In your 341 meeting of creditors, the trustee in your case will verify your identity and the information in your bankruptcy petition. Creditors can also show up to ask questions, but this is rare. In this article and video, we’ll walk you through a typical 341 meeting of creditors in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
In this article and video, we’ll be walking you through what goes on in a typical 341 meeting of creditors in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case. Our hope is to help calm your nerves! It’s going to be okay. We promise.
Historically, 341 meetings were always held in person. Since the start of the pandemic, they’ve been held virtually. No matter how your hearing is held, what’s covered will be the same. Only certain logistical details — like how the trustee verifies your identity — will be different.
If you attend the meeting in person, you’ll enter a room where you’ll see many people who are there for the same reason you are. Before you sit down, make sure you sign in if it's required. Most of the time, you won’t need to sign in, but it doesn’t hurt to ask and find out for sure.
While you wait for your name to be called, read the Bankruptcy Information Sheet. You’ll be asked whether you’ve read it later. Most locations have copies of this document for you to take and review when you first get there.
When your name is called, you’ll sit to meet with your trustee who will first ask you for your photo ID and proof of your Social Security number. Make sure to bring both to avoid any delays! If you don’t have both, the meeting likely won’t move forward and you’ll have to come back at a later date. If you’re attending the meeting telephonically or virtually, you can send a copy of your identity verification documents to the trustee along with a declaration signed by a notary public.
Before the trustee begins asking you questions, you’ll be required to raise your right hand and confirm under oath that you’ll tell the truth. It’s very important that you’re 100% honest during the meeting of creditors. Lying under oath is called perjury and can have serious consequences.
Most, if not all, of the questions the trustee asks you will be “yes” or “no” questions. Answer with “yes” or “no” and speak clearly. You’ll be recorded. Make sure to wait until the trustee finishes asking the question before you answer, even if you know what the answer will be before they finish asking.
Your trustee can ask you about your assets, income, expenses, and anything else relevant to your bankruptcy paperwork. Their main job is to make sure everything on your paperwork is correct, including the exemptions you claimed.
Creditors can also show up to ask questions at this meeting, but they rarely do. If a creditor shows up at your 341 meeting, don’t be worried! They can’t harass you or object to your case. Creditors sometimes show up to ask questions about secured debts like a car loan or to make arrangements if you’ve decided to voluntarily surrender property as part of your case.
On average, 341 meetings for Chapter 7 cases last 15 minutes or less. As long as you’re honest, it’ll be easy and over before you know it.