A 341 hearing is a meeting of creditors that a debtor is required to attend after filing for bankruptcy. Although this meeting is often called a hearing, it is not like a typical court hearing before a judge. Instead, the meeting is run by the trustee assigned to the bankruptcy and it typically occurs in a meeting room.
It is important for debtors to be prepared for their 341 hearing and to know what to expect. A Melville, NY bankruptcy attorney can help you to be ready to answer questions so your meeting goes smoothly and your attorney can also attend the meeting with you. Call Ronald D. Weiss, P.C. today to learn more.
The events at a 341 hearing can differ depending upon whether you have filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. In both cases, the trustee will preside over the meeting and will review your paperwork and information before the meeting begins. The trustee will also prepare some questions to ask you during the hearing.
If you are filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your trustee is going to look at your schedules showing your debts and assets. The trustee will also review financial transactions you have entered into in recent months. You cannot transfer property out of your name or give money to only certain parties in the months immediately leading up to your bankruptcy and the trustee will look for any transactions that may have been improper or that may need to be reversed.
You need to come prepared with photo identification and your Social Security number when you attend the 341 hearing. The bankruptcy trustee will ask you some questions about the accuracy of your bankruptcy paperwork, your recent financial transactions, whether you have ever owned a business, whether your income is accurate on your means test, and whether you have a spouse, children or family obligations such as alimony.
Creditors do not always attend these hearings and there is a good chance your trustee will be the only one there asking you questions. If creditors come to your 341 hearing, they will be given the opportunity to question you. Usually, the only creditors who do show up will be those who you have a car loan or mortgage with. If no creditors attend the 341 meeting, then it will be concluded after the trustee is done asking you questions.
If you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the process is very similar. All required bankruptcy paperwork and information will be reviewed by the trustee including your Statement of Financial Affairs and your information about your income. The trustee will ask you questions like whether you are married or have dependents or family obligations like child support; and how stable your income and job are. The trustee may also review whether the expenses you listed on your bankruptcy forms are necessary or whether some of the money going towards expenses should instead be directed to your Chapter 13 repayment plan.
Creditors also rarely attend the 341 hearing in Chapter 13 bankruptcies. If creditors have objections to your payment plan, they usually simply file those objections and try to resolve them through the court and through attorneys.
Although creditors may not come, the 341 hearing is still an essential part of your bankruptcy. Contact Ronald D. Weiss, P.C. to speak with a Melville, NY bankruptcy attorney who can help with this step in your bankruptcy process.