When you file bankruptcy, you have various deadlines, documents and other requirements to handle throughout the process. One important part of your case is the meeting of creditors. You may hear someone call this the 341 meeting because, as the U.S. Courts explains, the requirement for this meeting comes from chapter 341 of the bankruptcy code. 

The creditor meeting is the only time you will have to be present in a formal setting during your bankruptcy as long as there are no complications. A trustee heads this meeting and acts in the same capacity as a judge would in a courtroom. However, the 341 meeting is rather informal and others can be in the courtroom at the time. 

What happens 

The creditor meeting allows the trustee to ask you questions under oath about your bankruptcy petition. You will answer a lot of questions that you already answered in the petition. The trustee is trying to verify the answers. You may have to bring various documents to back up your claims of income and assets. 

Creditors also have the chance to come to the meeting and ask you questions under oath. However, this rarely happens. You usually speak only with the trustee. 

Important points 

You must attend the creditor meeting in person. If you filed a joint petition, then both of you must be present. The meeting usually does not happen in a courtroom. It may happen in a municipal building or office close to where you live. 

The meeting often proceeds quickly. The trustee may also advise you of certain requirements you have under the law, request additional documentation or set you up for an additional meeting. Further required actions on your part depend largely on the trustee’s needs in your case. 

The creditor meeting may seem rather intimidating at first, but it is actually a quick and easy process. You simply answer questions honestly about the information you put in your petition. This allows the trustee to verify your petition and move it along to the final discharge.