Preparing for your 341 Meeting of Creditors

In every Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy case, the debtor must meet with a trustee. This meeting usually occurs between four and six weeks after the petition is filed. The purpose of the meeting is to give the trustee an opportunity to discuss with you the documents filed in your case and to get a statement on the record. There is no studying required for this meeting. It isn’t a test that determines whether you will get a discharge. However, there are a few things you can do to make sure you are prepared for your 341 meeting.

Locate your social security card and driver’s license

You probably don’t use your social security card very often, so you may not know where it is located. Find it, and if you can’t locate your original card go to the social security administration’s local office to request a new one. You will be required to present an original social security card and driver’s license to the trustee during your meeting. The trustee uses these documents to confirm that the person who filed the case is present at the meeting and that the petition was filed using the correct social security number. If you can’t find these documents and don’t have time to order new ones tell your attorney about this problem early. There are a few documents that can be substituted for your driver’s license and social security card.

Read mail regarding your bankruptcy case carefully

The trustee may send you a letter requesting that you provide additional documents. If you don’t bring these documents to your meeting the trustee may reset the meeting to a new date forcing you to attend your 341 meeting twice. It is always a good idea to comply with the trustee’s requests for documentation whenever possible. If you don’t read your mail you may not realize that the trustee needs additional information.

Arrive at the meeting early

These meetings usually take place at a federal building or a local conference room. This may be the first time you have gone to this location and you may be unfamiliar with the building’s location and the parking situation. If the meeting is in a federal building you may have to wait to go through security. Plan to arrive early so that if you are delayed for some reason you will not miss your meeting.