The meeting of creditors or a 341 hearing is a mandatory process conducted by the bankruptcy trustee when there is a filing of bankruptcy. During a filing of bankruptcy, the petitioner provides several documentations related to the situation including the petition and schedules. In the hearing process, the trustee gets the opportunity to ask the petitioner questions regarding the furnished information. The answers to these questions have to be answered under oath.
If you are an individual who has filed bankruptcy, it is imperative that you have to be part of this meeting of creditors. Needless to say, this meeting can be an anxious ordeal and can make the individuals to panic. But be prepared for this meeting by knowing what will be asked can help alleviate the anxiety prior to appearing for this hearing.
The Hearing Process
Though it may sound like a large audience meeting, there are generally only three people who attend the 341 hearing, viz. the trustee, your bankruptcy attorney and you. At times, one or more of the creditors may arrive to be part of this hearing but its occurrence is quite rare. Your bankruptcy attorney can ensure that the creditors are asking relevant questions and do not cause confusion if at all they show up.
Here’s the process –
- The trustee will swear you in after validating your identity (using your SSN and Driver’s license) at the commencement of the meeting
- The session begins with questions pertaining to the furnished information for the authenticity & confirmation of the shared details
- It is advised to share all information and answer truly as the intention of the trustee is not to trick you into trouble
- For any complex or ambiguous queries, your bankruptcy attorney can be reached out to for a better understanding of the posed query
Some of the very commonly asked questions are
- Did you verify all information prior to submitting the bankruptcy forms with your attorney?
- Are all furnished information correct and true?
- Have you disclosed all of your assets?
- Have you filed for bankruptcy earlier to this?
- Does the information carry the list of all your creditors to whom you owe the debts?
- How did you land into the current financial situation?
- When have you bought your home and how much did you pay for it?
- Have you paid your taxes diligently in the past? Have you filed all your tax returns in the last four years?
Subsequent to the questions, the meeting committee viz. the trustee would also seek additional documentation if you haven’t shared enough of those already. It could be any of the below types
- Financial statements that indicate the filing dates
- Mortgage or loan statements that prove the filing dates
- Most recent federal tax form
- Recent pay stub proofs
- Documentation that validates the insurance for home, vehicles or other properties
When all of the shared information, including documentation have been validated by the trustee, these reports are sent to the judge. The judge may later review your report and when he intends to approve it, he will sign an order of discharge – this indicates the closure to the case
The right attorney will guide you to face the meeting of creditors and will facilitate this ordeal. So reaching out to a law firm that has wide expertise in this space will be crucial to start afresh and regain your financial status. The Recovery Law Group have renowned experience in the Dallas, TX regions catering to clients who have filed for bankruptcy. They also serve the Los Angeles zone.