Shortly after a bankruptcy is filed, the debtor will receive something from the Court called the “Bankruptcy Information Sheet along with the Notice of Bankruptcy Filing. The notice provides the name of the debtor, the case number, the judge, the trustee and important dates related to the case. In both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 cases, the notice will provide the Meeting of Creditors date and time. For Chapter 13 cases, the confirmation hearing date is also included.
What is a Meeting of Creditors?
The Meeting of Creditors is also called a 341 Meeting after the code section that mandates it. Often, this is the only time a debtor needs to appear during the case. A local panel trustee will preside the meeting. A trustee is someone who is assigned by the Court to oversee your case and administer assets should there be any. In Columbus, it may be any one of the people on this list.
What happens in your 341 Meeting of Creditors?
At the start of the meeting, the trustee will swear in the debtor and then ask the debtor to state his or her name and address for the record. The trustee will verify the identity and social security number of the person. The trustee will then go through a series of questions with the debtor. They are mostly yes or no questions and may include the following:
1. did you list all of your assets?
2. did you list all of your liabilities
3. are there any changes or omissions to bring to my attention?
4. did you have a chance to review your petition before you signed it?
5. are you personally familiar with the information contained therein?
6. is that your signature?
7. did you sell or give away any property for less than fair market value?
8. do you have a written fee agreement with your attorney?
9. have you previously filed bankruptcy?
Additionally, the trustee will review any recorded deeds and mortgages for any real estate owned. He or she will ask about the value of the property. The trustee will also review any vehicle titles, life insurance policies, 401k documents and other proof of value/ownership of other assets. Sixty days worth of pay advices and most recent tax return should be provided to the trustee at least 7 days prior to the 341 meeting. Finally, the trustee will also ask if any creditors are present in your case. Although creditors are allowed to attend your meeting, they usually do not.