The “341” Hearing With Your Atlanta Bankruptcy Lawyer
For most debtors, this is the only time you will actually have to make a trip to the court. Your “341” meeting, or meeting of creditors, is the primary source of apprehension for most o my clients. But don’t worry. The meeting is quite simple, and I will be there with you every step of the way. It will be held approximately four to six weeks after I file your case. There will be no judge at the hearing. Your bankruptcy Trustee (both in a Chapter 7 case and a Chapter 13 case) will preside over the hearing. You will be asked to swear or affirm to tell the truth and will testify under penalty of perjury. In the Meeting of Creditors, or “MOC”, the Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Trustee will ask you a series of questions related to your bankruptcy schedules. The Trustee’s job is to ask you a series of questions to verify the truthfulness of your petition. And because these statements are made under penalty of perjury, I always encourage clients to never hide or disclose anything from me or the trustee prior to filing.
Will Creditors Show Up?
Ok, so you may have noticed that the 341 hearing is officially titled the Meeting of Creditors. When I file your bankruptcy petition, all the creditors listed on your schedules will receive a notice of your filing from the bankruptcy court. The notice will tell them when, where, and what time the 341 meeting will take place. At the meeting in Atlanta (or Newnan, Gainesville or Rome), creditors will have the option of showing up to ask you questions about your bankruptcy paperwork. But the reality is that most creditors never show up. In fact, 99% of the time, no one shows up for your meeting. And even if they do, have no fear; the creditor cannot take any action at the 341 hearing to delay or dismiss your bankruptcy.
So Who Will Be There?
Along with a few other debtors waiting for their case to be called, your bankruptcy attorney, you, and the trustee will be the only people sitting at the table during the meeting.
Questions the Trustee Will Ask
1. Did you sign the petition, schedules, statements and related documents and is the signature your own? Did you read the petition, schedules, statements, and related documents before you signed them?
2. Who help you prepare your bankruptcy paperwork?
3. Are you personally familiar with the information contained in the petition, schedules , statements and related documents? To the best of your knowledge, is the information contained in the petition, schedules, statements, and related documents true and correct? Are there any errors or omissions to bring to my attention at this time?
4. Did you read and sign these papers before they were filed in Court? Have you read the Bankruptcy Information Sheet prepared by the U.S. Trustee prior to today’s hearing?
5. Have you transferred any property to an insider (family, friend, or business partner) within the last year?
6. Do you expect to inherit any money in the near future? Do you possess a winning lottery ticket (not kidding)?
7. Have you ever filed bankruptcy before?
8. Do you have a domestic support obligation (child support, alimony)?