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What is a meeting of creditors?

When you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, there are several items that must be addressed before your case is completed and your debt is dismissed. Once you are deemed eligible to file for Chapter 7, you must take the mandatory credit counseling course and file your bankruptcy documents with the court. The trustee appointed over your case will then schedule a meeting of creditors, also referred to as a 341 hearing, sometime between 21 and 40 days after the bankruptcy petition is filed. It is important that you understand what goes on during the meeting so that you can be prepared to answer any questions that may come your way.

Not only will the trustee appointed to the case be present at the meeting of creditors, but any creditors involved in the case are invited to attend as well. Creditors are allowed to ask questions regarding your bankruptcy, debt and property. Since you are under oath, it is critical that you answer all questions honestly.

The trustee will ensure that you have properly reported all of your property, and ask if you have accounted for everything in your estate. He or she may also ask if anyone owes you a large sum of money or if you have transferred property to anyone within the past year. It is the trustee's responsibility to recover as much money as possible for the creditors, and to make sure you understand the effect that filing for bankruptcy has on your credit score and future finances. The trustee then has 10 days following the meeting of creditors to report their findings.

This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice.



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