If you have decided to seek Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy protection, you will attend the “341 meeting” soon after filing.
You will also have to provide “521 documents” to the bankruptcy trustee. This is a good time to review information from these sections in the United States Code.
A look at the basics
The 341 meeting, named after Section 341 of the United States Code, is also called the meeting of creditors. Your creditors may attend and ask you questions related to the bankruptcy proceedings. However, they rarely appear since they do not lose standing in your case if they choose to stay away. The meeting is important from your point of view because it is here that you will meet the trustee from the Office of the United States Trustee who will administer your case. The trustee will question you about your debts and current financial status. You must answer truthfully under penalty of perjury.
The 521 documents
Named for Section 521 of the U.S. Code, the 521 documents usually include bank statements, retirement account statements, mortgage statements and information about your domestic support obligations, if applicable. You must also submit 60 days of pay stubs. Your attorney will know which documents the trustee specifically wishes to see and will provide the paperwork on your behalf.
A look ahead
The 341 meeting will occur between 21 and 40 days after you file for bankruptcy. It will take place outside of court and no judge will be present. You will only need to bring a government-issued photo ID and proof of your Social Security number. The meeting only lasts for a few minutes, but it is an important stop on your way to a brighter financial future.