Whether you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you have to attend a hearing called the 341 Meeting of Creditors to answer questions about the information contained in your bankruptcy paperwork. The meeting of creditors is conducted by the bankruptcy trustee appointment in your case.
Why Does the Trustee Ask You Questions?
When administering your case, the trustee must verify the information disclosed in your bankruptcy paperwork and determine whether you have any property that can benefit the bankruptcy estate.
Prior to your scheduled meeting of creditors, the trustee reviews your bankruptcy petition, schedules, and all supporting documents (such as tax returns and pay stubs). At the hearing, the trustee’s job is to have you verify under oath that all of the information you disclosed is correct and ask you questions regarding any discrepancies, errors, or items that don’t comply with applicable bankruptcy laws.
What Is the Trustee Looking for?
In addition to making sure that your paperwork is accurate and complete, the trustee will be on the lookout for omitted or undervalued assets, undisclosed income, fraudulently transferred property, and any other red flags that can benefit your creditors or indicate abuse of the bankruptcy process.
In general, if you were honest in your paperwork and accurately disclosed all of your income, assets, and expenses, the meeting of creditors will be a short and simple hearing. But keep in mind that lying on your bankruptcy petition, concealing assets, or otherwise committing bankruptcy fraud can lead to denial of your discharge and criminal prosecution.