If you are planning to file for Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy protection, you must attend the 341 meeting.
This is an important stop on your way to a brighter financial future. Each person you meet here will have an interest in the outcome of your bankruptcy.
Understanding the meeting
Also called the meeting of creditors, the 341 meeting is so named for Section 341 in the United States Bankruptcy Code. The meeting takes place outside of court in a more informal atmosphere. Shortly after you file, the court will send you a notice confirming the date, time and location of the 341 meeting along with your bankruptcy case number.
Meeting your trustee
Your attorney will accompany you to the 341 meeting where you will get to know the trustee from the Office of the United States Trustee, who will oversee your case. The trustee will ask questions about your assets and liabilities, your current financial condition and related matters in order to become familiar with your circumstances and administer your estate efficiently. You must answer these questions truthfully under penalty of perjury.
Engaging with creditors
Your creditors may attend the 341 meeting and question you about your bankruptcy. However, they rarely appear knowing that they do not lose standing in your case if they choose to stay away.
Failing to attend
If you fail to attend the 341 meeting, the court could hold you in contempt for willful failure to cooperate. The trustee could also ask the court to dismiss your bankruptcy case. Attending is therefore essential, and marks the beginning of your journey toward a better financial future.