Dealing with debt is stressful, and so is just about any type of legal matter. When you mix the two, you might be close to filing for bankruptcy. Mistakes at any step in the bankruptcy process can result in negative consequences like asset seizure, loss of the automatic stay, and case dismissal. One of the most crucial parts of a bankruptcy case, whether it’s filed under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, is the 341 meeting of creditors. This is a bankruptcy hearing in which a debtor must appear before the bankruptcy trustee, and possibly their creditors as well. A skilled Tucson bankruptcy attorney can ensure you’re fully prepared for your 341 Meeting of Creditors and the rest of your bankruptcy case. For your free consultation with our Tucson bankruptcy team headed by attorney Candace Kallen, click here or call 520-307-0020.
What Is a 341 Meeting Of Creditors?
The 341 Meeting of Creditors gets its name from U.S.C. Title 11 Section 341. A 341 Meeting of Creditors is required in both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Creditors, attorneys of creditors, and representatives of creditors are allowed to appear at a debtor’s 341 hearing. The point of the hearing is for the trustee to conduct an oral examination of the debtor seeking four pieces of information:
- What consequences will a bankruptcy discharge have on the debtor, including effects on the debtor’s credit history;
- If the debtor can file bankruptcy under a different chapter;
- The effect receiving a debt discharge will have on the debtor;
- The effect of reaffirming any of the debtor’s debts.
What Happens At The 341 Meeting Of Creditors?
While your 341 Meeting of Creditors may be scheduled to last 30 minutes or longer, you shouldn’t need to appear before the trustee for nearly this long. Several other debtors may be scheduled to appear at the same time as you. Your hearing could take as little as 5 minutes, so you will just need to wait until you are called for your turn. Your attorney should be with you if you are represented, but otherwise, it will be your duty to represent yourself at the 341 Meeting of Creditors.
The first order of business at your 341 Meeting of Creditors will be confirming your identity. You need a form of photo identification and an original form of identification with your social security number to do this. Most people use their driver’s license as their form of photo identification. Ideally, you will have your social security card available to verify your identity as your 341 Meeting of Creditors. If you don’t have your social security card, you can use a W-2 form, but it must be an original and not a copy.
There are general questions that trustees will ask most bankruptcy debtors during their 341 hearings. Bankruptcy debtors will need to confirm their identities and that the information in their petitions is true and correct to their knowledge. Other questions will be more specific and based on the debtor’s petition. A Tucson bankruptcy attorney should have their client fully prepared for any and every question the trustee might ask during the 341 Meeting of Creditors.
Many bankruptcy courts switched to Zoom appearances for 341 Meetings of Creditors and haven’t switched back since. It’s important to test your internet connection, background noise, and other factors that could interrupt your hearing. You may need to submit a declaration verifying your identity since it isn’t being done physically like in the past. Your trustee should provide your Zoom Meeting ID in advance. Make sure you have information available like your forms of identification, lien documents, and most recent tax returns. For more questions about telephonic 341 Meetings of Creditors, call our Tucson bankruptcy firm for your free consultation at 520-307-0020.
What Should I Bring To My 341 Meeting Of Creditors?
As mentioned above, you will need to bring your two forms of identification to your 341 hearing. The trustee may need to continue the hearing to a different date if you don’t have these available. You should have already provided the trustee with your most recent tax return before the hearing, but if you haven’t, you should bring that with you as well. Your trustee will probably want to see your most recent income and accounts statements. Your trustee may inform you in advance of any documentation they would like you to bring to the hearing. While your case likely won’t be dismissed due to your attire, it’s important that your 341 Meeting of Creditors is conducted in a courtroom and you should be dressed appropriately. Candace Kallen and the rest of our Tucson bankruptcy team will make sure you feel confident about your 341 Meeting of Creditors and any other appearance related to our bankruptcy. Click here or call 520-307-0020 to schedule your free consultation today.
What Do I Need To Do After My 341 Hearing?
After your 341 Meeting of Creditors, you need to complete your second credit counseling course. You should take this course from the same provider as your first credit counseling course. You should set aside about 1-2 hours to complete the course, and your spouse will need to take it with you if you are declaring bankruptcy together. You may also need to complete a short chat with a counselor from the service provider. If you have an attorney, they will receive a copy of the course completion certificate and file it with the court. If you don’t hire an attorney, you need to complete this step yourself. Your second credit counseling certificate must be filed with the court within 60 days of your 341 Meeting of Creditors. If your certificate isn’t filed within this deadline, your bankruptcy is likely to be dismissed.
If you filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, there isn’t much for you to do after finishing your second credit course. Your creditors have 60 days after the 341 hearing to object to the discharge. Otherwise, you will simply wait for your letter from the court discharging your bankruptcy after that 60-day period has elapsed. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy debtor will need to wait much longer to see their case discharged. Once their plan has been confirmed, they will need to keep up with the payments for the plan’s lifespan, which is either 3 or 5 years. For more information about your post-341 bankruptcy requirements, click here or call 520-307-0020 for your free consultation with our firm.
For Skilled Representation At Your 341 Hearing, Call Our Firm For Your Free Consultation Today
Hiring a Tucson Bankruptcy Attorney to represent you through your case means having a professional by your side at your 341 Meeting of Creditors. You can count on this expert guidance not just at your hearing, but at every step of the bankruptcy process. Protect your assets and set yourself up for a brighter financial future. Qualified clients can utilize our zero-down filing plan, which allows you to pay your bankruptcy fees after your case has been filed. When you’re ready to schedule your free consultation with Candace Kallen or another member of our bankruptcy team, click here or call 520-307-0020.
TUCSON BANKRUPTCY ATTORNEYS
2 East Congress Street, Suite #900-6A
Tucson, AZ 85701
Office: (520) 307-0020