When you file either a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy you are required under federal law 11 USC Section 341 to attend a court proceeding known as the meeting of creditors or a “creditors meeting.” Your attorney will usually attend this court proceeding with you. At this proceeding you will be questioned by a Trustee, who is appointed by the bankruptcy court to question you, about your assets and determine if you have any non exempt assets he/she can seize and sell and distribute the money to your creditors. Most Trustees will question you for 1-5 minutes, unless you have a complicated case in which they could question you for 30 minutes or longer. Most judicial court districts have several different Chapter 7 Trustees.
Chapter 7 Creditors’ (341) Meeting:
Most Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceedings are “no asset” cases. In other words, there is nothing for the Trustee to seize if the bankruptcy petition was prepared correctly. At the creditor’s meeting the Trustee will question you about assets and review your bankruptcy petition. This is why it is important to have an attorney from Duncan Law to correctly prepare your petition and represent you at the creditors meeting. We are knowledgeable as to the proper laws to use to protect your assets from the Trustee and your creditors.
Most of the time your creditors will not appear at the creditors meeting. However, they do have the legal right to appear and question you about your assets and financial situation. We have learned from the thousands of cases we have filed that usually the persons that appear, if anyone does appear, is a disgruntled relative or someone you owe a small personal loan. They usually do not want to ask questions, but complain about how you should pay them the money you owe.
Occasionally someone will attempt to represent themselves in a bankruptcy proceeding. They have the legal right to do that. However, many times they will not prepare the bankruptcy petition properly. The Trustee could become frustrated because the bankruptcy petition is incorrect and lacking the proper laws and exemptions. Many times the Trustee will recommend to the court the case to be dismissed, which means the bankruptcy is thrown out and you still legally owe the debts. That is when people ask us to help them. The person would had saved themselves a lot of grief and problems if they had originally hired an attorney, such as Duncan Law, to prepare the bankruptcy petition correctly.
Chapter 13 Creditors’ (341) Meeting:
Next is the Chapter 13 bankruptcy creditors meeting. At this meeting you appear before the Chapter 13 Trustee. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy you are making monthly payments to the Chapter 13 Trustee to distribute this payment to your creditors. The Chapter 13 Trustee usually will “recite” your secured creditors at the meeting and either recommend confirmation (approval) of the Chapter 13 plan payments, modify your payments, or object to confirmation of your Chapter 13 plan. Like a Chapter 7, most of your creditors will not appear.