Between 21 and 40 days after you file your Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition, the bankruptcy trustee will schedule a Meeting of Creditors, also called a 341 meeting. All of your creditors are given notice of the meeting date, time and place. They can choose to attend and question you about your intentions.
The very idea of such a meeting sounds intimidating. Your appearance is mandatory, but here are a few things to know that should relieve your stress about the meeting.
The meeting is in a room in the courthouse, but not in a courtroom. The judge is not present, only the trustee.
- Although creditors may attend the meeting, they generally do not. Ones most likely ones to show up are those with secured debts, such as your mortgage lender. Even then, creditor appearances are rare.
- Credit card debtors rarely attend. The exception may be if you maxed out a credit card shortly before filing your bankruptcy petition, the creditor may attend to determine if your use of the card was in good faith.
What to Bring to the Meeting of Creditors
The trustee will provide you a list of documents that you must bring to the Meeting of Creditors. If you show up without these documents, the meeting will be canceled. You must bring:
- A government issued photo ID.
- Your Social Security card or some government document, such as W-2, that contains your SSN.
The trustee may request you to bring other documents such as the deed to your house, pay stubs and bank statements. You must bring all the documents the trustee requests.
Bankruptcy attorneys know how to prepare you for the Meeting of Creditors and will assist you in gathering the necessary documentation and in preparing to answer questions from the trustee or creditors.