The Meeting of Creditors

After the chapter 7 petition has been filed, the court will set a date for the meeting of creditors (also called the 341 meeting). At this meeting, the trustee and the debtor's creditors have a chance to question the debtor. The trustee will generally ask questions like whether the information provided in the petition and schedules is accurate, whether the debtor has any lawsuits he can file against anyone, and whether the debtor has money coming to him, perhaps from something like a will or trust. The trustee will basically be trying to figure out the general financial condition of the debtor's estate, as well as whether the debtor is eligible for a discharge (if a debtor files with an attorney, it is likely the attorney will have already asked the debtor similar questions, so answering them shouldn't be too difficult).

While the thought of this meeting can be very stressful to debtors, if there are no complications, the meeting will probably only last between five and ten minutes. Further, generally speaking, the only things a debtor needs to bring to the meeting are his social security card and I.D.

Basically, the meeting of creditors provides a chance for creditors and the trustee to examine the debtor under oath (at the beginning of the meeting of creditors, the trustee will swear you in). However, in practice, creditors rarely show up, so it will just be the trustee who examines the debtor. So, for many debtors, the meeting of creditors is a very simple meeting in which they basically just affirm that what they said in their petition and schedules is true. The key to a successful creditors meeting is to prepare all of the bankruptcy paperwork accurately and thoroughly. Then, if the trustee requests additional information, the debtor will be in a position to quickly respond with helpful case material.

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