Imagine that you've made the hard decision to file bankruptcy, to erase your debt and get a fresh start. To determine what chapter of bankruptcy is right for you, please read "What Chapter of Bankruptcy is Right for Me?". In every bankruptcy case, approximately thirty days after the filing date, the debtor and counsel must appear at a meeting of creditors under Section 341 of the Bankruptcy Code (the "341 Meeting.")
The meeting of creditors is the first and most often only opportunity for the trustee and any creditors who choose to appear to question the debtor under oath. We typically prepare our clients by asking many of the same questions when we review and sign the petition that the trustee will ask at the meeting. Those questions could be:
- Why did you file bankruptcy?
- What do you plan to do with your house? Car? In other words, are you going to pay for and keep those assets? Or surrender them to the secured creditor(s)? Or surrender them to the trustee?
- Can you sue someone / do you have the right to sue someone?
- Have you received or will you receive a tax refund?
- Have you listed everything you own and everyone you owe money to?
- Have you given away, sold or transferred anything worth $500 or more in the last 2 years?
- Did you read your petition?
- Did you sign the petition?
- Does your attorney have the original petition in his file?
- Is the bankruptcy petition accurate?
- Have you read the information sheet provided by the United States Trustee's office?
Of course, it is impossible to think of every question the trustee may ask, and the trustee's questions will vary slightly depending on the specific facts of the case and the answers provided by the debtors.
The important thing to remember is that nothing bad will happen at the 341 meeting unless you lie to the bankruptcy trustee - as all 341 meetings are recorded and the testimony is given under oath. Also remember that the trustees normally schedule 4 of these meetings each half hour, so your meeting should only last 5 - 8 minutes.
For more information on Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, please subscribe to the Yesner Law Podcast, on iTunes and Stitcher. If you prefer, please contact us to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your options at 813-774-5737 or email me directly at email@example.com.
Shawn M. Yesner, Esq., is the founder of Yesner Law, P.L., a Tampa-based boutique real estate and consumer law firm that helps clients eliminate debt by providing options, so they can live the lifestyle of their dreams. We assist clients with Chapter 7 liquidation, Chapter 13 reorganization, bankruptcy, foreclosure defense, debt settlement, asset protection, the sale and purchase of real property, landlord/tenant issues, short sales, and loan modifications in Tampa, Westchase, Odessa, Hyde Park, Valrico, Apollo Beach, Oldsmar, Palm Harbor, Clearwater, Pinellas Park, Channelside, Largo, St. Petersburg, and throughout the greater Tampa Bay area.