Understanding the 341 Meeting

If you are filing either a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, after you meet with your attorney and go over all your financials, another meeting will be held to give creditors an opportunity to determine how much – if any – money they are going to recoup after you file.

Named because the meeting falls under section 341 of the Bankruptcy Code, the meeting is most often between a non-biased trustee along with you and your attorney. Creditors and their attorneys who are working on their behalf will be notified of the meeting and can appear, but most likely they will not. Creditors that may appear would include the holders of your home mortgage or your car lender to determine whether you plan to reaffirm those loans and retain the property.

While it may seem formidable, the meeting is usually short, lasting only about five or 10 minutes and will include a series of questions about your financials to determine what assets are available to sell in order to pay off at least some of your debt.

What happens at a 341 meeting?

When you attend your 341 meeting, bring a photo ID, your Social Security card, your bankruptcy papers, proof of income – you most recent pay stub, for example – and any other paperwork pertinent to your bankruptcy filing. The trustee will ask you why you are filing for bankruptcy and will weigh your monthly expenses and debts against your assets, taking into consideration your marital status, prior financial obligations such as child support and alimony, and other issues that are important to your case.

You may also be asked a series of other questions, including:

  • Did you use an appraiser to determine the value of your home, and is your car’s Blue Book value, usually considered the most accurate way to determine a vehicle’s true value?
  • Are you expecting any tax refunds?
  • Have you recently transferred property to someone else?
  • Do you expect to receive property as the result of a divorce in the next year?
  • Are you anticipating an inheritance?
  • Do you hold interest in a business with assets that you are able to access?
  • Do you expect funds from a pending lawsuit?
  • Does anyone owe you large sums of money?

Essentially, the meeting is not only a chance to determine your eligibility for filing bankruptcy, it also gives the trustee a chance to determine whether or not you are not attempting to hide assets when filing for bankruptcy.

Are you considering filing for bankruptcy?

If you are struggling financially, bankruptcy could be a viable solution. Talking with an experienced attorney can help you determine if such a move is right for you. Find out more about personal bankruptcy through a free consultation with the attorneys at Hedtke Law Group, who can help guide you in the right direction. For more information, please call us at 626.502.8405 today.

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