10 Frequently Asked Questions – Meeting of Creditors
Meeting of Creditors faq
The meeting of creditors is a hearing that every person who files for bankruptcy must attend. It is conducted by the trustee. The meeting of creditors is also called “341 hearing” referencing the section of the Bankruptcy Code that requires the hearing. It is a chance for the trustee to meet you and ask you about your bankruptcy filing while under oath. Creditors may attend and ask questions as well.
No. The meeting is conducted by the Trustee. Judges are actually not allowed to attend the meetings. The Trustee is assigned to your case when your case is filed. Some Chapter 13 clients may see a judge after the 341 meeting of creditors at something called a confirmation hearing where your proposed repayment plan in Chapter 13 is accepted or rejected by the court.
In general, the hearings are held every 30 minutes or 1 hour. There will be other cases scheduled at the same time. Each case will be called up one at a time and the trustee will take your identification and verify that it’s you, swear you in, and ask questions. Most questions are standard but there may be some specific questions related to your case. The hearing generally lasts less than 10 minutes unless there are complicated issues or creditors appear and also ask questions.
Despite the name, creditors rarely show up. If they do show up, creditors will be allowed a few minutes to ask you questions. The creditors most likely to appear are the exes, that is, the ex-spouse, ex business partner, etc. It’s usually someone where the debt owed feels more personal in nature.
Wear modest, clean clothing – don’t wear a lot of jewelry or other accessories. The meeting is not held in a courtroom, so there is no need for formal attire. We tell our clients to dress like you normally would; don’t come as a pauper, and don’t come in a ball gown with your diamonds sparkling.
Two things are always required:
-Government issued photo identification (valid and current driver’s license, military ID or passport)
-Social security card (W-2 or some other document issued by your employer or government that shows your social security number)
Additionally, the trustee may ask for other documents in advance for you to bring to the meeting.
Trustees usually hold meetings every half hour or on the hour. Everyone scheduled at a certain time will be called in together. Your meeting itself will usually last less than 10 minutes. If you have a complex case, or in the rare instance a creditor shows up to ask questions, the hearing may last a little longer.
Trustees will ask question tailored to your case based on the information contained in your bankruptcy filing. There are, however, some questions that are often asked. These include, but are not limited to the following (and it varies by trustee):
1. State your name and current address for the record.
2. Did you sign the petition, schedules, statements, and related documents you filed with the court?
3. Did you read the petition, schedules, statements, and related documents before you signing them?
4. Are all of your assets identified on the schedules?
5. Have you listed all of your creditors on the schedules?
6. Does anyone owe you money? If so, is the money collectible?
7. Have you made any large payments, over $600, to anyone in the past year?
8. If you are married or recently divorced? Have you listed all assets and liabilities concerning your non-filing spouse as well?
9. Has anything changed since you filed your case? (new job, winning lottery ticket etc.)
10. Whether you anticipate inheriting any money in the next six months.
11. Any past or present interests in real property.
12. Any past or present interests in a business.
13. Whether you owe any outstanding child support or alimony.
14. Have you given away anything of value in excess of $500 to anyone in the past year?
15. Have you read and understood the Bankruptcy Information Sheet?
16. How long have you lived in California?
You must provide your most recent tax return before the hearing. Many Trustees also have additional document requests that they ask for each time, such as certain bank statements or mortgage and car loan documents. Sometimes based on your bankruptcy filing, the trustee may request additional documentation in order to understand some issues concerning your case. It varies by trustee, and by case. Most trustees have specific methods for uploading documents to them, and we will handle this process for you.
San Francisco – 235 Pine Street, Room 850, San Francisco, CA 94104
Oakland – 1301 Clay Street, Room 680N, Oakland, CA 94612
San Jose – 280 South First Street, Room 130, San Jose, CA 95113
In general, the hearings are held every 30 minutes or 1 hour. There will be other cases scheduled at the same time. Each case will be called one at a time. The trustee will ask for a government issued ID (such as a driver’s license or passport) and proof of your social security number. The trustee will then swear you in and ask questions. Most questions are standard but there may be some specific questions related to your case. The hearing generally lasts about 5-10 minutes.
For more information about bankruptcy process, download our free guide.