like this:

  • Did you carefully read/review your paperwork before you signed it?
  • Is everything truthful and accurate?
  • Did you list everything you own and everyone you owe money to?
  • Have you filed for bankruptcy before?

Creditors are invited to the meeting, but they are not required to attend. Any creditors who appear at the hearing may ask you questions about your property and financial affairs under oath.

After your hearing is complete, your attorney will give you a copy of your petition for your files and the trustee will return a copy of your last tax return. If the trustee requires amendments or any other documentation, your attorney will take notes and pass it along to the post-petition department who will work with you to submit the necessary documents. Once the meeting is over, you are free to leave. If you have any additional questions for your attorney, please wait outside until he/she has completed all of the meetings.

If you'd like to see a simulated hearing watch the video titled, Simulated 341 Hearing.



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