When you file a bankruptcy petition, you will be required to attend a First Meeting of Creditors. This meeting will be conducted by a trustee. The trustee will swear you in and question you about the papers you filed. Schedules vary across the country, but in most of my cases, the meeting is held about 4 weeks after the case has been filed.
The Meeting of Creditors is often referred to as the 341 Meeting because it is provided for under §341 of the Bankruptcy Code (11 U.S.C. §341). In the Madison Division of the Western District of Wisconsin, the majority of meetings are held at 780 Regent Street in Madison, Wisconsin.
Many clients are understandably apprehensive about this meeting. In most cases, it will be the first time they have had to answer questions about their finances under oath. But it’s really nothing to worry about. While it is a serious proceeding, most 341 meetings go smoothly (assuming you and your attorney made all the required disclosures and submitted all the required documents). The trustee will not try to trick you, he or she will simply look to confirm that all of the disclosures you made were accurate. Tell the truth and you’ll be fine.
Common questions at the 341 meeting:
– Did you pay any creditor more than $600 in the 90 days before you filed your case?
– Did you pay any relative any amount in the 12 months prior to filing?
– Did you read, sign, and understand the papers that were filed?
– Were all the papers that you filed true and accurate?
Your bankruptcy attorney can tell you about other questions that may be asked at your meeting.
In most cases, the 341 meeting lasts approximately 10 minutes. Your lawyer will appear with you and will meet with you before and after the meeting to answer any questions. Let your attorney know if you have any concerns about your upcoming 341 meeting.