If you’re considering filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it’s essential to know what the various steps are in the process. One of the most important ones is the 341 meeting. The name refers to a section of the bankruptcy code.
This meeting is held with your court-appointed trustee. It’s typically about a month after the filing, once the bankruptcy trustee has reviewed your paperwork and financial documents. If you have an attorney, they’ll attend the meeting with you.
Your creditors will be notified of the meeting. However, even though this is commonly referred to as a “Meeting of the Creditors,” they don’t have to attend.
The purpose of the meeting is for the trustee to make sure everything is in order, to confirm the nonexempt assets that are being sold to pay your creditors and to ensure that nothing fraudulent is being attempted. Your trustee will ask you questions about your assets, expenses, debts, any money you may be expecting in the near future (such as an inheritance or tax refund). They’ll ask about your dependents and your marital status.
If any creditors attend the meeting, they and their attorneys can ask questions as well. They may ask, for example, about plans for repayment of debts that you’re not discharging in your bankruptcy.
In this meeting, you’ll also confirm that all of the documents you’ve submitted are accurate and complete. You’ll need to verify your identity. If the trustee determines that everything is in order, they’ll approve the discharge of your bankruptcy.
Having an experienced bankruptcy attorney to help you prepare and be by your side during your 341 meeting and throughout the bankruptcy process can help everything go more quickly and smoothly. It can also help you avoid issues that can cause delays and legal problems down the road.
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