Filing for bankruptcy can be intimidating. While your concerns are understandable, we here at The Law Office of Paul Petrillo can tell you that the Chapter 7 process is primarily designed to help you more than anything else. Early on in the process, a meeting (known as a 341 meeting of creditors) is convened between you and the bankruptcy trustee in order to review your initial petition. Knowing what to expect from this meeting may help assuage any fears you may have.
The 341 meeting of creditors is so named because it is required by Section 341 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. While it’s popular name may imply that this is a meeting between you and your creditors, in reality, creditors rarely attend. Their interests are represented by the bankruptcy trustee. You are required to bring identification, proof of income, and any documentation requested in the meeting notice you received from the trustee. The trustee will then review your petition with you and inquire as to your assets and debts. It is essential that you be forthcoming about your current financial situation. If you discover any discrepancies with your initial petition, you should bring them up here if you have not already filed an amendment.
According to the Legal Information Institute, Section 341 states that the trustee must use this meeting to ensure you understand the following:
- What reaffirming your debts in this way means.
- What discharging your debts under Chapter 7 means.
- If you are able to amend your petition to another chapter (if needed).
- What affect filing for bankruptcy may have, particularly on your credit.
If you wish, you may bring an attorney with you to this meeting.
You can find more information on the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process by continuing to browse through our site.