The Creditor’s Meeting, also known as the 341(a) meeting is an important part of the bankruptcy process. It puts a face/body to the filed papers and allows the Trustee to ask questions regarding the truthfulness of those documents. This article will discuss the importance of this meeting as well as provide some insight to the questions “typically” asked.
Although, the 341(a) is not meant to intimidate the Debtor nor be a forum of heavy questioning, it is nonetheless very important to be prepared for the types of specific questions that your specific bankruptcy may warrant. Thus, it is important to retain an attorney who can better prepare you for your specific case.
Typically however the line of questioning one can expect from a 341(a) meeting is as follows:
1) The Trustee will ask you to raise your hand and take an oath of honesty.
2) The Trustee will ask you to confirm your name and your address and begin the questioning as such,
3) Did you sign the petition, schedules, statements, and related documents and is the signature your own?
4) Did you read the petition, schedules, statements, and related documents before you signed them?
5) To the best of your knowledge, is the information contained in the petition, schedules, statements, and related documents true and correct?
6) Do you want to make any corrections to the schedules?
7) Did you list all of your assets?
8) Did you list all of your creditors?
9) Have you previously filed bankruptcy?
10) Do you have a domestic support obligation? To whom? Are you current on your post-petition domestic support obligations?
11) Have you transferred real property in the last 2 years (In some cases 4 years depending on Trustee.)
12) Have you transferred anything that was over $1,500 of value in the last 2 years (In some cases 4 years depending on the Trustee.
13) –If married but filing the bankruptcy on your own—The Trustee might ask you, “Does your spouse own any property which you did not list on your schedules.”
Additional Tips for a 341(a) Meeting-
1) Make sure you provide your most recent tax return to the Trustee at least 7 days prior to the meeting.
2) Make sure you take your social security card(or some other official proof of social security) and a valid government ID to the meeting.
3) Although this is called a creditors meeting, chances of your creditor’s showing up are low (however this depends in every case).
4) If you need a translator, there will be a interpreter service you can use free of charge.
5) Some Trustees have questionnaire’s that you must fill out whether or not you have an attorney. Trustees usually also have questionnaires for Debtors without attorneys.
6) There is always a green pamphlet at the 341(a) meeting, read this green pamphlet as the last question that the Trustee will ask you is if you read and understood the green pamphlet.
Promise of Service by Robert Reganyan, Attorney at Reganyan Law.
In my experience my clients are usually nervous about this process. Thus, I am one of the very few attorneys that will make a personal appearance to the 341(a) meeting with my client. I sit with my client until the case is called and in the meantime if my client(s) has a question, he/she can ask me on the spot and feel more confident about the process. I find that facing this experience with your attorney on your side every step of the way makes all the difference.
Contact Robert Reganyan if you’re curious or concerned about bankruptcy proceedings.