What Happens During a 341 Bankruptcy Meeting in California?

During the bankruptcy process, those applying for bankruptcy must go through a 341(a) meeting of creditors. If you are considering filing for bankruptcy in California, it is important to be prepared for the 341 meeting. These meetings are called 341 meetings because they are required under Section 341 of the Bankruptcy Code. Your creditors do not need to attend these meetings, but they can choose to do so. Typically, they only last about 15 minutes, but it is essential that you do not miss your meeting. 


The 341 Bankruptcy Meeting Process


During a 341 meeting, creditors are held between 21 and 50 days after an applicant files his or her petition for bankruptcy. If you file for a chapter 7, 12, or 13 bankruptcy case, the court will assign a trustee to conduct your meeting. If you file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, a representative of the United States Trustee will conduct your meeting. The clerk of the bankruptcy court schedules the 341 meeting, and must send a notice to all of the parties who are listed in the bankruptcy application. 


Creditors Cannot Pressure You During the 341 Meeting


The 341 bankruptcy meeting is not held in a courtroom. Instead, it is held in a meeting room, or, in some cases, over the phone. The bankruptcy trustee will place the debtor under oath and ask to see a photo identification, as well as the documentation of the debtor’s Social Security number. The trustee will also ask the debtor several questions to understand the nature of the debtor’s assets. The trustee will determine which of the debtor’s assets are protected by exemptions. He or she will also try to determine any other relevant issues as to the administration of the debtor’s estate.


You Must Attend the 341 Meeting of Creditors


It is crucial that you attend the 341 meeting. This meeting is the only mandatory bankruptcy court appearance that parties must make after they file for bankruptcy. Keep in mind that both of the spouses involved in bankruptcy cases must attend the 341 meeting. You will receive at least a few weeks of notices as to when the meeting will happen. Once you arrive, you will need to read and review an information sheet provided by the trustee. 


Many Times, Creditors Do Not Attend the 341 Meeting


The bankruptcy trustee will give everyone involved in the case notice of the meeting of the creditors. Typically, creditors do not attend. If they do attend, it is usually to ask questions about the condition and location of the collateral for their debts, or to ask whether the trustee will reaffirm the debt. The trustee assigned to your case will preside over your case throughout the 341 meeting.


Contact an Experienced Bankruptcy Lawyer Today


If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, it is wise to speak to a lawyer as soon as possible. At Bankruptcy Law Center, our Los Angeles bankruptcy attorneys will review your case and provide advice. Contact us today to schedule your appointment. 


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