341 Meeting of Creditors
Within 45 days of filing the bankruptcy petition, Debtors or a representative of the Debtor must attend a meeting of creditors. If you are filing a personal bankruptcy case, at the 341 meeting of creditors you will be required to bring your driver’s license and social security card. If you are appearing on behalf of a company, you will need your driver’s license, and will need to bring additional documents to a meeting, called an Initial Debtor’s Interview, that will be held about a week before the 341 Meeting. In Nevada, you will go to the Bankruptcy Courthouse for the 341 Meeting of Creditors. You will go through a set of metal detectors as you enter the building. The 341 meeting of creditors takes place in a conference room, and not in a courtroom. In the front of the room there will be a desk with an electronic recorder. A man or a woman will be sitting at the desk. This person is not a judge. This person is the Trustee who is assigned to your case and is in charge of asking you a series of questions and administering your bankruptcy case, or if you have filed a Chapter 11, and are a Debtor in Possession, this person is generally an attorney with the Department of Justice, Office of the United States Trustee, who is assigned to ask questions about the company.
Most 341 meetings in a personal Chapter 7 case or a Chapter 13 case last approximately five minutes. You may be sitting there for quite some time as you are waiting for your case to be called. If you are involved in a Chapter 11 case, the 341 meetings average about an hour. Once your case is called you will approach the desk where you will stand and take an oath to tell the truth. The trustee will then examine your government issued identification and your social security card to ensure that it matches the information contained in your bankruptcy petition. If you are involved in a Chapter 11 case, you will already have met with a representative of the U.S. Trustee’s Office (generally a bankruptcy analyst but sometimes an attorney employed with that office).
After ensuring that you are the person who filed the bankruptcy petition, the Trustee will ask you a series of questions. The Trustee may ask whatever questions he or she deems appropriate. Creditors may also appear and ask you questions. Some common questions in personal cases include the following:
What is your name?
Do you reside at the address listed in your petition?
Did you carefully read the petition and schedules before you signed them?
Is everything true and accurate?
Did you list all of your assets?
Did you list all of your debts?
Do you have any changes that you need to make?
Does anyone owe you any money for any reason?
If you have anything listed in your petition about which the Trustee has questions or concerns, such as an interest in a business or an asset that is not exempt, the Trustee will typically ask questions about that. Sometimes the trustee will hire an attorney to ask questions on their behalf. In addition, creditors are invited to attend these meetings, and have the right to ask questions. Generally the trustee will limit creditors questions to a few minutes, though depending on the case, a Trustee may allow them to go longer.
In Chapter 11 cases the representative asking questions will typically ask questions about your plans for reorganization, the status of officers or directors of the company, what the company does, if it is adequately insured, and other questions regarding the business.
In many cases the trustee will conclude the hearing at the first meeting of creditors. However, your hearing could be continued to another day for a variety of reasons. Some common reasons are failing to bring the proper identification, failing to appear, or the trustee wants to see documents such as tax returns, business information, or other information about which the trustee may want to ask additional questions after reviewing the requested documents. When the Trustee asks for additional documents, he or she may not require you to come back for a subsequent section 341 meeting if you provide the documents and they are satisfactory to the Trustee.
If you have questions regarding 341 meetings or how the process works, please contact our office at 702-471-0065.