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What is the Meeting of Creditors?

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If you have been researching the process of filing for bankruptcy, you may have read about a required “meeting of creditors” or “341 meeting.” These terms refer to a step in the bankruptcy process that requires the debtor to go before a bankruptcy trustee to answer questions about his or her bankruptcy case. The meeting is conducted under oath and the purpose of the meeting is for the trustee to ask the debtor questions to ensure that the debtor has given truthful answers on his or her bankruptcy petition. If you have questions about the meeting of creditors, a Merrillville bankruptcy attorney can help you prepare to answer the trustee’s questions.

Common Questions asked at the Meeting of Creditors

Though generally termed the “meeting of creditors,” it is very rare that creditors actually appear at the meeting. Creditors must be given notice of the meeting by the bankruptcy court clerk at least 20 days before the meeting and in the rare case that a creditor does appear, the creditor has the right to ask the debtor questions.

In the vast majority of cases, the only one asking the debtor questions is the trustee. The trustee’s goal is to ask questions to make sure there is no bankruptcy fraud occurring, that the debtor’s paperwork is correct, and to get an accurate representation of the debtor’s finances and property.

Common questions include:

  • Why are you filing for bankruptcy?
  • Does your bankruptcy paperwork list all of your property and are the values you assigned accurate?
  • Within three months of filing for bankruptcy, did you repay any of your creditors?
  • In the past few years, did you sell or give away any of your property?
  • How did you determine the value of the property listed on your bankruptcy schedules?
  • Do you have any dependents?
  • Are you married, divorced, separated?
  • Do you have any support obligations such as child support or alimony?
  • Is the income listed on your bankruptcy schedules and on the means test correct?
  • Did you give money to repay any friends or family in the past year?
  • What are your monthly expenses and are they necessary and reasonable?

Other Possible Documents Required

The meeting of creditors is generally held in a federal building, but not in an actual courtroom. Debtors must bring a photo identification and proof of a social security number. If not, then the meeting will not proceed.

Besides a photo ID and proof of social security number, the following documents may also be required:

  • Pay stubs;
  • Tax returns;
  • Bank statements;
  • Mortgage documents and/or property deeds; and
  • Car titles.

If any of the above documents are required, the trustee will notify your attorney and we can work with you to make sure the correct documents are brought to the meeting.

Work with a Merrillville Bankruptcy Attorney

At Whitten & Whitten, we understand that the process of filing for bankruptcy can be confusing and even a little scary. The meeting of creditors is a required part of the process and discussing your case with Merrillville bankruptcy attorney can help ensure that the meeting goes smoothly. If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, contact us today at 219-756-0555 or visit us online.

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