Bankruptcy can help many people get a fresh start when their debt gets out of control. The journey to get there can be somewhat long and winding, though. One of the stops along the way is the Meeting of Creditors, sometimes referred to as the 341 meeting.
This meeting usually happens no later than 50 days after you file. Its purpose is to give your creditors — the people you owe money to — an opportunity to ask you questions about your debts and the information you provided to your bankruptcy trustee. Particular creditors might ask about any collateral and how that figures into the petition.
Who Will be Present at the Meeting of Creditors?
The bankruptcy trustee assigned to your case will conduct the meeting. Creditors will usually be sent a notice informing them of the meeting. The truth is that most creditors do not attend the 341 meeting. If you are scheduled to have an in-person meeting, you will often be assigned to a window of time with other debtors. If you cannot appear in-person, the trustee may allow a video or telephone meeting.
What Does the Bankruptcy Trustee Do?
Your bankruptcy case will be assigned a trustee who is responsible for overseeing the case. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the trustee’s last major duty is to sell your non-exempt property to creditors. Non-exempt property is anything eligible to be sold to creditors in order to satisfy your debts. Exempt property usually consists of your homestead, primary vehicle, clothes, and income, among other things.
A trustee in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy ensures you stick to the approved repayment plan. Chapter 13 trustees usually receive the monthly payments and distribute them to creditors. In some bankruptcy cases, you’ll have to appear before the bankruptcy judge with the trustee.
What Does the Meeting Look Like?
Before the meeting, you will be required to send some financial documents to the trustee. These documents are largely meant to confirm your financial situation that necessitates a bankruptcy. Under oath, your trustee will ask you if the information you provided is correct. If no creditors show, the meeting might last no more than five minutes.
If you do not attend the meeting, your case will likely be dismissed. You will need to file a new case if you still wish to file for bankruptcy.
Should You Have a Lawyer Present?
Hiring an experienced bankruptcy lawyer is the best way to ensure you fulfill all your goals with your bankruptcy while satisfying your legal obligations. From the moment you decide to file, you must file a significant amount of paperwork in very specific ways. The skilled team at Hedtke Law Group will help you determine the best option for you to move past a challenging financial situation, which may or not may be bankruptcy. Get in touch with our staff today to set up your consultation.