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What is a 341 meeting during a bankruptcy? (Cont)

 

Last time, we were explaining some of what happens at your 341 meeting. While it is called the "meeting of the creditors," in most cases, no creditors will appear. But you will meet with your chapter 7 trustee, who will ask some questions. 

There will be some basic questions. You will need to present a picture ID and your social security card, and the trustee will confirm that they match your filings. They will ask if you signed all the documents in the filings, that you read them before you signed them and that they are accurate. 

 

Other questions pertain to your assets and creditors and previous bankruptcy filings, if any. They will ask about your tax return and any child or spousal support that you must pay.

If your case warrants, there may be additional questions, which typically focus on your finances in greater detail. But the trustee already has your financial information, so it if is accurate, there is rarely much to discuss.

The primary purpose of the meeting is for the trustee and creditors to discover if there are any unidentified assets available. Other questions could deal with transfers or sales of real estate that occurred recently, if others have assets that you own or if you have received an award in a lawsuit or are suing anyone.

Most people with a Chapter 7 do not have these issues, as they often have few if any assets, little income and substantial debts. Nonetheless, you should also remember that misstating any information on your financial disclosure schedules is fraud and a federal crime.

The trustee's questions are asked under oath, and if you fail to answer truthfully, you could have a much more serious problem than your debts. Hearings on that matter would be in a courtroom and you would be facing a United States Attorney and a federal judge on bankruptcy fraud charges.

Source: uscourts.gov, "Process - Bankruptcy Basics," site accessed October 2015

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