The 341 meeting of creditors is a meeting a bankruptcy debtor attends with a trustee. These meetings usually take place about 4 to 6 weeks after the case is filed. Debtors must bring their driver’s license and social security card to the meeting. The trustee uses these documents to confirm that the person testifying is in fact the person listed in the petition. After confirming the identity of the debtor, the trustee will swear them in. Most trustees will then ask a few preliminary questions and then turn the meeting over to the debtor’s bankruptcy lawyer to ask additional questions. Some of the questions asked include:
- What caused you to have to file bankruptcy?
- Did you provide all of the documents used to prepare your petition?
- Did you review your petition with your attorney?
- Did you sign your petition?
- Is all of the information contained in your petition true and correct?
- Would you like to make any changes at this time?
- Did you list all of your assets?
- Did you list all of your debts?
- Do you have the right to sue any person or any entity to recover money damages?
- Does anyone owe you any money?
- Have you transferred any property within the last two years?
- Have you paid any single creditor more than $600 during the last sixty days?
- Are you the grantor, beneficiary, or trustee of any trust or estate?
After all of the questions are asked and answered the debtor’s attorney will explain the windfall rule to the debtor. The windfall rule states that if the debtor becomes entitled to a financial windfall within 180 days following the filing of the bankruptcy cases, they must notify the trustee and not spend the money because it may be used to pay the creditors listed in the case. The entire meeting takes about five to ten minutes in Chapter 7 cases and under half an hour in Chapter 13 cases.