341 hearing – meeting of creditors

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341 Hearing: Meeting of Creditors

What is the Purpose of a 341 Hearing?

A 341 Hearing is also referred to as a 341 Meeting of Creditors. This means, just as the title suggests, that your creditors have the opportunity to appear at this hearing. Any that choose to come can ask you questions about your bankruptcy petition. Your bankruptcy trustee will also be there to ask similar questions. 

How to Prepare for your 341 Hearing

If you have a bankruptcy attorney, they should be able to prepare you for the types of questions your bankruptcy trustee will ask. They will also be able to guess which creditors may actually appear at the hearing, based on the type of creditor and the attorney’s past experience. You need to prepare your defense if you believe any of your creditors will appear at the hearing and object to your debt to them being discharged.

 What Happens at a 341 Meeting of Creditors

Most bankruptcy trustees will have very similar introductory questions, regardless of the chapter of bankruptcy filed. The trustee will be looking for assets that you may have failed to disclose in your petition. If everything goes smoothly at your 341 Hearing, your only remaining step is to complete your second credit counseling course in a Chapter 7. You must complete it within 60 days of your 341, and your case will be eligible for discharge at the end of the 60 day period. If you file Chapter 13, you will also need to complete a second credit counseling course after your 341. You will also need to attend a plan confirmation (which may be held before your 341 Hearing) and complete your payment plan before your case is eligible for discharge. 

FAQ’s Frequently Asked 341 Meeting of Creditors Questions

ANSWER:

A 341 Hearing is a Meeting of Creditors, where the trustee and potentially your creditors will ask questions about your bankruptcy petition. 314 Hearings are mandatory across all chapters of bankruptcy. Compared to other legal proceedings, 341 hearings are short and simple. Your creditors will also have 60 days after the 341 hearing to bring a claim for your case. 

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ANSWER:

341 Hearings got their name from the law that makes them mandatory in bankruptcy- Section 341 of the bankruptcy code. 

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ANSWER:

Creditors that are large corporations, such as credit card companies, are less likely to appear at your 341 hearing. Smaller creditors with more personal relationships may appear, like landlords and family members who lent the filer money. Your attorney should be able to review your creditor matrix and determine which are most likely to attend your hearing. 

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ANSWER:

You will need to bring your driver’s license (or other government-issued photo identification) and your social security card with you to your 341. If you have misplaced your social security card, you will need to bring an original copy of your W2. Your trustee may also request that you bring additional financial documents with you to your 341 if you are unable to submit them beforehand. Failure to bring all the necessary documents could result in your 341 being continued. The courts are reluctant to grant continuances, and too many could end in your case being dismissed. 

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ANSWER:

Your hearing will be scheduled to last 30 minutes. There will be other people scheduled at the same time as you, so you will need to wait unless you are the first one called. When it is actually your turn, the trustee’s questions shouldn’t take longer than 5 minutes. 

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ANSWER:

Your attorney will be present at your 341 with you to guide you through answering the trustee’s questions and to address any objections made by your creditors, if applicable. If you are represented by an attorney, the trustee won’t proceed with your 341 Hearing until your attorney is present. 

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ANSWER:

Usually, your 341 hearing will be held approximately 30-45 days after you file your petition. However, the coronavirus pandemic has caused court delays that may continue for the coming months. You should receive a letter giving you your court date approximately 10-15 days after you file, which may be slightly delayed as well. 

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ANSWER:

Yes. Except for in extremely rare circumstances, your case can’t be discharged if you haven’t attended your 341 hearing. Unlike in many other legal proceedings, your attorney can’t appear at your 341 on your behalf. The trustee may agree to hear your case telephonically if you appear for the call in the local trustee’s office of whatever area you are now in. Discharge with absolutely no 341 attendance can only be granted in cases of extreme hardship. 

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10 Things to Know About 341 Hearings