26 Oct Important Dates in Your Chapter 13 Case
The Meeting of Creditors (the 341 meeting) is an important part of the Chapter 13 process. It is usually the only time the debtor needs to appear in the case. It is usually scheduled about a month after the petition was filed. The meeting is not a judicial hearing, even though it is often held in a courtroom. The Chapter 13 Trustee runs the meeting. The debtor (or debtors in a joint petition), and the debtors attorney must attend. Creditors or other interested parties have the right to attend, but rarely do. The meeting usually takes only a few minutes, and consists of the Trustee asking the debtor a series of questions about their petition, assets, liabilities, income and expenses.
If the debtor does not appear at the meeting of creditors, the meeting will usually be adjourned until the next scheduled date (In the Northern District of New York it is often adjourned for one month). An adjournment will delay the date of the confirmation hearing, but will not delay the date that the first plan payment is due to the Trustee. A non-appearance by the debtor, especially the second time, will trigger a motion by the Chapter 13 Trustee to dismiss the case. If the case is dismissed, and the debtor needs to refile, the automatic stay will only last for 30 days unless a motion to extend the stay is made, heard and granted within 30 days of the refilled petition.
On occasion, the Trustee needs to get more information before he or she can close the meeting of creditors. In this case, the meeting will be adjourned, which will also delay the confirmation hearing.
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