When you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the court assigns a bankruptcy trustee to oversee and administer your case. To verify the accuracy of the information in your bankruptcy paperwork, the trustee compares it against your supporting documents and examines you at a hearing called the meeting of creditors or 341 hearing.
Read on to learn more about what documents you should bring to the meeting of creditors.
The bankruptcy trustee must verify your identity and Social Security number before examining you at the meeting of creditors, so bring your government-issued photo identification and Social Security card. It's best to make sure you have what you need before the hearing, but if you don't, the trustee might accept the following:
If you forget to bring your identification or proof of Social Security number, the trustee will reschedule your hearing, and you'll have to return another day.
Your bankruptcy paperwork contains information about your income, assets, debts, and other financial affairs. To prove that all of the information in your bankruptcy petition is complete and accurate, you must provide certain supporting documents to the trustee.
The amount of documentation you must bring to your 341 hearing will vary depending on your trustee, the rules in your jurisdiction, and whether you are filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. But some of the most common documents you may have to bring to your meeting of creditors include your:
Also, it's a good idea to bring your complete bankruptcy petition and schedules with you to your meeting of creditors. If the trustee has a question about a specific item in your petition, you'd be able to address it more efficiently and accurately if you have a copy of your paperwork.
You must provide a copy of your most recent federal tax return, pay stubs, and bank statements to the trustee at least seven days prior to your first scheduled 341 hearing. Further, some jurisdictions require debtors to file some documents with the court. Also, your bankruptcy trustee might require you to send additional documents prior to your meeting of creditors.
Even if you already provided the trustee with all supporting documents prior to the meeting of creditors, bring copies of everything with you to the hearing in case the trustee requires an additional copy or you need to refer to a specific document.
If you've already filed for bankruptcy on your own and you're concerned about the 341 meeting, consider speaking with a local bankruptcy lawyer. Some bankruptcy attorneys will help you prepare for the meeting and attend it with you for a reasonable fee. Find out about the questions you can expect at the 341 meeting of creditors.
We wholeheartedly encourage research and learning, but online articles can't address all bankruptcy issues or the facts of your case. The best way to protect your assets in bankruptcy is by hiring a local bankruptcy lawyer.