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What happens at a meeting of creditors?

When you file for bankruptcy, you will be required to attend a meeting of creditors. This hearing may also be known as a 341 meeting because of the number of the federal statute that requires it.

According to the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Columbia, instead of appearing before a judge in court, you will meet with the bankruptcy trustee. If you are filing for bankruptcy jointly with your spouse, you will both be required to attend the meeting. The meeting will occur approximately 20 to 40 days after you file your bankruptcy petition and generally will last ten to fifteen minutes. Many debtors are scheduled to appear on the same day, so you will have to wait your turn and there may be other debtors in the room while you meet with the trustee.

At the meeting, the trustee will go over your bankruptcy petition and ask you questions about your liabilities, overall financial situation, assets and any other information pertaining to your case. You will answer these questions under oath, so it is important that you be truthful or you will be committing perjury. The meeting also provides an opportunity for you to ask the trustee any questions you may have about the bankruptcy process.

While your creditors are not required to attend this meeting, they are able to do so. If a representative of a creditor does show up, he or she will also be able to ask you questions about your debts and finances that you must answer under oath. This information is provided for educational purposes and should not be construed as legal advice.

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