Do you have worries about your bankruptcy case? Do you fear being judged by people because you’re in a tight financial spot? As your professional bankruptcy attorney, it’s not only my job to get your case taken care of—I’m also here to walk you through the process and support you along the way. People are often intimidated by the 341 Meeting with the court trustee. While meeting with an authority figure in a legal setting can be intimidating, let me assure you that you have nothing to worry about.
With me by your side, your 341 Meeting will go smoothly, and you’ll be on your way to financial freedom. Before your meeting, we’ll get all your paperwork and documentation organized and filed. This is the moment that your automatic stay begins and you’re assigned a case number and meeting date. Be prepared to meet with the trustee at a federal building sometime between 21 and 40 days after filing a Chapter 7, and 21 and 50 days after choosing a Chapter 13. This meeting isn’t an interrogation or court date with a judge. It is simply an opportunity for the trustee to ask clarifying questions about your case. He or she will be verifying that the information you’ve provided is correct and nothing has changed. They’ll keep an eye out for signs of fraud, and if you’re filing a Chapter 7, they’ll also be looking for any property that may be sold to repay your creditors. If you’re filing a Chapter 13, the trustee will be taking a close look at your income to ensure that you’ll be able to stick to your repayment plan and also afford to cover your living expenses.
What to Expect
I’ll meet you at the federal building on your scheduled date and will be with you throughout the proceeding. The first thing you’ll need to do is show your ID and Social Security card. This is absolutely required or your case will be postponed to a later date.
While you may need to wait a while for your turn to meet with the trustee, the actual meeting usually lasts no longer than 10 minutes. The trustee will already have reviewed your paperwork and will only ask questions about information that was unclear. We’ll talk ahead of time so that you know what types of questions to expect. You’ll be sworn in, so just be honest and provide any information that’s requested. Creditors occasionally attend these meetings, but usually they will not. If, for some reason, the information or documentation you’ve provided is incomplete or incorrect, you may need to come back for an additional meeting, but generally, this is one of the very last things you’ll need to do to get your bankruptcy wrapped up.
If the stress of dealing with debt has become too much to handle, don’t put off calling for more information. Bankruptcy might just be the relief that you need to make a new financial start and get back on your feet.