06 Nov What happens during Sec. 341 Meeting of Creditors?
Q. What is Sec. 341 meeting of creditors?
A. Every debtor, regardless of the chapter, must make one appearance in the case, though it is not really in “court” since the judge is not present. The court schedules a meeting of creditors in each case, usually about 30 days after the filing. The meeting is called the “§341 meeting” after the section of the bankruptcy code that requires it.
Q. Who presides at the meeting of creditors?
A. The trustee assigned to the case presides and asks questions about the contents of the bankruptcy schedules. The debtor must appear at the meeting and answer questions under oath about his assets and liabilities. In cases where there are assets with value in excess of the available exemptions, the trustee tries to gather information to aid in his liquidation of those assets for payment to creditors. He may ask for the business records (if any) or other documents concerning the assets or the debtor’s financial history.
Q. What happens in a Sec. 341 meeting?
A. The §341 meeting is not a test or an inquisition. Neither the trustee nor the creditors can take any action at the meeting that decides any question central to the case. It is a fact finding meeting. Of course, if new or troubling facts come out at the meeting, the trustee or a creditor can file a motion or an adversary proceeding in the bankruptcy court for the judge’s consideration. The trustee swears you in and begins his questioning. The meeting is either tape recorded or recorded by a court reporter.
The trustee may also ask how you reached the values on your assets and for more information about unusual assets or business interests. If the trustee needs more information or documents that aren’t available at the meeting, the meeting may be continued until another date when the information can be provided and any questions answered.
Note: This is not a legal advice. You should seek the advice of your attorney about your specific case.