If you have filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or are considering the prospect of doing so due to your own worsening financial situation, you may have come across references to a “meeting of the creditors” or more often, the “341 meeting.” You probably wonder what happens at such a meeting and what it means for your filing.
The good news is that in a Chapter 7, the 341 meeting is routine and there is no reason to stress. In essence, it is an informal meeting where you and your attorney meet the Chapter 7 trustee and creditors, who can question you about your bankruptcy. And if you were wondering about its name, it is named for the Bankruptcy Code section that orders it.
If this sounds terrifying, you should understand that the trustee and creditors are unlikely to ask you any difficult questions. They are not going to ask questions that require any knowledge of the bankruptcy code.
And it is not “going to court.” For the Bankruptcy Court in the Eastern District of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, they are held in the same federal building where the bankruptcy court is located, but the 341 meeting is not held in a courtroom. Also, the bankruptcy judge assigned your case does not preside or even attend the 341 meeting.
Ironic as it sounds, in many cases, the meeting of the creditors does not include any creditors. They typically do not attend unless they have specific questions related to their asset, such as with a vehicle.
In our next post, we will look at some of the questions you may be asked by the trustee at a 341 meeting.
Source: uscourts.gov, “Process – Bankruptcy Basics,” site accessed October 2015