As a bankruptcy attorney, I can tell you that when I meet with a client to discuss the bankruptcy process, one of the greatest worries a client has is the anxiety of attending a court ordered hearing. In bankruptcy this hearing is called the Meeting of Creditors, or 341 Meeting. Believe it or not, this meeting is nothing to stress out about. In fact, as a bankruptcy client, you should look forward to it. I bet you’re wondering why I think you should be so excited about the 341 Meeting. Here’s why:
- It won't take long. Most 341 Meetings only last about 5 to 10 minutes. The trustee assigned to your case will usually ask a few questions regarding your case. The questions they ask will be very simple, and will not be asked in a way that is meant to trick or deceive you. For example, the Trustee might ask you if you are required to pay child support or alimony. Many of the questions asked by the Trustee simply require a “yes” or “no” answer.
- There's only one of them. In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, there is only one meeting that you will need to attend (the 341 Meeting). After that, all that’s left to do is wait for the court to issue your discharge notice. The discharge notice marks the end of your bankruptcy case.
- In most cases, your creditors won't show up. They will miss their last chance to ever talk to you about your debts. This meeting is a chance for creditors to ask any questions regarding your debt with them, but the good news is, they usually don't show up. Even in those rare cases where a creditor does show up, an attorney will be there with you to support and assist you all the way.
- An attorney will be there with you. If you have any questions or concerns there is no need to stress because an attorney will be there next to you supporting you with any issues that may come up. This is the very definition of attorney representation, and is a cornerstone of the attorney-client relationship. In fact, this is why you hired an attorney to assist you with the bankruptcy process. To help you relieve some stress and rely on the your attorney’s professional help.
- It’s usually the last "appointment" in your case! After your short 341 meeting very few cases require any more appointments. You will simply wait another two to three months to receive your discharge notice in the mail.