Once you file for bankruptcy, you are required to meet with your trustee and creditors before the bankruptcy court can rule to discharge your debts. This meeting is called the "341 meeting," based on the section of the bankruptcy code where it is discussed. It's sometimes also referred to as the meeting of creditors or the creditors' meeting. The 341 meeting is the only time the trustee and creditors can ask you questions while you are under oath and on the record. Failure to appear at this meeting could result in immediate case termination, so it's imperative that you attend.
Many debtors are nervous before the 341 meeting, but it typically lasts only a minute or two. Often, very few (or no) creditors show up, and the meeting ends after the trustee asks a handful of routine questions. In fact, you may find yourself standing dazed and relieved in the hallway just a few minutes after the meeting began. (See more on what you should expect at a 341 meeting).
Once the meeting is over, you may be left wondering what happens next. Although the creditors' meeting is the only court appearance a debtor has to make in most bankruptcy cases, there are still a few things you need to do before you can get your discharge.
Learn more about the 341 Bankruptcy Hearing
You are not out of the woods yet. After the 341 meeting, you will need to stay on track and satisfy the bankruptcy court's requirements. If you complete all of the requirements, your case will be closed in a matter of months.
Here are the things you may still need to do:
Every case is different. If you receive any discharge challenges, you may also need to attend additional meetings or hearings to provide your response to each challenge.
If you have a bankruptcy lawyer, the lawyer should attend the meeting of creditors with you. Do not answer questions under oath without your lawyer present. Once the meeting is over, your lawyer can help you determine exactly which payments need to be made and when. Your bankruptcy lawyer can also help you respond to any discharge challenges.