If you are filing for chapter 7 bankruptcy, you may already know there you must gather extensive financial information about yourself and your debts before filing the bankruptcy petition. Either you or your attorney will review your debt and your assets to determine what debt is dischargeable in bankruptcy and what assets are protected from liquidation in a chapter 7 bankruptcy.
In completing the bankruptcy petition you will have to include a creditor matrix in your filing. The creditor matrix sets forth a list of your creditors and their contact information.
An automatic stay will be entered prohibiting much of the collection efforts by creditors while the bankruptcy action is pending.
Meetings and Hearings
There will be meetings and court hearings to attend. You may find that creditors do not challenge your determinations about what debt is dischargeable and what assets you have that are exempt or non-exempt. You may also find the reverse to be true. You may find that your creditors agree with little of your determinations and make challenges to those determinations.
Section 341 Meeting with Creditors
In order to resolve such disputes, you will be required to attend a meeting called a section 341 meeting. This meeting is also called the meeting of creditors or creditor’s meeting.
It is a meeting that a debtor is required to attend after filing bankruptcy. The meeting is conducted by the case trustee or the U.S. Trustee. The debtor must appear at this meeting and testify, under oath, about his financial condition, assets and debts. The debtor will be asked about the information he has placed on his bankruptcy paperwork.
Creditors may also attend this meeting and question the debtor, although the meeting is directed by the trustee assigned to the case and most of the questions originate with him. If a debtor fails to attend the meeting, his bankruptcy case can be dismissed.
The Debtor’s Failure to Attend the Section 341 Meeting
If you are unable to attend the creditor’s meeting on the day it is scheduled, you must contact the Trustee assigned to your case and request the matter be continued.
The Bankruptcy Clerk’s Office cannot answer any question about changes to the 341 Meeting of Creditors. All questions about this meeting must be directed to the Trustee assigned to the case or the U.S. Trustee’s Office. The Office of the United States Trustee is an Executive Branch agency that is part of the Department of Justice. It is responsible for monitoring the administration of bankruptcy cases and detecting bankruptcy fraud. It has other responsibilities as well.