What to Expect at a 341(a) Meeting of Creditors for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?
In most cases, a 341(a) Meeting of Creditors is the only time the Debtors will need to appear. These Meetings are set to give a chance for Creditors to ask questions of the Debtors regarding their income or property. This meeting is also set for the Trustee to ask Debtors questions about their petition and also to verify the Debtors are who they say they are.
At a 341 (a) Meeting, you can expect the following:
1. No Creditors Show Up: In almost 90% of these meetings, creditors do not appear. If they do show up, they are only allowed to ask questions about your property and are only allowed a limited time to question you.
2. Prove You Are Who You Are: Debtors must show the Trustee their Picture IDs and Social Security Cards, to prove they are the person that filed this case.
3. Wait, Wait, and Wait Some More: Generally at these hearings, there are over 30 cases set per hour and sometimes the Trustee can get behind. Bring a book or magazine, because you will be waiting for other cases set for the same hour. Usually, you can find out what number you are on the list posted near the door of the room.
4. Short and Sweet: Since there are over 30 cases set per hour, the Trustees go through cases rather quickly and efficiently. Expect that you will only answer a few questions and then be out the door.
5. Answer Questions About Your Petition, Property, and Income. Even with an Attorney, you will be the one primarily answering the Questions. Standard Questions at a 341(a) Meeting of Creditors are as follows:
Did you read and sign your Petition? Is everything true and correct to the best of your knowledge in your Petition? Are there any changes or amendments to your Petition?
Did you read the Bankruptcy Information Sheet (a pamphlet usually at the front or back of the room at the hearing)
Did you transfer any property to anyone or make payments to any family members in the year before filing your Petition?
Did you pay any one Creditor over $600.00 in the 90 days before you filed your Petition?