LET US HELP YOU PREPARE FOR YOUR 341 MEETING
Although you will usually be on the phone for 30-45 minutes your meeting of the creditors (341 Meeting) will usually last about five (5) minutes. A Chapter 7 or 13 Trustee will ask you basic questions many that are listed below. Creditors usually do not show up for this meeting. Any of your testimony will be recorded and used against you if there is a dispute. Your answers must be brief and direct. The Trustees are respectful but are not your “friend.” Their job is to administer your bankrupt estate, find assets to liquidate and pay your creditors. They work for the benefit of the unsecured creditors and the Government, not you.
In order to prepare for the Meeting of the Creditors, you must review your Bankruptcy Schedules and be familiar with your answers. If there are any omissions let us know so we can amend. Remember disclosure is essential to you receiving a “fresh start.” Most of the questions that the Trustee will ask will come from the Schedules. We are not allowed to answer questions for you.
Here are some of the usual questions asked by the Trustee:
- State your name and address.
- Have you reviewed the Bankruptcy Information Sheet? (This information sheet was given to you at the time of filing. It explains the different chapters of bankruptcy.)
- Have you moved since you filed your bankruptcy?
- Did you sign your bankruptcy schedules?
- Is all the information truthful and correct?
- Have you listed all your assets?
- Have you listed all your debts?
- Does anybody owe you money?
- Are you using or paying on credit cards?
- Have you bought, sold or leased anything (car) in the past 12 months?
- Have you given money or property valued at $1,000.00 or more to your family members in the past 4 years?
- Have you sold, transferred, or donated any property in the past 4 years?
- Have you owned any real estate in the past 4 years? What happened to it and what did you do with the money? Have you paid down your mortgage or put additional money in your 401K or IRA in the past 12 months?
- How long have you lived in your current house?
- Do you have any joint debts with your spouse?
- Has your spouse used your credit cards?
- Do you want to make any corrections or additions to your bankruptcy schedules?
- What caused you to file bankruptcy? This answer should be a one-liner (Sample answers: unemployment, loss of spouse, gambling addiction, reduction in wages, drug addiction, medical problems, death in the family). You have to tell the truth. Do not exaggerate and do not go into a long explanation.
- Are you using or paying on credit cards? When was the last time you paid on credit cards?
Trustees do not like when you give evasive answers like: I don’t know; I can’t remember. Be truthful. Remember, only honest people receive a discharge of their debts in bankruptcy.