What Happens At A Chapter 11 341 Meeting
A Chapter 11 341 meeting is very different from those in Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. In a Chapter 11 bankruptcy, there is rarely a trustee appointed. Thus, the 341 meeting is typically held by the United States Trustees Office. Chapter 11 341 meetings tend to be much longer than those in Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. Many times, the United States Trustee will schedule meetings every hour and will use the whole hour to question the debtor.
Like the other chapters, the United States Trustee will verify the debtors identity through photo ID and proof of social security number. The United States Trustee will typically review the bankruptcy petition and bankruptcy schedules with the debtor and ask any questions that may arise. Because Chapter 11 is much more complex than the other chapters, the United States Trustee will use the opportunity to review the requirements of Chapter 11 with the debtor and discuss logistics with the debtors Chapter 11 attorney. The attorney will normally review his or her thoughts on the timeline for the case and the Chapter 11 plan.
If you are filing a Chapter 11 bankruptcy with our office, we will spend time reviewing everything prior to the meeting so that you are prepared.
Youll Need To Verify Your Identity
Every bankruptcy attorney and trustee has their stories about mistaken identities, and the issues that follow. Although the bankruptcy system is built on trust, it is also built on verification. The trustee is required to verify your identity.
Bring photo identification, and a document showing your social security number such as your social security card, or a pay stub.
Concluding The Meeting Of Creditors
The bankruptcy trustee will conclude the meeting after asking questions if no further information or documentation is required from you. If the trustee concludes your hearing, you don’t have to come to another hearing. You’ll receive your discharge after meeting all other requirements.
However, if the trustee requires further informationor wants to give a creditor additional time to examine youthe trustee will usually set another hearing date to allow you time. If all that is required is additional documentation, the trustee might take the continued meeting off the calendar if you provide the information promptly . But, if the trustee has more questions, you’ll have to go to the next hearing.
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Real World Example Of A 341 Meeting
Peter is a bankruptcy trustee currently presiding over a 341 meeting. The debtor present declared bankruptcy over a $5,000 debt, and has attended the meeting along with his bankruptcy lawyer. Likewise, the creditor and her lawyer are also present.
Peters first priority is to verify the identity and financial status of the debtor. Although Peter already reviewed many documents prior to the meeting, the 341 meeting provides an occasion to ask follow-up questions about the documents provided and to obtain any additional disclosures deemed necessary. In the unlikely event that the debtor were attempting bankruptcy fraud, this would also likely be detected due to discrepancies or inadequacies in the documents provided.
During the meeting, the lawyers for the debtor and creditor engaged in detailed conversation regarding the debtors assets, liabilities, and income sources and were able to negotiate a general plan for the gradual repayment of the outstanding debt. As is the case with most 341 meetings, the meeting took place at Peters office, rather than in court before a judge.
What Happens After The 341 Meeting Is Completed
After the 341 meeting is complete, the trustee may have some follow-up arrangements to make with the filer if there is property that the filer is required to turn over. The filer should complete their second credit counseling class if theyve not already done so. There may be some other requests from the trustee with respect to the case but notwithstanding any complexities. At that point, the next step is to allow the appropriate waiting periods to go by until the bankruptcy discharge.
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Talk With A Burr Ridge Illinois Bankruptcy Attorney
Modestas Law Offices assists clients with Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases. We serve Illinois clients in Chicago, Cook County, DuPage County, and Will County. To accommodate clients who are busy during weekdays, we are available to meet in the evening and on weekends.
Contact us to schedule your initial free consultation.
What You Should Expect
The bankruptcy process varies slightly for everyone. Your finances and other personal information are unique, but there are a few steps that are the same for all petitioners:
The first meeting you will have is a free initial consultation with a bankruptcy lawyer. In this consultation, you can discuss the circumstances that led to your debts. Your attorney will give you an idea of what to expect from discharging your debt. Some things you should bring to this meeting include loan documents, recent billing statements and tax returns.
Then, you and your attorney will sit down with a court-appointed bankruptcy trustee and possibly some of your creditors. Your trustee will lay out a plan for the liquidation of your assets or the repayment of your debt. You have the right to attend this meeting on your own, but it is almost always much easier when an attorney advocates for you and protects your rights.
If you are filing Chapter 13, you may need to have a confirmation meeting with your creditors following your 341 meeting. This is when your creditors and the bankruptcy trustee review your repayment plan and either confirm or reject it. If you or a creditor objects to an aspect of the plan, a judge will make the final decision at the hearing.
