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WHAT IS THE MEETING OF CREDITORS?

The meeting of creditors (pursuant Section 341 of the Bankruptcy Code) is a meeting that occurs approximately 25 to 40 days after a bankruptcy case is filed. 

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This article discusses what typically occurs at a meeting of creditors in a Chapter 7 case.

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Who is present at the meeting?

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Present at the meeting are generally the bankruptcy debtor, the debtor's attorney, the bankruptcy trustee assigned to the case, as well as any creditors who desire to attend.

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Do I have to attend?

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A bankruptcy debtor's attendance at the 341 Meeting is mandatory and required to receive a discharge of debts.

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Is there more than one meeting?

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In most cases, there is only one meeting of creditors.
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What happens at the meeting?

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The bankruptcy trustee will call your case.  At that time, you and your attorney go forward and, in most cases, sit at a table where the bankruptcy trustee is also sitting.  The trustee then places you (and your spouse, if filing jointly) under oath.   The meeting is recorded. 

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You then produce and the trustee verifies your identification presented (normally a driver's license and evidence of Social Security number).

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The bankruptcy trustee will ask you certain questions.  Most of the questions are  straightforward.   

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The bankruptcy trustee is generally seeking to verify and confirm: (1) That the information in the bankruptcy petition is true and complete, and (2) That there are no errors or omissions in the bankruptcy documents. 

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Any creditor who attends may ask you questions as well.  However, creditors rarely appear at the meeting of creditors.

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Listen carefully to the questions.  Most importantly, answer the questions truthfully.  

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What questions will be asked?

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Questions will relate to the information in your bankruptcy petition, schedules and statement of financial affairs.  Since the  bankruptcy papers are detailed and signed under penalty of perjury, the questioning is brief in most cases -- just a few minutes in length.

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Typically the trustee always asks if you read the bankruptcy papers before you signed them, and whether the documents accurately lists all assets and debts.  He or she might ask how you valued certain property listed on your petition, especially if you own real estate.  Depending on the trustee, the district where the bankruptcy is filed, and the facts of your case, other questions will be asked as well.  As a bankruptcy attorney, one of the ways that I help my clients prepare for the meeting is by conducting a simulated meeting of creditors in my office beforehand. 

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Will the Meeting affect my receiving a bankruptcy discharge?

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As long as you tell the truth, cooperate with your attorney beforehand, cooperate with the trustee at the meeting, the meeting itself ought not create an obstacle to receiving a bankruptcy discharge.


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NOTE: What happens at a 341 Meeting of Creditors varies in from district to district across the United States.  In order to be prepared for your meeting, you need to meet and talk with your lawyer about what to expect in your particular district.

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Under the new bankruptcy law, Matthew Tozer is a debt relief agency because he helps people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.