It can be intimidating to sit before a bankruptcy trustee when filing for bankruptcy, but this is a necessary step in all Chapter 7 cases. You will likely only have to do this once, though, which will take place during your 341 meeting of creditors. This meeting is designed for several purposes, and here are some of the things you should expect during it.
You will meet the trustee handling your filing
The first thing to know is that you will meet the bankruptcy trustee during this hearing, and this is the person appointed by the court to handle your case. The trustee is responsible for verifying the accuracy of your information and ensuring that you have completed the process in a way that is legal and thorough.
The trustee will verify your identity
When you meet the trustee, you will have to prove your identity before the meeting actually begins. To do this, you will need your state ID card or some other legal form of proof of identity.
The trustee will ask you to take an oath and answer questions
Next, you will have to take an oath to tell the truth, and it is important to know that lying during the hearing could be considered perjury, which is a felony criminal offense. After this, the trustee will begin asking questions, which may include the following:
- Have you ever filed for bankruptcy before?
- If so, did you receive a discharge, and what was the date of the discharge?
- Are you married?
- Do you work?
- Do you expect any windfalls of cash in the upcoming year?
Additionally, the trustee may ask you questions regarding the information you provided if something is not clear.
The trustee may ask for additional documentation
The goal of this hearing is to ensure that you qualify for bankruptcy and that you have completed your forms accurately and truthfully. If there are any questions that the trustee has, he or she may ask you to submit additional documentation. This may include submitting a title to a car you own or a receipt that shows you sold an asset that was of value. If the trustee asks for documents, you must get them to your lawyer within the next few days so he or she can forward them to the trustee. If you fail to provide the requested documents, there may be delays in your case, or the trustee could dismiss your case.
Although this meeting can be intimidating, you will have to go through it when filing for Chapter 7. To prepare for this meeting, talk to your bankruptcy attorney to learn more about what to expect.