Bankruptcy Basics: What is a Meeting of Creditors?

by Karen Oakes, Esq.

March 12, 2007

Once you have filed for bankruptcy under either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 of the United States Bankruptcy Code, the bankruptcy court clerks will assign a case number, a trustee (someone who is now in charge of your case), and a date for what is commonly known as a “meeting of creditors.” This meeting is also sometimes called a “341(a)” meeting. You must attend that session. Most likely, your attorney will also attend that session, along with the trustee assigned to your case. During that session, the trustee asks a series of questions to find out if you have assets that were not listed on your bankruptcy schedules, whether you have transferred property both before or after bankruptcy, and whether or not you have any amendments or changes you need to make to your bankruptcy schedules. The meeting generally lasts anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes. It is designed to be a time where creditors can come and ask questions about your assets or your ability to repay any of your debts–most of the time, the only people who show up are the trustee, you, and your attorney. However, sometimes, an unhappy creditor will appear and want to ask lots of questions. Your attorney will protect you from illegal or unwarranted questions. At the conclusion of the meeting, the trustee will likely inform you and your attorney about his/her position on whether your case has assets or not.

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I'm a consumer protection lawyer in Oregon, working with people in Klamath; Lake; Jackson; Josephine; Curry; and Deschutes County. I speak regularly on bankruptcy and consumer protection issues nationwide.

Last modified: March 12, 2007