Meeting of Creditors
The meeting of creditors is the required 341 meeting. It is the process in which the debtors and other parties involved in the bankruptcy filing come together (in a meeting) at a certain time scheduled by the court.
The bankruptcy code requires every debtor to make an appearance in the case.
The bankruptcy code, section 341c declares that, after a certain reasonable time after filing the bankruptcy, the United States Trustee shall organize and arrange a meeting of creditors. In Spokane, the meeting of creditors is usually scheduled when you file (you will know when your meeting of creditors will be). This meeting often occurs a month after filing, but sometimes later.
It is best to plan for this meeting to be appoximately around 20 to 40 days after the petition is filed. This meeting of creditors must occur in any chapter 7 and/or chapter 13 bankruptcy fiing. Chapter 13 bankruptcy meetings occurabout 20 to 50 days after the petition is filed. Normally, the court will be the one to mail a notice of the scheduled date to all of the creditors. At the federal bankruptcy court.
The meeting of the creditors takes place in a big open room, and usually, the trustee sits at the front while all of the debtors scheduled for the meeting will stay in the room waiting for their turn and their name to be called by the trustee.
Some of the important questions asked by the trustee during the meeting of creditors or during the hearing are:
- Do you want to make any corrections to the schedules?
- Have you lived in the State of Washington for the past 2 years?
- Did you value your assets fairly?
- Do you owe any domestic support obligations (child support or alimony)?
- Did you list all of your debts?
- Are the schedules accurate?
- Are your cars insured?
- Did you read the schedules before signing?
- Did you list all of your creditors?
- Did you review the documents before you signed them?
- Did you sell or transfer any property in the last 2 years?
- Have you ever filed for bankruptcy before?
These are simple things being asked to you by the trustee to ensure and confirm the reliability and validity of your petition.
At the meeting of creditors, the trustee could also inquire as to the current financial status and the purpose of filing bankruptcy. After completing the hearing, the trustee will examine and investigate more to evaluate and determine whether or not you qualify for the bankruptcy. If your petition passes scrutiny and qualifes for bankruptcy, you, the debtor, will wait for the discharge papers.
Although it is called a meeting of creditors, the creditors rarely attend and appear during the hearing and, if/ when they appear, they have the right to ask questions about the debtors’ financial condition. These questions are limited, however.
For most debtors, attending the meeting of creditors is stressful, but just remember this is part of the process and there are nothing but questions you should know the answer to. If you have questions regarding how to file that and/or the meeting of creditors, please contact our office at (509) 927-3840.