After filing your bankruptcy petition, the Bankruptcy Clerk of Court schedules the First Meeting of Creditors or 341 Meeting. The Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 trustee assigned to your case conducts the 341 Meeting. Your Georgia bankruptcy attorney attends the hearing with you.
Where Is The 341 Meeting Held?
There are several meeting locations throughout Georgia. Where you file your bankruptcy petition determines where your hearing will take place. The notice issued by the Bankruptcy Court provides the date and time of the 341 Meeting and the location of the 341 Meeting.
Before your scheduled hearing date, we discuss what you can expect at the hearing based on the trustee assigned to your case, provide you with directions to the courthouse or meeting location, and offer suggestions for making the 341 Meeting easier and less stressful. We also review the requirement to produce proof of identity (i.e. driver’s license and Social Security card), as well as discuss the appropriate attire to wear to 341 Meeting.
The bankruptcy trustee may require copies of tax returns, bank statements, and other documents before or at the 341 Meeting. We provide those documents to the trustee’s office, if possible, before the scheduled hearing. If you need to bring anything with you to the hearing, we will notify you.
WHO ATTENDS THE 341 MEETING?
You and your attorney are required to attend the First Meeting of Creditors. The bankruptcy trustee or his or her staff are also present. Other individuals are typically in the courtroom during the hearings. These individuals are generally people waiting for their hearing, other bankruptcy attorneys, and creditors.
Creditors are permitted to attend the hearing and ask questions. Most creditors do not attend these hearings, so it is likely that none of your creditors will appear at your 341 Meeting.
DO I HAVE TO TESTIFY AT THE 341 FIRST MEETING OF CREDITORS?
Yes, you are required to answer questions for the bankruptcy trustee. The trustee places you under oath and asks a series of questions regarding your finances, property, and bankruptcy forms. The Justice Department has a list of 341 Meeting questions online that you can review.
However, not all of these questions will apply in your case. The chapter of bankruptcy you file and the specific circumstances of your case dictates the questions the bankruptcy trustee may ask. In most cases, the bankruptcy trustee does not ask questions about any matters that we have not thoroughly discussed with you during the preparation and filing of your bankruptcy forms.
There are some general questions that the trustee asks each debtor (the person who filed the bankruptcy case). If you arrive at the hearing room about 30 minutes before your scheduled hearing, you can listen to several 341 Meetings. It can be helpful to know what the trustee is going to ask you before your case is called. Watching several cases will also help you feel less stressed when the trustee calls your name.
Most Chapter 7 341 Meetings last about five to ten minutes. A Chapter 13 341 Meeting can last a bit longer as there may be additional information to cover regarding your bankruptcy repayment plan.
The 341 Meeting is less formal than a bankruptcy court hearing, as there is not a judge presiding over the hearing. However, you should treat the hearing as you would a court hearing. Arrive early, remain quiet in the courtroom or hearing room, be respectful, and answer questions honestly.
CONTACT OUR GEORGIA BANKRUPTCY ATTORNEY FOR HELP WITH BANKRUPTCY MATTERS
We understand that attending court can be stressful. However, our Georgia bankruptcy attorney will be with you during the entire process. If you’re considering a bankruptcy filing, schedule a consult with an experienced Georgia bankruptcy attorney today for a free consultation. We provide support, guidance, and legal advice to individuals who need relief from debt problems.