What Happens in a 341 Meeting?

What is a 341 Meeting?
[Questions, comments can be sent to the Law Office of Malik Ahmad]

Typically 60 days after the filing of your chapter 7 petition, a trustee’s meeting is held. It is also called creditors meeting. This, in many cases, can be the only encounter a debtor may have with the bankruptcy court and system if there is no problem found in his documentation by the Trustee. However, if there is anything missing in the documentation, the trustee may extend the 341 meeting for another sessions usually one more week. This meeting is usually called 341 Meeting. The basic idea behind this meeting is to give various parties a notice and a chance to examine the debtor and examine him/her financial affairs. It is also the occasion for the trustee to analyze in details the various schedules, debts and liabilities of debtors and if to further proceed with his list of exempted assets and also to decide if trustee need to abandon any property. I have seen Trustee yelling at some of the novice attorneys who are sent by the big production bankruptcy mills to represent their cleints only in 341 meeting. In my last session, this trustee was continuously yelling at a newly licensed attorney by saying. “Mr. you have to get invovled in these paperwork. I don’t care if you get hired recently.”

The debtor must provide to the trustee, at least, and again each trustee in Nevada has different version of these rules, and on request can send the debtor the things which they generally require. However, the following things are invariably required by trustees in Las Vegas:
– Federal income tax return most recent.
– Written request that the above document does not exist. An extension, if filed.
– Debtor must produce an identification, or driver license
– Evidence of debtor’s social security card. Generally a documentation for verification of social security card is filed with signature of the borrower.
– Evidence of current income or a profit and loss statement.
– Latest bank statement
– Documentation of monthly expenses
– A questionnaire filled and signed by debtor

Despite its name, the creditors rarely appear in these 341 meeting of creditors in a consumer bankruptcy. However, if someone attends, no need to be panicked, they usually attend out of ignorance and think that their presence is mandated by law. Sometime creditors shows up to find some information for discovery purposes. This meeting is conducted by the trustee. It may last from 3 minutes to 30 minutes. Some time a representative from the department of justice shows up with his/her own selective questions. The bankruptcy judges are not permitted to attend the trustee’s meeting. However, judges involved if there are disputes regarding any of such meeting. These are relaxed meetings as to the application of evidentiary rules. The trustee has no power to rule on any question concerning the stay, discharge, or any other dispute between a creditor and the debtor.

What happens after this meeting?
It all depends if there are any substantial assets in the bankruptcy estate that are neither exempt nor encumbered and that are thus available for the unsecured creditors. As we stated earlier, the trustee is the in charge of all the property of the debtors and collectively it is called estate. The debtor however remains in charge of the exempted property. While we are here, we may address the issues of abandonment as well. Abandonment can be sought by a motion to reclaim any property. It usually occurs after the end of the case. The trustee generally abandons all property in which there is little or no nonexempt equity by declining to administer the property and closing the case. When the property is abandoned, the trustee in effect disclaims interest in such property. The ownership of such property reverts back to the debtor. This restores his status to ownership prior to filing of the bankruptcy.

Liquidation of nonexempt property
If an estate has more than normal assets, the property can be liquidated. Also, the debtor can offer a nominal or fair value of such property to trustee and buy it back from the trustee. The trustee do not like headache and go through the cumbersome process of liquidation and prefer to sell back to the debtor in such cases.

How Law Office of Malik Ahmad can help you?
Please send us any question, we gladly reply via email. In most cases, there is no charge for consultation fee. However, we charge for pulling your credit report which again is charged by the credit bureus and not by us.

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