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What to Expect: (341) Creditors Meeting in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
After you have made the decision to file for bankruptcy, filled out all the necessary paperwork, and gathered all the required documents about your financial situation, a determination must be made in a Kansas bankruptcy court about how to handle your creditors and try to satisfy as many debts as possible with the assets you may have in your possession. Here are some of the key things that will happen during this important meeting.
The 341 Meeting will be scheduled to occur between 3 and 5 weeks after you have made an official filing for bankruptcy. You will need to bring a couple identifying documents such as a driver's license and social security card along with all of your current financial records. These documents are very important to bring because the Chapter 7 trustee that oversees the meeting is not able to continue the meeting without legal proof of your identity.
As stated before, a Chapter 7 trustee will preside at and conduct the meeting. There is no judge because you are not on trial. This is simply an opportunity for invited persons such as yourself, your attorney, and your creditors to meet and talk face to face about how you came to be in financial difficulty, discuss your spending and earning history and habits, and find out what monies might be available to repay at least part of your debts. Although your creditors have a right to be at this meeting and bring their own attorneys, it is not unusual for them to not be present.
If you have come prepared with all the necessary documentation, the trustee will call you and your lawyer up when your case number comes up and it is your turn. At this point, the trustee will ask you many questions regarding your particular case. Some of the questions may include:
- What was it that caused you to file for bankruptcy?
- Have you made an accurate listing of all your assets and income?
- Do you own property? What is its value? How did you come to that appraisal?
- Do you have a complete list of your debts and liabilities?
- What is your family situation? Are you single, married, or divorced? Do you have any dependent children or family?
- What kinds of expenses do you have every month? Are they reasonable? Are they necessary?
After the trustee has submitted all their questions to you, it is time for your creditors (if they have appeared) to have a chance to ask you about your intentions. The creditors most likely to show are ones that have an interest in your house or vehicle. They may want to know what your plans are for selling or retaining those assets. Other creditors may want to know if you are in earnest about your bankruptcy filing and if they will be getting repaid at all.