Information About Debtor’s 341 Meeting of Creditors – Bankruptcy

A creditors’ meeting is required under section 341 of the Bankruptcy Code.  In simple terms, it is a meeting of the minds between the parties present at the meeting.  The parties that will be present at the meeting will be you, the debtor; the debtor’s attorney, and a representative from the trustee’s office.  If you are in Chicago, Cook County, the trustee will be either Marilyn Marshall or Tom Vaughn.  If you are in Lake County or DuPage County or Will County, then  Glenn Stearns will be your trustee.

The creditors’ meeting is nothing to be scared about.  As long as you are upfront and honest with your attorney when you originally met with him, the creditors meeting should be no problem.  The attorney for the trustee will swear you in and ask you and go through your petition in order to clarify any issues you might have.

If your trustee asks your attorney to amend certain issues in your case, you should not be overly concerned because this happens almost all of the time.  This is just an opportunity or a meeting of the minds between all parties where all issues can be cleared up.  Additional information can be sought, so your case can be confirmed and your Chapter 13 can be successful.

 Who Attends And What Is Asked?

A few sample questions from a Chapter 13 creditors’ meeting; they will ask you your name, they will ask you to present your photo identification and your Social Security card and typically your driver’s license would be best.  They will swear you in as you are under oath.  They will ask you to identify your signature on the Declaration of Electronic Filing form.  They will start by reviewing your property.  They will usually ask you if you own a home or if you rent.  They will ask you for your home’s value.  They will ask you who you owe and how much you owe.  They will go through your property; typically they will spend some time about your cars.  Then they will want to go over your income and then they will ask you simple questions just to clarify that there aren’t any issues in your case.

 Just Be Honest With The Trustee

My biggest suggestion when talking to clients about their 341 Creditors Meeting is to just be honest.  That’s always the best policy.  Also, you don’t need to provide more information than the trustee asks for.  For instance, if the trustee asks you a yes or no question, feel free to answer yes or no.  The creditors meeting happens in every case at least once and sometimes more than once.  A second meeting can be scheduled to allow for the debtor to provided additional information that was not readily available at the time of the first meeting.  If you are prepared and if you answer the questions honestly, your meeting before the Trustee should proceed very smoothly.

In certain cases, creditors may appear and question the debtor.  This is typically an auto finance company or another secured creditor.  These creditors want to ensure that their client is being paid back the proper amount, at the proper interest rate and with enough adequate protection to satisfy the requirements mandated by the bankruptcy code.  Often times, secured creditors will notify debtor’s counsel in advance on the meeting of creditors as to what their client in requesting.  If the request cannot be satisfied, the creditor may choose to file and objection to confirmation.  These and other issues are items that can be resolved subsequent to the meeting of creditors.

 

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