What happens at the meeting of creditors? Bryan Texas bankruptcy lawyers explain
About six weeks after you file for bankruptcy, you will need to attend a meeting of creditors (also called a 341 meeting because the meeting is required by Bankruptcy Code §341). The prospect of the meeting may be causing you some anxiety. As an experienced Bryan bankruptcy lawyer, let me assure you the meeting of creditors is a lot less frightening than you think. Despite the name, none of your creditors is likely to be there.
In general, the meeting is informal and will occur in your bankruptcy trustee's hearing room. The typical meeting is brief, lasting only 10 to 15 minutes.
First the trustee will swear you in and then ask to see your driver's license or other government issued identification card and your Social Security card. Next the trustee will ask you some questions about your bankruptcy filing.
The bankruptcy trustee wants to confirm that the information contained in your bankruptcy petition and schedules is still accurate. If you are filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the trustee is trying to determine if you have any non-exempt or unprotected assets, so he or she can sell them and distribute the funds to your creditors. If you are filing under Chapter 13, the trustee's focus is on the details of your monthly income and expenses so that the trustee can determine whether he or she has any objections to your proposed repayment plan.
Although the questions may vary depending on your circumstances and trustee, some typical questions that bankruptcy trustees ask include:
- Did you read the petition, schedules, and other papers that you filed with the court before signing them?
- Are they accurate?
- Are all your creditors listed?
- Are all your assets listed?
- Did you sell or transfer any property in the last two years?
- Are you expecting money for any source, like a lawsuit, inheritance, or repayment of a debt?
- Is anyone holding property for you?
- Have you filed for bankruptcy before?
If you are filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the trustee will want to know about your job security, the sources and stability of your income, the reasonableness of your expenses, whether you have paid all your taxes, and whether you have begun making payments pursuant to your proposed plan.
All of your creditors will receive notice of the meeting. Any creditors in attendance will have an opportunity to ask you questions as well. However, creditors rarely attend.
After the meeting, the bankruptcy trustee may request additional information regarding particular aspects of your case or financial situation.
If you file under Chapter 7, and all goes well, you can expect to receive a notice of discharge about 75 days after the meeting of the creditors. If you file under Chapter 13, the next step is a confirmation hearing for the bankruptcy judge to approve your repayment plan.
If you are considering bankruptcy and would like to consult a Bryan Texas bankruptcy lawyer, call the Peterson Law Group at 979-703-7014. The knowledgeable Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorneys at the Peterson Law Group will be happy to speak with you.