About one month after a bankruptcy case is filed the debtor must attend a court hearing and meet the bankruptcy trustee. Sometimes this hearing is called the “Meeting of Creditors” because creditors have the right to attend and ask questions, although they rarely do. Lawyers call this hearing the “341 Hearing” because is required under Section 341 of the Bankruptcy Code.
Most hearings take about 2 to 5 minutes to complete. Larger business hearings may take longer. For Chapter 7 cases the court will randomly appoint one of Nebraska’s six Chapter 7 Trustee’s to the case. We never know what trustee will be assigned to the case in advance.
The Trustee will typically ask the following questions:
- State your name and address.
- Show me your photo identification and proof of your social security number.
- How many people live in your home?
- Have you filed bankruptcy before? If so, when? Was it a Chapter 7 or 13?
- Do you own any real estate? When did you purchase the property? How did you value the real estate? Appraisal?
- Does the government owe you a tax refund? If so, how much? Did you receive the refund before or after your case was filed? How much did you receive last year?
- Do you own a vehicle?
- Did you list all of your debts in the bankruptcy?
- Did you list all of your property on the bankruptcy schedules?
- Did you list all your income and expenses on the bankruptcy schedules?
- Do you own a business? If so, are you incorporated? Do your customers owe the business money? If so, how much?
- Do you expect an inheritance in the next 6 months?
- Have you transferred any property in the last year?
- Have you transferred or sold any real estate in the past 5 years?
- Have you claimed the Exemptions you are entitled to under state law?
- Did you get a copy of the US Trustee’s Information Sheet?
- Have you paid any creditor more than $600 in the past 90 days?
- Have you paid any relative or business partner in the past year? (Think hard about that tax refund. Did you repay family loans with the refund? Don’t do that before bankruptcy.)
- What were the colors of your wedding? (Believe it or not, one of our Trustee’s thinks this is a funny question!)
Image courtesy of Flickr.
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