Filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be the better choice for your situation, but it still involves a complex process. Part of the procedure is meeting with the trustee, which is called a 341 meeting or hearing.
Thinking about the meeting may cause you some anxiety, but there is no need to fear. Knowing what to expect can help you prepare for the event so you do not experience any avoidable hurdles in your case.
Who is the trustee?
The trustee is the person in charge of your estate once you file for bankruptcy. The Office of the United States Trustee makes the selection, and you will know in advance who it is. In Chapter 13, the trustee’s responsibilities include:
- Verifying documentation and information
- Reviewing your repayment plan and creditor claims
- Collecting payments and distributing them to creditors
- Providing updates on the status of your case
The trustee will also watch out for fraud or other illegal activity by either party during the process.
What happens at the meeting?
The 341 hearing takes place in a regular meeting room, not in a courtroom, 21 to 50 days after filing for bankruptcy. It usually takes no more than 10 minutes. It will begin with you confirming basic information and answering the trustee’s questions about your finances and repayment plan. If your creditors or their attorneys attend, they may ask you questions as well; however, it is not common for them to be there.
How should you prepare?
Review with a bankruptcy attorney the questions that may come up to ensure you understand them and know how to answer them. The items you will need to bring to verify your identity and the accuracy of your forms are:
- Your ID
- Your Social Security card
- Recent pay stubs
- Last year’s tax return
The hearing is only a small part of the Chapter 13 bankruptcy process, so take a deep breath and remember that you can have a qualified and compassionate lawyer to help you through it all.
Disclaimer - Attorney Advertising. Under Federal Law, we have been designated a Debt Relief Agency and we help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code. This information is not intended as legal advice and no attorney-client relationship is created. Results may vary. Results not guaranteed. Dramatization - not actual clients in pictures and videos. Thomas C. McBride, attorney in Alexandria, LA.