The Meeting of Creditors (341 Hearing)
314 Hearing Attorney in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
When filing for bankruptcy, it is one of the requirements to attend the 341 Meeting of Creditors other than taking a credit counseling course. The primary reason this meeting is conducted is to allow the creditors and bankruptcy trustee to interrogate you about the case. If you or someone special to you is considering filing for bankruptcy to get out of their unsurmountable debts, getting prudent advice from a competent bankruptcy lawyer is a cunning move.
Many people may have overlooked the significance of 341 hearing, and you should not be among them. A successful bankruptcy petition entails favorable 341 Meeting outcomes. An experienced bankruptcy lawyer can anticipate potential meeting questions and guide you in your response.
With a firm devotion to helping people struggling with debts, Miller & Miller Law, LLC is the reliable bankruptcy firm in Wisconsin you can trust. We provide transparent and approachable bankruptcy counseling. We are always ready to answer all your questions about your case. With our 20 years of experience, you are assured that your case will be handled with care. We offer free initial case evaluations, so schedule now to discuss your case.
What is The Meeting of Creditors (341 Hearing)?
The 341 Meeting is known as the First Meeting of Creditors, as required by Section 341 of the Bankruptcy Code. It is a short meeting with the appointed bankruptcy trustee supervising your case. Your bankruptcy lawyer should appear alongside you.
However, you should note that a 341 Meeting is not a typical court hearing. It does not happen in front of a judge. But similar to a court hearing, you are required to tell the truth under oath. Refusing to attend this meeting may result in the dismissal of your bankruptcy case.
In Wisconsin, most of the 341 Meetings are being held 4–8 weeks after bankruptcy filing. Your bankruptcy attorney will give you advance notice so you can take your time arranging your relevant schedules. In most bankruptcy cases, meetings will last no more than 15 minutes.
The bankruptcy trustee will ask a series of Yes or No questions. The questions will revolve around your debts, assets, and other financial matters. In a bankruptcy Chapter 7, your discharge will be granted no later than 60 days after the conclusion of your meeting. Many people are concerned when they hear about the 341 Meeting with creditors. In reality, there is nothing to be truly worried about. Everything should go smoothly, as long as you have your bankruptcy lawyer with you, and your paperwork is filed properly.
If you need more accurate information, contacting an experienced bankruptcy lawyer today will help you.
What Should You Bring
Do not forget to bring your social security card, photo identification, or other pertinent documents that will prove your identity. Your social security number and identification need to be confirmed on the record before you proceed with your case. Failure to bring these items may restrict your rights to continue your case.
The Role of the Trustee in 341 Meeting
Other than conducting the 341 Meeting itself, the bankruptcy trustee must:
- Evaluate the accuracy of your bankruptcy paperwork;
- Verify your identity;
- Determine whether or not there is a potential fraud;
- Assess whether to convert your bankruptcy into a different chapter; and
- Sell nonexempt property for your creditors.
If You Cannot Be Present in the 341 Meeting
While attending the 341 Meeting is indeed required, we cannot deny that sometimes, an individual who filed for bankruptcy cannot appear at the 341 hearing for valid reasons, such as weather-related matters, serious illness, and other fortuitous events like hurricanes or floods. If that is the case, you may contact the bankruptcy trustee to get a guide on how you can proceed.
The bankruptcy trustee should consult with the US trustee about the general procedures for confirming the debtor’s alternative substitute appearance when assessing events that prevent them from being present at the meeting. Extenuating events include serious health problems, military service, or incarceration. In such circumstances, the debtor’s attendance at the 341 hearing may be secured by other means (i.e., over the phone).
Possible Problems in 341 Hearing
If you indicated in your papers that you have valuable nonexempt property, the bankruptcy trustee may doubt and question you about how you determined its value. For example, if you have a $150,000 value for your real estate and the trustee thinks it should be more, you will be questioned about your figures. Sometimes, a creditor to whom you owe money will ask you about the debt’s circumstances.
Possible Questions from the Trustee During the 341 Meeting
Below are the possible questions from the trustee:
- Your complete name and current property address.
- Have you studied the Bankruptcy Information Sheet given by the United States Trustee?
- Did you sign the schedules, petition, statements, and other pertinent documents you submitted to the bankruptcy court? Did you review those before you affixed your signature, and is the signature authentic?
- Are you accustomed to the data stated in the schedule, petition, statements, and other pertinent documents?
- Are the information contained in the schedule, petition, statements, and other pertinent documents accurate and true?
- Have you made any omissions or errors to bring the court’s attention for the time being?
- Have you identified all your assets on the schedules?
- Have you included all your creditors on the schedules?
- Have you filed for bankruptcy before?
Call our Bankruptcy Attorney Now!
The bankruptcy process is quite overwhelming and the bankruptcy laws are very complex to understand. Many people going through financial problems due to unsecured debts may be afraid to file bankruptcy for debt-relief. Securing your financial future entails a considerable amount of cunning and wise decisions. Sometimes, people are advised to file for bankruptcy as their last resort. If you need someone to provide legal help to resolve your debts and be with you during the 341 hearing, hiring an experienced bankruptcy attorney will allow you to save more time and effort.
In Miller & Miller Law, LLC, we thoroughly understand your legal needs and craft our prudent solutions based on your circumstances. We treat everyone equally with respect regardless of age, gender, race, or situation. Rest assured that your case will be handled by the best bankruptcy lawyers from start to finish. Other than bankruptcies, we also handle personal injury cases. If you need assistance with any of our services and have a fresh start, schedule a consultation now!