During your bankruptcy case, whether you file under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, you will have to attend a meeting with your creditors and the bankruptcy trustee in charge of your case. This meeting, called the "341 meeting" (after its location in the bankruptcy code), the creditors' meeting, or the meeting of creditors, can be hard to prepare for. Each bankruptcy case is unique, and each bankruptcy trustee will ask the questions he or she feels are necessary to ask. However, you can prepare for the meeting by having at least a basic understanding of what could be asked of you.
If you are working with a bankruptcy lawyer, your lawyer can help you prepare for the meeting. If not, you should carefully read through all of your bankruptcy forms before the meeting, noting any errors or omissions. You should pull together the documents that support the information in your forms, such as debt agreements, deeds, bills, tax returns, bank statements, and so on. The court should tell you which of these documents you'll need to bring to the meeting; if you don't receive that information from the court, bring them along with you, plus evidence of your current income (such as a recent wage stub from your employer).
There are a number of questions the trustee is supposed to ask at your 341 meeting, although many don't. These questions address basic information such as:
Along with these mandatory questions, the trustee may ask about your property and other assets, your income, your expenses, your debts, and so on. The trustee might also ask about discrepancies in your bankruptcy forms, how you came up with a value for various property items, and so on. Be prepared to answer questions about:
Often, very few or no creditors show up, even though the meeting is named after them. If creditors do show up, it's typically for one of these reasons:
If your case is relatively simple and you don't have a lot of nonexempt property, you probably won't face any creditor questions. Typically, the whole meeting is over in just a few minutes.