After the debtor files either a Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the debtor will receive notice of when the first meeting of creditors is scheduled. The first meeting of creditors is held approximately 45 days after filing the bankruptcy petition and schedules. The meeting of creditors is also referred to as a 341 meeting after section 341 of the Bankruptcy Code.
The purpose of the meeting is to examine the debtor regarding the petition and schedules that was filed, and to allow creditors the right to question the debtor. The 341 meeting is fairly informal but the debtor is sworn in and required to tell the truth. Attendance by the debtor at the 341 meeting is required. Bankruptcy Judges are not allowed to be present at the 341 meetings. The trustee assigned to the debtor’s case will administer the oath to the debtor and ask for the debtor’s picture identification and social security card. The trustee will question the debtor about certain assets, whether anyone owes the debtor money, whether the debtor expects an inheritance, whether the debtor listed all assets and debts, etc.
Additionally, if the debtor filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the debtor will be required to read and complete forms and the Trustee will review the proposed plan to ensure the debtor understands the plan. Typically, the 341 meeting last about 5 to 15 minutes. Most of the time creditors do not come to the 341 meeting because they do not need to be present at the meeting to file an objection.