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What is the 341 meeting?

The meeting of creditors, which is commonly referred to as the 341 meeting because that is the section of federal code that describes it, is a required part of every Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. It is also a piece of the process that many people stress over needlessly.

The reason many people stress over this meeting is because they think their creditors will all be there, arguing against the bankruptcy. While creditors do have a right to show up, and in some cases do, this is rare. Creditors would only spend the time and expense of attending a 341 meeting if they really believed that you had assets to pay them outside of the bankruptcy or if they believe you have lied in your petition.

If your petition is as accurate as you and your bankruptcy lawyer can make it and you haven't tried to hide assets, most creditors won't bother to contest the bankruptcy at the meeting. Many of them wouldn't have even gotten around to filing a claim in the case.

What you do need to know about the 341 meeting is that it's required for you to attend. If you don't attend, then your case might be dismissed. You'll also need to bring a valid form of picture ID and your social security card.

The primary business of the meeting involves the Trustee getting your statement on record. That statement is often limited to the fact that you are who you say you are, that you voluntarily filed the bankruptcy and that you believe everything in the petition is correct.

In some cases, there may be more involved in this meeting. If you work with a bankruptcy lawyer, they can help you through this meeting and expedite some of the paperwork and process.

Source: Federal Bankruptcy Code, "Section 341 Required Meeting of Creditors," accessed Nov. 04, 2016

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