Do I have to go to the courthouse?
Yes. You will typically have to go to the courthouse one time, for what is called a 341 meeting. This meeting takes place about 40 days after you file your Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. If you file Bankruptcy in Charlotte, NC, your meeting will be at the Federal Courthouse which is located uptown. It’s remarkably easy to get to and we will provide you with easy directions to it.
What is the meeting for?
The 341 meeting is a meeting of creditors. Despite that, your creditors do not often attend. Typically the individuals at the meeting will be you, your Charlotte bankruptcy attorney, and the bankruptcy trustee who is overseeing your case.
Will I be put on the stand and questioned?
You will answer some questions under oath, yes. The meeting takes place in a small conference room. You don’t have to take the stand. Either way, being under oath is nothing to fear. Your obligation is simple: be honest with the trustee in the same way you were honest with me and my firm leading up to the filing of your bankruptcy petition341 . And, we will prepare together for the types of questions you will be asked that day. Your bankruptcy attorney will be there to support you as well.
What types of questions will I be asked?
The trustee will ask you to confirm your address, your marital status and whether you’ve filed before. They will ask if you listed all your debts and if anyone owes you money. They will ask you about potential inheritance, and whether you stand to have a reward from a lawsuit if you have filed one. They are generally attempting to make sure the petition that was filed is an accurate portrayal of your financial situation. It’s my job to help ensure the answer is yes. That makes the 341 meeting easier for you, and shorter as well.
The trustee may also ask the bankruptcy attorney some questions. That is not uncommon. All parties are being asked to confirm that they are familiar with the contents of the petition and to tell the trustee if anything has changed since filing.
How long will it last?
The meeting will generally last about 10 minutes. Sometimes shorter, sometimes a little longer. Remember, weeks prior to this meeting when you filed your bankruptcy petition, your creditors stopped calling. After attending the 341—a very important step—you will receive your discharge in about 60 days. That means that in addition to the creditors no longer calling you, your obligation to repay the debt included in the bankruptcy is completely extinguished. Your fresh financial start has officially begun.
The process of going through a Bankruptcy can feel daunting. I can assure you that you are currently handling much more stress and anxiety than that involved with preparing for an attending a 341 meeting. You’re ready for this. Email me at [email protected] or call 704.749.7747 to talk about your options today.