What Happens at My Meeting of Creditors?

Posted by on Oct 9, 2014 in Bankruptcy | 0 comments

What Happens at My Meeting of Creditors?

Your Meeting of Creditors (also called a 341 hearing, as that is the Bankruptcy Code section that covers creditors attending a hearing where you testify about your bankruptcy information) may be scary to you, but it shouldn’t be.

 

What happens:

 

Here in the Newnan District, south of Atlanta, the Meeting of Creditors is held at the Country Inn & Suites in Newnan, not in a courtroom. You don’t meet with the judge who handles your case, you meet with the Trustee.  There are 10 debtors scheduled each hour and you will be in the meeting room with those folks and their attorneys.

 

When you are called up to the table, you will present your driver’s license and Social Security card to the Trustee so he can check your ID against what is on the petition (basically making sure you are who you’ve said you are). You will be sworn in (you swear or affirm you will tell the truth). The Trustee will ask you to state your full name. Your attorney will state his/her name. Then a very standardized list of questions is asked. Unless you have your own business or you own property, the questions asked are very quick and easy. They may vary slightly, but pretty much all Debtors get asked the same things:

 

1. Did you read and sign all of the documents?

2. Are you personally familiar with the information in those documents?

3. Is everything in your petition, schedules and related documents true and correct?

4. Are there any corrections you need to disclose?

5. Have you filed for bankruptcy before? When?

6. Did you read and understand the Bankruptcy Court information sheet about filing for bankruptcy?

7. Are all of your assets listed?

8. Are all of your creditors listed?

9. Are you still employed at ______?

10. Is the tax return sent (the last one filed) a true and accurate copy of your most recent tax return?

11. Are you obligated to pay child support or alimony?

12. Are you involved in any lawsuits?

13. Do you have the ability to sue anyone?

14. Have you made any balance transfers on your credit cards in the past year?

15. Have you paid any creditors a lump sum or paid off any in the past year?

16. How many people are in your household?

17. Do you own any real estate?

a. Value (how determined):

b. Purchase price?

c. Did you put any money down on the property?

d. Any improvements (such as adding a room)?

18. Have you transferred any money or property to anyone within 1 year of filing?

19. Have you operated a business or been an owner of a business in the past 2 years? If yes, there will be a few more questions about how long you’ve been in business and does the business have any inventory or assets.

20. Is your name on any property jointly owned with a family member, such as mother, father, brother, sister?

21. Has anyone passed away recently from whom you expect to inherit?

22. Have you received or do you expect to receive a tax refund for the past year?

23. Have you lived exclusively in Georgia for the past three years?

 

Your Trustee will ask if there are any creditors present who wish to examine the Debtor (you).  In most cases, none of the creditors appear at this hearing.  Occasionally, a secured creditor will appear to make sure you still have the collateral, ask where it is located, and ask if it is insured.

 

After this quick questioning, the hearing is over. If you didn’t have one of the forms of ID needed, the Trustee will reset your hearing to another date for you to produce that ID (no questioning occurs the second time).

 

It causes more stress in my clients than I care to see, but it’s not necessary. There are no trick questions. They just want to make sure of what assets you have and that your attorney has made sure to exempt them from the bankruptcy estate whenever possible.

 

If you need to talk to a bankruptcy attorney, please call my office at 770-631-2334. I offer a free consultation.

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