In the Chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcy process, one of the seemingly scariest parts is the 341 Hearing (known as the “meeting of creditors”). In this “meeting,” creditors can appear and ask questions about the debtor’s financial situation along with the appointed bankruptcy trustee. This post sheds some light on what may or may not happen at this point in the bankruptcy process.
What Happens at the Meeting of Creditors?
In most cases, the trustee will ask a series of basic questions mandated by law. He or she will then go over any problems specific to the debtor’s case. A good bankruptcy attorney will know what the trustee may ask and prepare the filer accordingly.
In Chapter 7, specifically, most of those cases are “no-asset” cases, so there are no credit-based issues for creditors to ask about. Additionally, the cost for a creditor to hire an attorney and have a representative at the meeting often ends up outweighing the effort and time. It’s worth noting that a creditor can still file an objection to a discharge or an objection to a confirmation of a Chapter 13 plan. In that case, a bankruptcy attorney would need to advise the debtor on what to do to close that objection.
When Might a Creditor Attend the Meeting?
Most filers will likely know in advance if a creditor will appear at their 341 hearing. It’s typically due to fraudulent activity or lying on the official bankruptcy paperwork, or the creditor may want to know about intentions related to high-value property that may be sold as part of the bankruptcy plan. If a problem arises, the filer’s bankruptcy attorney will work directly with the creditor to find a solution satisfying both sides.
In short, it’s important to have a qualified bankruptcy attorney on your side, especially if any issues arise with creditors during the 341 meeting. Many clients have trusted Natural State Law with their Arkansas bankruptcy cases. Call (501) 916-2878 to learn more and schedule a free consultation.