What is a creditor meeting?
Also called a 341 hearing, a creditor meeting is used in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases and takes place a few weeks after the debtor files. Despite the name, it’s not a formal court hearing. Instead, it’s usually the first time you meet the trustee overseeing your bankruptcy case.
Also called a 341 hearing, the creditor meeting gives your creditors the opportunity to meet with you and the trustee and inquire about your finances.
In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, the trustee schedules the creditor meeting for 21 to 40 days after the filing date. In Chapter 13 cases, the timing is typically 21 to 50 days. Creditors rarely attend the meeting in either of these types of personal bankruptcy, but they commonly attend for Chapter 11 and 12 cases.
As the debtor, you’ll attend the meeting with several other people who are filing for bankruptcy, and once the trustee calls on you, your portion should last just 5 to 10 minutes.
Even though you submitted paperwork and documentation as part of your bankruptcy filing, you will still need to take several things to the creditor meeting. This includes a photo ID and your Social Security card.
You also should take copies of the bankruptcy paperwork you filed as well as anything relevant to your finances, including proof of income and all financial records, such as bank statements and investment statements. The trustee may request additional information, as specified in the notice sent informing you of the creditor meeting.
This meeting is also the time to tell the trustee about any changes you need to make to your bankruptcy petition, such as filing amendments or correcting mistakes. Many of the trustee’s questions relate to the future, such as whether there is any money you anticipate receiving.
Creditor meeting example
Shortly after your bankruptcy filing, the court sends a notice of your creditor meeting. The trustee usually holds the meeting in a meeting room instead of a courtroom, and he or she often includes parties from several cases at once. The trustee will call on you when it’s your turn. You will answer several questions about the documentation you provided and anything else pertinent to your case. If any of your creditors attend, they may want to ask questions about your ability to repay your debts or other relevant issues.