For those filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, a central element is the 341 meeting of creditors to enable the trustee—and creditors, if they choose to do so—to ask the debtor questions about the reasons for bankruptcy in a Chapter 7 case or about his or her ability to adhere to the payment plan in Chapter 13 cases. The trustee seeks to sell all non-exempt property to pay off some debts and to ensure fraud is not occurring. Understanding all of the ins and outs of bankruptcy is complicated, thus necessitating consulting with an experienced and knowledgeable Piqua, Ohio bankruptcy attorney.
Prior to the actual meeting, the trustee reviews all documentation including the bankruptcy petition; Chapter 13 proposed repayment plan; and debtor’s income, expense, assets, and debts schedules.
Timing and Location
341 meetings are typically scheduled between twenty-one (21) and forty (40) days for a Chapter 7 case, or up to fifty (50) days for a Chapter 13 case after the date of filing and is usually held in a federal building. The filer must bring proof of identity and Social Security number otherwise the meeting will require rescheduling.
What to Expect during the Meeting
The trustee will begin the meeting by asking the debtor for information such as:
- Marital status and dependents
- Income, expense, and debt accuracy
- Reasonableness of claimed monthly expenses
- Income sources
- Job stability
- Property values
- Whether the debtor is responsible for spousal and/or child support
- If plan payments have commenced
Once the trustee finishes his or her questions, any creditors in attendance may inquire how the debtor plans to repay their debts or other related questions. Generally, creditors do not attend these meetings; however, if any object to the proposed plan, they will file notices for the attorney and court to address.
After the Meeting
At the end of the questioning period, the trustee either concludes the meeting or files a continuance. Continuances typically occur if documents are missing, if the trustee requires more information, or if the debtor must amend paperwork.
For more information about 341 hearings, or any other bankruptcy topic, please contact us.