At one time, you probably thought the day would never come when you would consider bankruptcy protection. Then the unexpected happened, and when debt began taking over your life, bankruptcy seemed the best solution.

Now that you have actually filed, there will be a few obligations to fulfill, and one of those is to attend a 341 meeting.

Title 11 namesake

The 341 meeting, also known as the meeting of creditors, takes its name from Section 341 in Title 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. It is this section that sets forth the requirement for a debtor to attend a meeting of creditors and holders of equity security. The meeting occurs in a location outside of court. No judge will be present. A trustee assigned to your case by the United States Trustee will conduct the hearing if you have filed Chapter 7, 12 or 13. If you have filed chapter 11, a representative of that office will be in charge.

The objective

The 341 hearing gives the trustee or representative the opportunity to meet you face-to-face and review the facts pertaining to your bankruptcy petition. He or she will ask you questions about your assets and liabilities, your current financial situation and other bankruptcy-related matters, and you must answer truthfully under penalty of perjury.

Creditors unlikely to appear

Although the 341 meeting is all about creditors, they usually decline the invitation to appear; their rights are not affected in any way if they choose not to come. Any creditor that does come, however, may question you about anything that is relevant to your bankruptcy. Note that as the debtor, you must appear. If you should fail to do so, you risk having your case dismissed.

At the meeting

You will only have to bring proof of your Social Security number and a photo ID. The meeting will not be difficult. It will only last a few minutes, and then you can put this obligation behind you.