Individuals after filing Bankruptcy are often taken by surprise when they find out that they actually have to face their creditors in what is formally called a “Section 341 Meeting” or otherwise known as a “Trustee Meeting.” The trustee presiding over the case is required under Bankruptcy Rule 2003(a) to call a meeting with creditors no fewer than 20 and no more than 40 days after the commencement of the Bankruptcy proceeding. The fact that a debtor has to face their creditors can understandably be perceived as a potentially intimidating experience. Our attorneys are very distinguished in this field and can help make this meeting be a comfortable one for you. Below are a few common questions answered about Section 341 meetings. DO I HAVE TO ATTEND?
Attendance is MANDATORY for all debtors in the case. So if your wife or husband is a co-debtor in the Bankruptcy proceeding, she/he must attend. Failure for any debtor to attend the Section 341 meeting is grounds for dismissal of the case. Attendance is crucial in order to move the Bankruptcy proceeding swiftly! WHAT DO I HAVE TO BRING?
Unless you are told otherwise, you should bring the following documents.
- Identification documents – Social Security Card, Driver’s license/State I.D, Passport if applicable. Just make sure you bring some sort of government issued identification.
- Tax Returns – You should bring your most recent tax return, as it will be one of the documents looked at to verify the accuracy on your Bankruptcy schedules.
- Bank Statements – Again, these are used to verify the information inputted on the Bankruptcy schedules filed. You should at least bring one that covers the date from the filing date to the prior day of the Section 341 meeting.
- Pay Stubs – You should definitely bring your most recent pay stub to the meeting.
- Property Tax Notice – If you own a home, you should bring your most recent county property tax notice.
- Car Titles/Mortgage Documents – If applicable.
- Any Other Information Requested by the Trustee
Although, a Section 341 meeting can seem cumbersome, by bringing all the paperwork above, the meeting can be a very manageable and speedy one. WHAT KIND OF QUESTIONS WILL I BE ASKED?
This is one of the main concerns, but usually most of the Trustee’s questions are pretty standard. Some questions include:
- Why are you filing Bankruptcy?
- Have you filed before?
- Has anything changed since you filed Bankruptcy?
- Have all your creditors been listed?
- Have all of your assets been disclosed?
Since most questions are pretty standard, a standard “yes” or “no” will satisfy the trustee. If the question requires a more descriptive answer, just be as concise as possible. A debtor should not be defensive, or go on a rant when answering these questions. If they do, then it opens the door for creditors to ask the debtor more questions. This makes the meeting longer and more uncomfortable for the debtor. Remember that you will be under oath, so make sure to answer your questions accurately. A Section 341 meeting does not have to be an intimidating one. We can prepare anyone for this process in order to ensure a swift and comfortable meeting. If you, a family member, or friend are considering Bankruptcy and have questions please contact one of our distinguished Chicagoland Bankruptcy attorneys at the Law Office of William J. Factor for your free, no obligation consultation!!