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What Actually Takes Place At The 341 Meeting Of Creditors
In summary, the trustee will first confirm the identity and address of the participant so that they know that youre getting the notices that are important for the case. They will go through the information that has been submitted for the case to learn a little bit about who you are, the things that you have, whether or not youre working, and whether or not your income corresponds to the income thats been disclosed in the case. They will potentially inquire as to financial information that may be relevant to the case, such as transfers of important assets.
If a bankruptcy filer has non-exempt property , then the trustee may have a dialogue with the bankruptcy filer to see what their intent is with those assets. Sometimes there can be some case-specific questions that the trustee, the creditors, or the United States trustee may have for the bankruptcy filer.
Your Creditors Are Also Allowed To Ask You Questions
Again, this is the first meeting of creditors. Once the 341 meeting date is set, the bankruptcy court will send a meeting notice to each of your creditors. This notifies your creditors that you have filed bankruptcy.
It also gives the creditors a chance to attend the meeting and ask any questions regarding your financials and in relation to their claim for a debt. Creditors are not required to come to the meeting, and many do not.
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Statement Of Presumed Abuse
In Chapter 7 cases, the trustee has a 10-day period after the 341 meeting to allege the debtor is abusing the process by filing under Chapter 7 and not Chapter 13. Within 30 days after filing a Statement of Presumed Abuse, the trustee must file a motion giving direction to the court, such as a motion to terminate the Chapter 7 case, to convert the case to Chapter 13, or to permit the Chapter 7 case to proceed.
What Questions Will The Bankruptcy Trustee Ask
The trustee is essentially trying to verify the information in your bankruptcy petition. Since you provided us all the information that goes into the petition you already know all the right answers! Just remember that the right answers are the truthful answers so its not like you need to study or have a game plan. Some typical questions might include some variation of the following:
- -Have you previously filed for bankruptcy in Michigan or another state? If so, when?
- -To the best of your knowledge, is the information in your bankruptcy petition true and correct?
- -Is this your signature?
- -How long have you lived in Michigan?
- -Does anyone owe you money? Do you have any reason to sue anyone?
- -Is your name on any other property?
- -Have you filed your income taxes yet?
- -Have you read the bankruptcy information sheet?
- -Do you own any other motor vehicles such as boats, ATVs, or motorcycles? What about trailers?
- -Have your wages been garnished within the last 90 days? If so, how much was garnished?
- -Have you paid any relatives back recently? When? How much?
- -Do you have any other sources of income other than whats listed in your bankruptcy petition?
- -How much did you pay your attorney to file bankruptcy?
- -Do you owe or are you owed any domestic support obligations?
- -Do you have any questions for me?
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Preparing For Your Bankruptcy Trustee Meeting
If you decide to file bankruptcy, one key step required will be your appearance at a meeting with a bankruptcy trustee. This meeting is sometimes called a 341 hearing or the meeting of creditors. Your creditors will receive notice of the hearing, but in most cases they do not attend. This meeting is not a court hearing, but a somewhat less formal sit-down with the trustee for a brief, direct interview typically in a meeting room or office.
What Is The Purpose Of The Meeting Of Creditors
The creditors’ meeting is where the bankruptcy trustee and any interested creditors can ask you questions about your bankruptcy papers and financial affairs while you are under oath. The trustee’s job is to ensure that you are not abusing the bankruptcy system or lying on your bankruptcy petition.
In most cases, your creditors’ meeting will only last a few minutes. The trustee will ask you a few simple questions to ensure everything in your bankruptcy papers is complete and accurate. However, if your bankruptcy petition does not match your supporting documents , the trustee will question you more extensively on all discrepancies. As a result, consider reviewing all of your bankruptcy paperwork before your hearing.
For more information, see How to Prepare for Your Bankruptcy Meeting of Creditors.
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Setting Up The Meeting Of Creditors
The court first sets up the meeting of creditors between 21 and 40 days after your bankruptcy filing date. It usually takes place in a meeting room at a federal building, such as theFederal Courthouse in Charlotte, or an offsite location. These meetings are held in mass so others filing bankruptcy may appear at the same meeting time as you. Your case will be called in order as it appears on the courts calendar.
The Conclusion Of The Meeting Of Creditors Will Bring A Feeling Of Relief
The trustee will adjourn the 341 meeting of creditors when all questions have been asked and answered, which often takes less than five minutes.
For most parties that file bankruptcy, there are no Court hearings with a judge, and the meeting of creditors is the only face-to-face interaction with the trustee or the court system.
In the majority of cases, the bankruptcy proceeding will automatically proceed to a discharge of debt after the 341 meeting is adjourned.
It is entirely natural to focus some nervous energy on the meeting of creditors, but most people say that wasnt so bad when the meeting is over.
For many people, the conclusion of the meeting of creditors is the time when their relief from debt seems real, and they experience the opportunity of their fresh start and start to move forward with a second chance.
