Perhaps the largest source of anxiety with declaring bankruptcy is the court appearance called the 341 meeting of creditors. Appearing in court can be considered an unpleasant experience by some, however, the 341 meeting isn’t your normal court appearance and shouldn’t be feared. The 341 meeting can be viewed as a one-on-one conversation between yourself and the bankruptcy trustee assigned to your bankruptcy case. Your bankruptcy attorney will also be allowed at the meeting, but you as the debtor must answer the questions proposed by the trustee. While creditors listed in your bankruptcy are also allowed at this meeting, they very rarely show up and typically only do if they are contemplating an objection to discharge, there is an information discrepancy or the creditor is local and doesn’t know their attendance isn’t mandatory.
As a creditor looking to get paid on a debt, they can be extremely keen on the details of your bankruptcy. Any creditor that is listed in your bankruptcy case will receive a notification that you will be declaring bankruptcy and given instructions on how they can fill out a claim that will solidify the debt in the bankruptcy process. If a creditor has never had someone who owes them money file bankruptcy, they may be unsure if they need to show up and appear in court.
Believe it or not, many creditors don’t properly evaluate all the information that appears on your bankruptcy petition. Notwithstanding, if a savvy creditor does notice a discrepancy in the information you provided to the bankruptcy courts, it is possible for them to appear at your 341 meeting in an attempt to clear up the discrepancy.
Objection to Discharge
Bringing an objection to discharge is the most serious reason that a creditor appears at a 341 meeting and out of the three reasons, should give a debtor the most cause for concern. Unsecured creditors might attend the meeting in an effort to assess this court motion if there are questionable charges or cash advances on your credit account within 6 months of filing bankruptcy. The creditor doesn’t necessarily have to attend this meeting to file an objection to discharge, but it can happen.
Texas 341 Meeting
The most important thing to remember about your 341 meeting is that you are under oath, so answering the questions of the bankruptcy trustee and any other creditors that show up (if they show at all) honestly. As long as you don’t lie or try to mislead anyone, you will be fine and the meeting will wrap up with no further information being needed. Of course, the trustee may ask for additional supporting documents, so make sure you ask your bankruptcy attorney in Houston to prepare you for any questions the trustee or creditors may ask beforehand.