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What to Expect at a 341 Hearing

The 341 hearing is also called a “Meeting of the Creditors,” and is held in every bankruptcy case.  It is mandatory that you attend the meeting or else your bankruptcy case cannot be dismissed.  The 341 hearing is held before a trustee and is an official record that documents the facts of a bankruptcy filing. Your bankruptcy attorney will accompany you to the 341 hearing, and even though you might be feeling nervous, there is no reason to be scared.

In most cases the 341 hearing is a formality and could be as short as 10 minutes.  The purpose of this hearing is to give a bankruptcy trustee and any interested creditor a chance to ask you questions about the information contained in your bankruptcy petition.  Creditors rarely attend a 341 hearing, but if they are present, then they also have the right to ask you questions.

Make sure you review your paperwork the night before and have all of your needed documents in one location.  Notify your attorney of any changes that have occurred since you signed your paperwork. The trustee will almost always ask you if the information contained in your bankruptcy petition is still accurate and correct or if there have been any changes since the filing date.  Make sure that you speak loud and clear because the hearing is recorded.  Also, make sure to answer the trustee’s questions with yes and no statements because trustees can become annoyed by head gestures and “yeahs.”

The majority of 341 meetings of creditors are concluded at the end of the hearing.   Appearing with the proper identification, being prepared, and arriving on time will help ensure that you will not have to return for a follow-up hearing.  Once the hearing is over, you can breathe a sigh of relief and start the process of moving forward to the discharge of your bankruptcy and a clean slate.

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