This meeting, also known as the "Meeting of Creditors" or "341 hearing," is held at the beginning of a bankruptcy case. Our California bankruptcy attorneys explain the meeting held at the beginning of a bankruptcy proceeding, the purpose of the meeting, and why there's no need to be nervous.
The Basics of a 341 Meeting in California
A 341 meeting is the first meeting of creditors in a California bankruptcy proceeding. The purpose of the meeting is for the debtor to provide information about their financial affairs and to answer questions under oath from creditors, the trustee, and sometimes attorneys representing creditors.
Who Is Present at a 341 Meeting?
The bankruptcy trustee is always present at the meeting and will typically ask the majority of the questions. The debtor's attorney may also be present. Although called a meeting, a 341 meeting is not a true meeting because there is open discussion among those present. Instead, it is an opportunity for creditors to obtain information from the debtor. Creditors are not required to attend, but many do because it allows them to hear the debtor's explanations firsthand and to ask questions directly of the debtor. It also gives them a chance to size up the debtor and assess the likelihood of being repaid.
What Happens at a 341 Meeting?
The meeting will start with the trustee swearing in the debtor and ask for identification. The trustee or creditors' attorneys may then ask the debtor questions about their assets, debts, income, expenses, recent financial transactions, and other relevant information. The trustee will also review the debtor's documents before the meeting.
Need an Experienced Bankruptcy Attorney?
Many debtors feel nervous about their 341 meetings, but it is important to remember that the trustee and creditors are not there to judge or reprimand the debtor. The meeting is simply a fact-finding process for all parties involved. Having experienced legal representation at the meeting is crucial to ensure that your rights are protected and that you provide accurate and complete information. At RHM LAW LLP, our team of bankruptcy attorneys will prepare you for your 341 meeting and guide you through the entire bankruptcy process.
Contact us at (213) 344-0043 or through our online contact form.