What Is The 341 Meeting Of The Creditors?

The 341 meeting of the creditors is named after section 341 of the Bankruptcy Code, which allows creditors an opportunity to ask questions from people who file for bankruptcy.  Despite the name, creditors rarely ever show up for the 341 meetings. If the creditors wanted to do something or if they wanted to get paid, they could file other motions or do other things in the Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

It is called the meeting of creditors, but normally the only creditors that show up are friends and family who the person had borrowed money from, and sometimes they show up because they want to get at the person. If the person had not filed their tax returns then the IRS might show up to ask if the person would finally be able to file the tax returns.

If the person had gone to a credit union, then a representative of the credit union might show up to see if the person wanted to remain a member of the credit union, on the condition that they would reaffirm their debts with the credit union.

Twenty or thirty years ago, all the person’s creditors would show up and ask questions, but because of the number of cases that get filed nowadays and because there is really no point of addressing them, creditors rarely ever show up to the meeting of the creditors.

Who Is Involved In The 341 meetings?

There are generally three people at the meeting of the creditors or the 341 meeting. The first is a trustee who had been appointed by the Bankruptcy Court whose job it would be to review all of the paperwork, make sure it is complete and accurate, add any omissions and to see if there were any assets that could be sold off to pay off all or some of the debts. The trustee will sit behind a table along with the debtor and the judge of the party.

The first thing they would do after these three people are present is swear the person in. The person would have to raise their right hand and swear aloud that they will answer all the questions truthfully and honestly. Most trustees go through a series of about 15 standard questions: whether the person reviewed all of their paperwork before they signed it, whether it is complete and accurate and whether there are any changes they would need to make on that day.

Some trustees are more informal when asking all of those specific questions, but basically, they will ask questions for five or ten minutes with the goal to first make sure the person had told them about everything they own and, secondly to see if there were any assets they could sell to pay off some of the debts.

How Many Meetings Must Occur?

There is generally only one meeting of creditors about 30 to 45 days after someone files a bankruptcy.

What Would Happen If Someone Did Not Attend The Meeting Of The Creditors?

If someone had a valid reason for not being able to attend the meeting of the creditors, such as not being able to get off work, they were sick or they were expecting some snow the next day, then the meeting will be rescheduled at least one time to give the person an opportunity to show up at a rescheduled meeting of creditors, although the person would need to have a fairly valid reason. The person would have plenty of notice, and they would know at least 30 days in advance of when the meeting of creditors would be held.

People generally have enough time to arrange to get off work and have transportation so they can make sure that they attend. The person would definitely want to show up for the first one because that would make everything easier. If someone did not show up and got the first one rescheduled, then sometimes they can extend deadlines to object to the person’s discharge which can make the case drag on longer than it has to.

At What Point During The Bankruptcy Process Do I Have To Attend These Meetings? 

The meeting of creditors generally happens about 30 to 45 days after filing. A Chapter 7 would likely be the only time the person would ever have to go anywhere for the meeting of creditors. A Chapter 13 meeting of creditors would be 30 to 45 days after filing. There would also be a confirmation hearing, which would be probably about three months after the case was filed.

It is fairly common for the confirmations to be continued and rescheduled a couple of times, because there may be issues that need to be worked out. It might be six months before the case was actually proved in a Chapter 13, although most of the time the attorney can work it out so the person would not have to go to court for all the confirmation hearings. There is only one meeting of creditors for a Chapter 7, and that would be the only time the person would have to attend.

Are There Any Other Meetings to Attend After Chapter 13 Or After a 341?

Not for a Chapter 7. There would be a confirmation hearing for a Chapter 13 which would normally be the only time the person would have to go back.

The person would not go to the confirmation hearing in 90 percent of Chapter 13 cases. Most Chapter 13 cases can be worked out without the person having to appear at the confirmation as long as documents were provided and payments were made. Most times it can be worked out over the phone with the Chapter 13 trustee and everything can be resolved so the person would not have to go to court, because that is what they would be paying the attorney for.

Where And When Is The First Meeting Set?

There is only one meeting of creditors in most bankruptcies, but the meeting would generally be held about 30 to 45 days after the case was filed and it would generally be held inside the courthouse. In Baltimore, the meetings are held inside the front of courthouse in Downtown Baltimore, whereas in Maryland, there is one in a courthouse in Greenbelt where they had an office building in the courthouse themselves, and the public meetings are open when they are held there.

The trustees will generally have between 8 and 10 meetings of creditors every hour, so they would call out the names and everyone would go into a roomThe trustee will start going down the list and he will go through each case and ask people the standard questions. The person would generally be able to watch the cases before their own in a public meeting so they would get an idea of what kinds of questions to expect.

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