The 341 meeting of creditors takes place between four and six weeks after a case is filed. The debtor attends a meeting with the trustee and with his attorney. Meetings usually last between five minutes and half an hour, depending on the complexity of the case, and whether or not creditors attend. In most cases debtors are required to bring documents with them to the meeting.
The documents needed for the 341 meeting vary from trustee to trustee. A debtor must bring his driver’s license and social security card in order to confirm that he is the person listed in the bankruptcy petition. In addition, most trustees in Texas require that the debtor provide his last two years tax returns and bank statements showing the balance in the accounts on the date of filing. The reason for the bank statements is because in Texas money in bank accounts are nonexempt when the Texas set of exemptions are used. Don’t worry though. It is highly unusual for the trustee to seize the money in the accounts for the bankruptcy estate if the balance in all accounts totals less than $800.
Some trustees require additional documents and will send a letter to the debtor a few weeks before the hearing providing a list of what they should bring. These documents include insurance policies proving that the collateral securing mortgages and car loans are insured, additional income records showing income received since the case was filed, and statements for financial accounts, such as 401ks and IRAs.
If the debtor fails to provide the information to the trustee then the trustee will usually require that the documents be provided before the plan is confirmed. However, the 341 meeting cannot take place unless the identification cards are presented, so if the debtor forgets to bring their driver’s license and social security card then the trustee will usually reset the hearing for a later date.