What To Expect At Your 341 Meeting

What To Expect At Your 341 Meeting

341 Meeting Instructions

Your section 341 meeting of creditors is approaching, so to help ensure a smooth meeting this video will provide you with instructions relating to that meeting. We’ll cover several things: first, who’s involved; second, what to wear; third, what to bring with you; fourth, how the meeting is conducted; and fifth, what happens after the meeting. So let’s get started.

One, Who’s Involved. The meeting of creditors is conducted by the trustee assigned to your case. The trustee is an attorney who is appointed by the court to represent your creditors. The Trustee is not a judge and no issues of law will be addressed at the hearing. You can think of a 341 meeting as a mini deposition—only less formal.

What Should I Wear?

So what should you wear? You should dress informally. You do not need to dress up for the event. In fact, we suggest that you dress normally or dress down, casually; that you do not wear any jewelry or other items of value. We want you to appear as ordinary as possible.

What Do I Need To Bring To The Meeting?

There are several documents that you need to bring with you. You need to bring these documents, even if you have already provided them to our office. They are:

  1. Government-issued picture ID. This can be a driver’s license, state ID card, or a passport. It just needs to be a Government issued picture ID.
  2. You need to bring your social security verification. This can be your original social security card or if you don’t have one or can’t find it, you can also bring an original W-2. It does need to be an original W-2 if you’re bringing that document. If you don’t bring the social security verification, the trustee is required to have you bring you social security verification along with your ID to his office to verify the information you provided of your identity, so please don’t forget.
  3. Your pay stubs. This is your most recent paystubs; the paystub that you received just before the 341 meeting. This will be a paystub that you received after your case has been filed. Each person that’s filed the case, if it’s a couple, must bring your paystub. If you’re self-employed, unemployed, receive disability, or social security then you don’t need to bring the paystub.
  4. You need to bring your bank statement for each account that was open on the date your bankruptcy case was filed. That’s the date that we filed the case with the court. The bank statement or statements MUST cover the date that your case was filed. You should receive several 341 meeting reminders from us that will include the petition date, so you will know exactly which date to cover on that statement. To expedite the meeting, on each statement we want you to circle the balance on the account—that would be the balance you had in the account, so it can be easily seen. The trustee is looking at the bank statements to see how much funds you had on hand at the time your case was filed. As we’ve advised you before filing your case, we want the balance to be as low as possible.
  5. You need to bring your most-recently filed State and Federal Tax Returns. If you haven’t filed in the past two-years then you don’t need to bring them with you. Otherwise, bring the most recently-filed tax returns. Bring BOTH the State and Federal returns.

What Happens at the meeting?

When you arrive at the meeting, please get out your documents and put them in a stack in the order we provided. First, your picture ID; Second, your social security verification; those will be on top. Underneath them will be your most recent paystubs, followed by your bank statements, and finally the most recently filed tax returns.

When you arrive, you will go into the meeting room. The meeting is grouped with several other cases—usually around 8 case. The Trustee will first five an opening statement and explain how he plans to administer the cases. He or she will give you a reminder that any tax refunds or any funds that you had on hand at the time of filing your case are property of the estate and can be required to be turned over. Don’t spend any of these funds until after the 341 meeting and we determine whether any turn-over requirement will be issued. The Trustee will then start calling the cases one-by-one. When your case is called, you will come forward and hand the stack of documents to the attorney present from our office. The Trustee will then put you under oath and have you state your full name(s) for the record. You will then sit down and the Trustee will begin asking routine questions:

  • Did you carefully read the statements and schedules and related documents filed in your bankruptcy case?
  • Did you sign the statements and schedules and related documents?
  • Are the signatures your own? If you signed the statements and schedules and bankruptcy papers electronically, it is your original signature once you adopted it, so the answer would be yes.
  • Have you read and understand the Bankruptcy Information Sheet? The Trustee Information Sheet five you an overview of the four different chapters of bankruptcy, it explains a discharge and some exceptions to a discharge—like student loans; and finally it explains a reaffirmation agreement. The email reminders that you receive from our office about the 341 meeting will have the Trustee Information Sheet attached. So we recommend that you review that document before the meeting. The Trustee isn’t going to ask you any specifics about it, he just wants to know that you read and understood it.

Then, the Trustee may ask other questions about the assets or other aspects of your case. His job is really to see if there are any assets that are non-exempt that can be taken and sold on behalf of your creditors.

When you answer questions, please keep your answers as short and concise as possible. Keep it to yes or no, if possible. ONLY answer the question that is being asked. Don’t elaborate or volunteer any information that isn’t being asked.

What Happens Next?

Finally, what happens next?  After your 341 meeting there is a second educational course that you will have to take. You will receive an email from our office with instructions on taking the course. Take the course as soon as possible after the meeting, so you don’t forget. If you forget to take the course, the court cannot issue a discharge and your case can be closed without a discharge. If that happens, we can file a motion for the case to be reopened and reinstated, so you can take the course and get a discharge but there is additional cost, so it’s best if just take the course the first time; take it right away before you forget.

The Trustee may issues directives at the 341 meeting. Unless the Trustee issues directive, such as providing copies of tax returns or turning over property, the second course is your step in the case. The court will then issue a discharge within 60-90 days after the meeting. You will receive a copy of the discharge order in the mail from the court. We will also send you an email when we receive a copy, so you will be notified that way as well.

Great! So now we’ve covered everything associated with the 341 meeting. We’ve covered who’s involved, what to wear, what to bring with you, how the meeting is conducted, and what happens after the 341 meeting. If you follow these instructions—particularly with the documents to bring and have them out and available and in the right order—your 341 meeting should run smoothly and you’ll be much more relaxed. We look forward to seeing you then.


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