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Common Bankruptcy Trustee Questions
Each trustee has a different way of questioning debtors. So the kinds of questions you may be asked will depend on your trustee and the facts of your individual case. But the following are some of the most common trustee questions you may encounter at the meeting of creditors :
- Did you review your bankruptcy petition and schedules before you filed them with the court?
- Is all of the information contained in your bankruptcy papers true and correct to the best of your knowledge?
- Did you disclose all of your assets?
- Did you list all of your creditors?
- Have you filed for bankruptcy before?
- Has anything changed since filing your bankruptcy?
- Are you required to pay any domestic support obligations such as alimony or child support?
- Have you filed all tax returns as they have come due?
- Have you made any payments to creditors exceeding $600 in aggregate in the last year?
- Have you transferred any property or given any security interests in the last two years?
- Have you used any credit cards in the last year?
- How did you calculate the value of your assets?
- Do you own an interest in a business or partnership?
- Are you the beneficiary, trustee, or trustor of a trust?
- When was the last time you refinanced your house?
What To Expect At Your Bankruptcy Meeting Of Creditors
So youve filed a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcynow what? Well, the good news is that in 99.9% of the cases out there, you dont have to go to court. Thats right you will not appear in front of a judge. You will, however, have to attend a meeting. Failure to attend this meeting will often result in a dismissal of your case. This meeting has a few different names. Some call it the Meeting of Creditors. Others refer to it as the Trustees Meeting. You might also hear it called a 341 Meeting. Do not be confused by the multiple names. Theres only one meeting. And yes, you do have to attend.
Who will be there?
At the bare minimum, you, your lawyer, and the Bankruptcy Trustee, will be at the meeting. Your creditors have a right to attend as well, but rarely do. Your creditors will generally only attend if they believe that you either lied on your bankruptcy petition or committed some type of fraud. Unless the creditor has a legitimate reason to think that your bankruptcy should not be approved, it is not worth the time or money to attend your meeting. The United States Trustee might also appear to ask some questions. This person supervises the trustee program and will attend if they have questions about your eligibility for a particular chapter of bankruptcy, your taxes, or other concerns they may have.
Where will my meeting be held?
What happens at the meeting?
What happens after the meeting?
11 U.S.C. Section 707 and 521
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What To Expect At Your Bankruptcy Hearing
Your bankruptcy hearing, also called a First Meeting of Creditors or the 341 hearing will be held by your Trustee approximately 4-6 weeks after your case is filed. All of the Trustees we deal with here in the Charleston division of the District of South Carolina are professional, courteous people. They will not treat you rudely or otherwise act offensively. Their job is to ask necessary question about your assets, debts, income, and expenses and to verify that you have complied with the requirements of the Bankruptcy Code.
Be sure to bring your drivers license or other government-issued photo identification with you, along with your social security card. The Trustee cann0t conduct your hearing without verifying your identify and social security number.
You will be asked questions based on what the Trustee sees as significant in your file. At the least, you will be asked:
1. Did you sign the petition, schedules, statements and related documents and is the signature your own? Did you read the petition, schedules, statements, and related documents before you signed them?
2. Are you personally familiar with the information contained in the petition, schedules, statements and related documents? To the best of your knowledge, is the information contained in the petition, schedules, statements, and related documents true and correct? Are there any errors or omissions to bring to my attention at this time?
4. Have you previously filed bankruptcy? .
Meeting Of Creditors During Bankruptcy What To Expect
Once your bankruptcy petition has been filed through the Electronic Court Filing system used by the federal courts, you will be given a docket number and a set of dates for your bankruptcy proceeding. One of these will be the 341 Meeting, a meeting the debtor is required to attend, run by the bankruptcy trustee.
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Things That Dont Happen In Every 341 Meeting
Most 341 meetings are done in less than 10 or even 5 minutes and nothing unusual or out of the ordinary happens. Let’s take a look at some of the things that don’t happen in every creditors’ meeting and what they mean for your case.
Someone shows up to ask you questions
Before the trustee can officially âconcludeâ the meeting, theyâll ask whether there is any interested party who wishes to ask questions of the filer as well. Typically, only two types of interested parties show up: someone from the office of the United States Trustee or one of the filerâs creditors.
What can go wrong? While it doesnât happen in every case, the mere fact that someone else showed up to your meeting of creditors doesnât necessarily mean something is about to go wrong. It does suggest, however, that folks are looking more closely at your case.
Questions from the United States Trusteeâs Office
If the USTâs office sends someone to ask you questions at the 341 meeting, chances are theyâve determined that there is an issue with your qualifications under the means test or a similar eligibility issue.
Questions from Creditors
The trustee doesnât conclude your meeting