Attending a Meeting of Creditors can be stressful for many clients. Your attorney will attend with you.
The Oregon Bankruptcy Court has produced a video of a mock Chapter 7 meeting that can be viewed by pasting this link into your web browser:
The section 341 meeting provides the United States Trustee, the standing bankruptcy trustee, creditors and other parties in interest the opportunity to ask questions of the debtor. These questions can more fully detail the debtor’s assets, liabilities, financial condition and conduct. In chapter 7, it is the standing trustees opportunity to determine if any assets are available for liquidation. In a chapter 13, it provides the standing trustees the opportunity to assess the debtor’s credibility and ability to perform under a plan. The section 341 meeting may also be the only time the debtor meets the standing trustee.
Currently, the Meeting of Creditors hearings are being conducted by phone due to the COVID pandemic.
All section 341 meetings must be electronically recorded. The presiding officer must ensure that the quality of the recording is adequate such that all comments can be clearly understood and the identity of all speakers can be determined. For up to two years after conclusion of the meeting, the United States Trustee is required to provide a copy or a transcript of the recording to any member of the public, at the requester’s expense.
A trustee is required to verify a debtor’s identity by reviewing a court-allowed form of photo I.D., such as a driver’s license or passport, and reviewing an allowed document with the debtor’s full social security number, such as a social security card or original W-2 form.
A trustee is required to ask debtors about transactions that have occurred in the 4 years prior to the bankruptcy filing. The mandatory questions are set out below.
Debtors are legally entitled to an interpreter provided by the court for the creditor meeting.
All debtors are required to appear at the meeting of creditors.
The section 341 meeting is a critical step in the successful administration of a bankruptcy case. It is an opportunity to educate the debtor on the bankruptcy process, and to allow parties in interest to question the debtor about his or her assets, liabilities, and financial condition. It is also an opportunity to identify potentially fraudulent activities by those who seek to prey upon debtors. The standing trustee, as the presiding officer at the meeting of creditors, performs a critical function in protecting the integrity of the bankruptcy system.