After a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition is properly filed with the Court, it will provide you with a date in which you will need to meet the assigned Bankruptcy Trustee to go over the petition. The main task of the Trustee is to sell nonexempt property to repay general unsecured creditors.
The 341 hearing will be set at least 21 days but not more than 40 days after you properly file your petition with the Bankruptcy Court. It will be held in a conference room where other petitioners (individuals that also filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition) will be waiting their turn to speak with the Bankruptcy Trustee. The Bankruptcy Trustee is not a judge but a lawyer that has specialized in bankruptcy law.
When entering the conference room, there will be a Bankruptcy Information Sheet which will detail what will occur at the 341 hearing. Its called a “341 Hearing” as 341 is the section of the Bankruptcy Code that details the meeting of the creditors. The Trustee may require that you have read the information sheet before meeting with him or her.
When the Trustee calls your name, he or she will want you to proceed to the front where the Trustee will ask for your identification (valid ID and social security number). Next, you will take an oath as if you were in a courtroom. The Trustee will go over your petition to ensure that you are familiar with it, that it is correct, has all your debtors listed and that there are no changes.
The Trustee will have reviewed the Bankruptcy Petition prior to meeting with you so he may ask you questions specific to your petition.
Your attorney will be there mainly to guide you through the process. However, unless the Trustee asks questions of the attorney, the Trustee will want to hear from you, the bankruptcy petitioner.
The main thing to do is to keep calm, listen to the Trustee and asks all questions truthfully. While the environment may seem intimidating, this process is much more laid back than before a judge.
If you want further assistance in a bankruptcy, please contact Cruz Law, PLLC.