341 Creditor Meeting Lawyer in Wheeling
Filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 11 Bankruptcy can be a tedious process. The petition also involves a 341 creditor meeting where the debtor or the one filing for bankruptcy will be asked a few questions.
Although it is called a 341 creditor meeting, sometimes the creditor does not always appear. However, the debtor still must provide solid evidence, documents and answer all the questions clearly for the petition to be approved by the Bankruptcy court. Working with an experienced bankruptcy attorney in Wheeling, West Virginia, will help you with the process and prepare you for the questions that they might ask during the 341 creditor meeting.
By working with Thomas E. Mcintire and Associates L.C., who has more than 30 years of experience handling bankruptcy cases in West Virginia, you’ll be able to go through the bankruptcy process with ease. Although there are multiple bankruptcy alternatives to choose from, declaring or filing for bankruptcy should be the last resort.
If you’re planning to file for a Chapter 7 or Chapter 11 bankruptcy code and need legal assistance on the process, you can contact our team and book a free consultation to assess your situation.
The 341 Creditor Meeting in West Virginia
As mentioned earlier, the 341 creditor meeting is mandatory for all debtors or bankruptcy filers. It is mainly conducted outside the presence of a state judge and primarily presided by a trustee assigned to the case. The 341 creditor meeting usually takes place between 21 and 50 days after the filing of the petition. In bankruptcy chapters 7, 12, and 13 cases, trustees assigned to the case hold the meeting. In chapter 11, a representative of the United States Trustee conducts and holds the said meeting.
It is often called the 341 creditor meeting because it is mandated by Section 341 of the Bankruptcy Code. Although referred to as the meeting of creditors, some or most creditors do not appear because they are not required. They are also notified before the schedule if they want to attend the meeting and ask questions about the debtor. A creditor who does not attend or decline the 341 meeting does not result in waiving any rights.
Since the 341 creditor meeting will be presided by a trustee – they will ask important questions about the bankruptcy petition. Debtors must carefully review their filed bankruptcy petition and answer all questions. It is essential to work with your trusted and experienced bankruptcy attorney to help you with the process and prepare you for the meeting. If the questions did not answer correctly, or the trustee does not see any truthfulness or lack of evidence, they will drop the petition.
Bankruptcy: 341 Hearing/Meeting of Creditors
How long does a 341 creditor meeting last?
Most 341 creditor meetings last for less than an hour, depending on the case. Some cases usually last for only ten to fifteen minutes. When the bankruptcy trustee calls the debtor’s case – things will move quickly.
The trustee will ask a few series of routine questions and inquire about the debtor’s situation. They will ask questions like credit history, available and legal assets and properties, and financial condition.
Since the meeting is a legal process, they are also liable and under penalty of perjury if they did not disclose complete and honest information during the meeting. An experienced Wheeling bankruptcy attorney will be able to mitigate and prepare the debtor before the meeting.
Things to Prepare for a 341 Creditor Meeting
Appearing at 341 creditors meeting fully prepared will significantly help with the bankruptcy petition. It will also make the process faster for the bankruptcy court to process the petition and grant debt relief. Working alongside your bankruptcy attorney will help you become more confident and prepare you with the legal documents, and even prepare you for the possible questions that might get asked during the meeting.
Preparing legal documents.
It is crucial to prepare yourself before the creditor meeting. Things or information indicated on your petition must be read and reviewed carefully. If the possible inaccuracy is entered on the petition, it is best to file for an amendment before the 341 meetings. If the latter is not likely due to lack of time, the debtor should be prepared to raise the problem to the bankruptcy trustee’s attention during the meeting.
You should carefully prepare the bankruptcy petition and bring an approved identification photo, Social Security Number, and any documents that prove any economic changes before filing bankruptcy.
Bringing a set of bankruptcy paperwork for personal reference would be ideal too. Sometimes the bankruptcy trustee will notify the debtor to bring other documents or items to the meeting. If you are unsure of the said items or documents, consulting with a bankruptcy attorney is crucial.
Verifying debtor’s identity.
To ensure that the real identity of the debtor is the one who attended the meeting, a debtor must present an original government-issued I.D. such as Social Security Number. The section 341 meeting provides an opportunity for the presiding officer to verify this information. One common issue is failing to list the name exactly as it appears on the license, passport, or government-issued I.D. If these forms, along with the Social Security card number, did not match at the beginning of the meeting, the debtor must file for an amendment and likely have to be called back a second time.
Typical Questions Asked
Typical questions asked during the 341 meetings include:
- Did you review the bankruptcy petition before filing it to the court?
- Is all of the information indicated in your bankruptcy papers true and accurate to the best of your knowledge?
- Are all of your assets disclosed?
- Did you list all of your creditors?
- Did you list all of your debts?
- Do you have any previous history of bankruptcy applications before?
- Has anything changed since the day you filed for bankruptcy?
- Are you under any obligations for any domestic support such as alimony or child support?
- Did you file all the tax returns as they have come due?
- Does anyone owe you money for any reason?
There are also times where the bankruptcy trustee has discretionary questions that pertain to the debtor. These questions are usually framed and intended to determine whether you are telling the truth or have any nonexempt assets that the trustee could claim. They might ask these few questions during the meeting:
- How much is the value of your home?
- How much is the value of your car?
- Do you have more than one car or vehicle?
- Are you expecting an inheritance?
- Did you have a previous history of transferring your assets to anyone?
What happens after a successful 341 creditor meeting?
After all, essential questions were asked, and no other objections were raised during the meeting. It will be adjourned as soon as possible. The 341 meeting is a very critical step for a successful bankruptcy petition. The meeting will also be the venue for the debtor to be educated on the bankruptcy process. This is also an avenue for the trustee to see any fraudulent claims or activities that will harm the creditor or debtor.
After a successful 341 creditor meeting, the bankruptcy process will proceed. Most likely, depending on the result of the meeting, the creditors may give a debt discharge to the debtor due to the bankruptcy filing.
Consult a Wheeling Bankruptcy Attorney Today
To help you fully prepare for the 341 creditor meeting, or if you need any legal assistance before filing for bankruptcy, you can book a free consultation with us now. You can schedule a consultation with our Wheeling bankruptcy law firm so we can provide our knowledge to help your situation.
With more than 30 years of handling bankruptcy experience, our professional and reliable team can help you throughout your bankruptcy process. From filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, our team and experienced bankruptcy attorneys are confident to help you with your case.
Call us now! So we can talk and help you prepare for the 341 creditor meeting and the whole bankruptcy process!