The §341 meeting of creditors is part of the process of filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, so called because it refers to Title 11 Section 341 of the USC. This is convened by the assigned trustee for the purpose of bringing together the debtor and creditors in case there are any questions regarding the proposed repayment plan filed under Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Law and other issues. In general, creditors do not attend §341 meetings unless there are some issues regarding the legitimacy of the plan. Even then, creditors usually dispense with actually attending the meeting and simply lodge their objections with the trustee.
Prior to the scheduled meeting, the trustee will go over the documentation filed by the debtor in accordance with the requirements of the bankruptcy process. If everything is in order, a §341 meeting is scheduled between 21 and 50 days after the initial Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing, and will only be presided over by the trustee, not the judge. It typically takes about 5 minutes.
The debtor is required to bring the following, without which the meeting cannot proceed and will have to be rescheduled:
- Social Security card
- Photo identification
The trustee will pose questions to the debtor, who may have a bankruptcy lawyer in attendance. These include but not limited to the following issues:
- Accuracy of financial statements
- Civil status and dependents
- Assets and liabilities
- Other payment plans
The trustee may decide to schedule a follow up meeting if more information is needed or if there is a need for the debtor to amend some documents. In cases where objections by the creditors cannot be resolved through negotiation, a judge will have to step in.
The §341 meeting is a mere formality in most cases due to the failure of creditors to attend them. However, since it is part of the filing process for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, debtors and trustees are obliged to comply. Using the services of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney, you’ll be able to understand exactly what is happening throughout your bankruptcy and will be informed about the implications of issues that arise and guided on preferred ways to handle such issues.