The Meeting of Creditors (341 Hearing) In Portland
What happens at a creditors meeting?
Filing bankruptcy, be it Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, may be the last option you consider when you are struggling financially, but sometimes it could be your best option. If you are considering filing for bankruptcy or already have then make sure that you are familiar with the meeting of creditors. This is the meeting that you will have with the trustee who is responsible for approving or denying your bankruptcy.
A hearing is held with your Bankruptcy Trustee, which is usually scheduled a few weeks after your bankruptcy petition is filed. This hearing, otherwise known as the 341 meeting or 341 (a) First Meeting of Creditors, is conducted by a Federal Court trustee who has been appointed to ask you questions about your debts, assets, claims, and property, as well as your financial situation. A bankruptcy attorney in Portland can help you prepare for your meeting with creditors.
What to expect in a creditors meeting
You will want to come to the hearing 30 minutes early so that you can listen in on hearings that are taking place before your own. This is critical since the questions are the same, and you can prepare yourself by thinking about how you will respond to the same questions.
In order to testify truthfully throughout the interview, you will be sworn in under oath at the start of the session. The majority of the questions can be answered with a simple yes or no. Please notify the trustee if you do not understand a question or if you believe the question should be repeated.
There are no humiliating or trick questions during the hearing. In order to represent you during the proceedings, your attorney from Michael D. O’ Brien & Associates will be in attendance. Although your attorney is unable to provide answers to your questions, they are there to guide you through the process and ensure that all issues are resolved. You can find a list of frequently asked questions below.
– Do you have any rights to or claims on the proceeds of an inheritance within the next six months?
– Do you have any claims against third parties, such as a personal injury claim stemming from a motor vehicle accident?
– Have you repaid any family members in excess of $600.00 in the year preceding your bankruptcy filing?
– In the last four years, have you transferred or gifted any property to friends or relatives?
Additionally, you may be questioned how much you believe your home or vehicles are worth and how you arrived at that conclusion.
Your attorney will already discuss these identical points with you while the bankruptcy schedules were developed and reviewed prior to filing your case. The 341(a) creditor meeting lasts approximately ten minutes, but it is critical to the bankruptcy process and your gaining a clean slate from your debts. Please feel free to schedule a phone case evaluation with bankruptcy attorney at Michael D. O’ Brien & Associates if you have any questions or concerns about the 341(a) meeting of creditors or about your case in general. We are here to assist you in making a fresh start.
What to bring
Please note that the filing date is NOT the date in the upper right-hand corner of the court notice you received; it is indicated on the first line directly below the darkened area towards the top of the notice. Additionally, the court will inquire about tax refunds.
Bring COPIES of the following related documents with you, not ORIGINALS, regardless of whether you have previously given them to your bankruptcy attorney:
- a copy of your bank statement(s) for the day preceding the filing date (the online variety is fine)
- Pay stubs for the last three months
- Your most recent filing of Tax Return
- A valuation of any real estate possessed, such as a county tax assessment or a CMA.
You will be needed to verify your identity with a photo identification and verification of your social security number.
Acceptable types of photo identification include a driver’s license, a government identification card, a state picture identification card, a student identification card, a United States passport, a military identification card, and a resident alien card. Additionally, you will be needed to supply documentation validating the accuracy of the social security number you reported.
Acceptable means of identification are a social security card, a medical insurance card, a pay stub, a W-2 form, an IRS form 1099, or a Social Security Administration report. Required are an ORIGINAL photo identification and ORIGINAL evidence of social security number.
The creditors meeting
You will be requested to take a seat at a table at the front of the room when your name is called. You will be sworn in and the trustee will request your name, address, and other identifying information. They will request to see your photo identification and proof of Social Security number to verify your identity.
The trustee will go over your documents with you briefly and ask you a few questions. Your responses should be genuine and consistent with the information contained in your bankruptcy documents. The trustee is primarily concerned with the fairness of your plan (that it treats all similarly situated creditors equally) and your ability to make the planned payments.
Bringing the Meeting to a Close
You will have an opportunity to answer any questions from creditors who attended after the trustee has done his or her work in the bankruptcy meeting. If your mortgage lender wants to argue that the value you allocated to the collateral is incorrect, secured creditors such as your mortgage lender may show up. Unsecured creditors are quite rare to appear.
At the conclusion of the hearing, your attorney will express his or her agreement with the trustee’s concerns. The creditors’ meeting is only the beginning of the negotiations that will finally result in the certification of your case, which will take place a month or two after that.
Facing complex debt problems? Get legal advice from our bankruptcy lawyer
Whether you are dealing with overwhelming debt, stopping foreclosure or repossession proceedings, or looking for a way to protect your assets, our Portland bankruptcy attorneys at Michael D. O’ Brien & Associates are here to help you overcome your financial hurdles! Call us for a free case evaluation.
We can help you with filing a Chapter7 bankruptcy or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Call our law office to help you in your bankruptcy process and win your bankruptcy case.
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