If you plan to file for bankruptcy, Section 341 of the Bankruptcy Code requires that you attend a creditors meeting. The meeting is also called a “341 meeting.” In this meeting, you will meet the appointed trustee. Creditors who choose to attend can ask questions, although they rarely attend. The trustee will check your identity and ask questions related to the bankruptcy files prepared by your mesa bankruptcy lawyer.
The primary purpose of a 341 meeting of creditors is to allow the bankruptcy trustee and creditors to question you under oath. You should expect to answer questions touching on your assets, liabilities, or any other relevant issue. The trustee uses the opportunity to verify your identity and also the paperwork. Their main aim is to ensure that you pay the creditors as much money as possible.
The trustee will thoroughly analyze the properties and assets you listed in the papers to verify your declared income. By doing so, they will be trying to uncover any undisclosed assets of income sources to get more money for the creditors. The trustee also looks out for bankruptcy fraud. Some fraudulent debtors transfer some of their holdings to different names just before they file for bankruptcy. By hiding, moving, or destroying property or assets to fool creditors, you commit bankruptcy fraud which can work against you.
You should be well prepared before attending a 341 meeting. The most important thing to do is verify your bankruptcy petition. Accuracy is not negotiable at this stage, and any wrong entry will give the trustee free mileage.
If you find a discrepancy in the bankruptcy petition paperwork, you can file for an amendment before the 341 meeting date. In case you notice the problem too late, make sure you bring the matter to the trustee’s attention on the mention date.
A good example is a mismatch between the name on your government identification document and the petition. Produce evidence in the form of your Social Security Number Card before the meeting begins. If the trustee confirms that they don’t match, you will have to file for an amendment and most likely schedule a new session.
There are routine questions that a trustee must ask a debtor at any 341 meeting. Specific questions which are unique to your case will follow. Before a 341 meeting of creditors, consulting a bankruptcy attorney will arm you with predictions on the expected questions. The attorney will advise you on the best way to answer them beforehand.
Most of the questions are typical and primarily meant to verify if the information you disclosed in the bankruptcy petition papers is authentic. The trustee wants to pin you down and uncover hidden or undisclosed assets to benefit the creditors. Some examples of the questions you should expect are:
After these common questions, the trustee may ask any other question directly related to your case. You will be one of about ten other debtors scheduled for questioning during the time. You rise one at a time when your name is called out, with each session lasting up to ten minutes.
Creditors receive invitations to the 341 meeting, but they rarely appear. If the creditors are present, they will ask you questions to determine whether to object to your case.
The appointed bankruptcy trustee questions you under oath to verify your identity and the information you filed in court. They will be in search of red flags to discredit your petition and benefit the creditors. The trustee looks out if you lie under oath or filed inaccurate information. If the trustee discovers that you lied in the petition, you risk having the bankruptcy case dismissed. Criminal proceedings may also follow, and you may go to jail. Some of the red flags a trustee will look out for are;
Property transfers done within the bankruptcy period will raise red flags. The trustee will question you if they notice a property transfer that happened within two years of your bankruptcy. You will be in trouble if they discover that you fraudulently tried to deny the creditors their rightful amount. They may fight to get the property back, object to your bankruptcy case, or call for criminal investigations.
The trustee will go through your petition files to verify that your actual disposable income corresponds to what you indicated. They aim to confirm if you provided inaccurate details to hide some income sources. Hard questions will come up if red flags arise on this matter.
A trustee will cancel any preferential payment paid to a creditor within one year before you filed for bankruptcy. If a trustee proves that you paid out money to a relative, they can fight to have it reversed and paid to the current creditors. You need to remember that the more money a trustee gets for the creditor, the more they’re paid.
The bankruptcy trustee gauges you by the expenditure information you provide in the petition forms. On Schedule J, you provide your household expenditure information. High expenditures may be translated to mean that you have enough to pay your debts. There is also a “means test,” a formula used to disqualify you if a trustee concludes that you are well off and thus can afford to pay the creditors.
The bankruptcy filing process is tedious and complex to those without legal knowledge. A slight mistake when preparing the files can land you in great trouble. For you to be on the safe side, it is advisable to hire a bankruptcy attorney to guide you. Visit https://azbankruptcysolutions.com/mesa for assistance in all your bankruptcy matters.
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Filing for bankruptcy isn’t the right solution for everyone. The determination of whether or not bankruptcy is an appropriate debt relief solution for your will be made based on a number of factors including the type and total level of your debt. Use this form to schedule an appointment with one of our bankruptcy attorneys. The consultation is completely free and there is no obligation.