DEFINITION of '341 Meeting'

The meeting of creditors that occurs when an individual files chapter 7 bankruptcy. A 341 meeting gets its name from section 341 of the bankruptcy code. This meeting must include the individual filing bankruptcy and the chapter 7 trustee. It is optional for creditors or their attorneys to attend, and they usually don’t. If the individual has a bankruptcy attorney, the attorney should attend the meeting as well.

BREAKING DOWN '341 Meeting'

A 341 meeting’s purpose is to ensure that all bankruptcy paperwork is in order, make sure the individual is not attempting bankruptcy fraud, and confirm the invidual’s nonexempt assets that can be sold to repay creditors. This meeting occurs about a month after the individual files for bankruptcy. Before the meeting, the trustee will have already reviewed the individual’s bankruptcy paperwork and financial records. At the meeting, the individual will need to prove his or her identity, assets and income with official documents including a driver’s license, Social Security card, property deeds, mortgage paperwork, car titles, bank statements, tax returns and pay stubs.

The trustee will ask the debtor a number of questions about why he or she is filing for bankruptcy and about monthly expenses, assets, debts, marital status, dependents and other financial obligations such as child support or alimony. Any creditors who attend may also ask the individual questions about any loan collateral, its condition and the individual’s repayment intentions. A 341 meeting is usually held at the trustee’s office; chapter 7 debtors do not usually have to appear before a judge in court.

During the meeting, the debtor attests that all of his or her assets have been identified and that all submitted bankruptcy documents are accurate. The debtor will also answer questions about any money he might be entitled to in the near future because of a tax refund, because he is the plaintiff in a pending lawsuit, because he is the beneficiary of an estate, or because someone owes him a collectible debt. If the debtor owns a business, the bankruptcy trustee will also ask detailed questions about the business’s assets, liabilities and operations.

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