A 341 meeting takes place about a month after an individual files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Named after section 341 of bankruptcy code, the purpose of this meeting is to ensure that you are not committing bankruptcy fraud and to confirm that your bankruptcy paperwork is all in order.
The individual filing for bankruptcy, his or her attorney, as well as the trustee and creditors and/or their attorneys may all be in attendance during a 341 meeting, although it is optional for creditors and their attorneys to attend.
What Happens in a 341 Meeting?
During a 341 meeting, also known as a meeting of the creditors, the individual who filed for bankruptcy will need to prove his/her identity, assets, property, and income. Essentially, the meeting verifies that all the information in your bankruptcy paperwork is accurate.
If the individual debtor owns a business, the trustee will also ask questions regarding the business’s worth, operations, and/or liabilities. The trustee may ask questions regarding monthly expenses, debts, and other information that pertains to the individual’s finances such as child support and spousal support. Creditors will have the opportunity to inquire about the individual’s financial status and repayment options as well.
This meeting is the only mandatory appearance an individual must make after filing for bankruptcy. It must be attended on the date it is scheduled and both parties must appear if filing for bankruptcy jointly.
How Will I Find Out About My 341 Meeting?
The court will alert you of the date of your 341 meeting by sending a notice to the address you wrote down on your bankruptcy petition. This notice contains the date, time, and place of the meeting, including if the meeting will take place remotely.
This notice also contains important information for you and your creditors, including:
- Your case number and filing date
- The bankruptcy trustee’s contact information
- The debtor’s bankruptcy exemptions
- The debtor’s discharge
Telephonic 341 Meetings During COVID-19
The United States Trustee Program mandated that section 341 meetings be conducted via telephone or video appearance during the coronavirus outbreak. For more information on updates regarding local 341 meeting statuses, view the United States Trustee Program’s website.
To best prepare yourself for your telephonic 341 meeting, consider the following:
- Consult with your attorney beforehand to be prepared
- Three days before your meeting, make sure you have the proper call-in information
- Call in on time during the time you are scheduled
- Ensure all your identification documents are up-to-date and have been sent to the trustee
- Review your bankruptcy petition and bankruptcy information sheet
- Bring a copy of your bankruptcy documents, making sure they are accurate
- Have a good understanding of your finances, including assets, property, debts, money you may inherit, and/or financial obligations such as child support
- Be prepared to answer questions related to how you came up with the value for certain assets you own
You can amend your bankruptcy petition at any time before your bankruptcy is discharged.
Before you make the call, find a quiet place where you will not be disturbed. Also, to avoid any issues, find an area where you have good cell connection. You do not want to make all these preparations only to have your 341 meeting rescheduled due to spotty cell service.
How to Confirm Your Identity & Social Security Number
At an in-person 341 meeting, you would show your picture ID and Social Security card to your trustee. However, due to COVID-19, trustees have had to come up with alternative ways to comply with these requirements. Some trustees are requiring debtors to:
- Submit required documents via encrypted mail
- Submit required documents via U.S. mail
- Sign an affidavit or declaration
- Have the debtor show their picture ID and Social Security card to their webcam (if on a video call)
It is important to remember that affidavits need to be notarized, but declarations do not. Make sure you follow the instructions provided by your trustee and get your affidavit notarized on time.
What Happens if I Miss My Meeting?
It is crucial to show up for your meeting at the appointed time because it is still an important court proceeding. If you fail to attend your meeting, your trustee could file a motion asking the court to dismiss your case. This is not always the case though, so contact your trustee as soon as possible after the missed date to determine your next steps. It is up to your trustee to decide whether to dismiss or reschedule your case.
Consult with an Experienced Lawyer at Our Firm
If you have questions and concerns about your upcoming 341 meeting or any other aspect of the bankruptcy process, consult with us today. At Kovacs Law, P.C., we offer compassionate counsel on bankruptcy, debt relief, and foreclosure that is tailored to suit your needs. We understand that bankruptcy is never an easy choice to make, however, with the right lawyer on your side, it is a step in the right direction towards safeguarding your financial future.
Contact us online or call us at (508) 645-4073 to book an initial consultation and learn more about your options today!