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What can you expect at a Chapter 11 meeting of creditors?

You made the decision to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy for your business. You have gone through the process of filing your bankruptcy petition with the court. Now the U.S. trustee is sending you a notice of a Section 341 Meeting of Creditors. What exactly is this meeting and what should you expect? Here are a few things you should know about the meeting of creditors in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy:

  • You must attend. Despite the name, this meeting is not just for the creditors and trustee in your case. You must also be there, but you may bring your attorney.
  • The purpose. This meeting gives the trustee and the creditors a chance to ask you questions about your property, your handling of the case, and your past actions.
  • You will be under oath. Technically, this meeting is not a hearing, but the trustee will swear you in and you will be answering under oath. You will also need to show I.D., including your social security card.
  • Duration. Usually, these meetings are brief.

Preparing for the meeting

Although it may not sound pleasant, you can prepare yourself for this meeting so you will have nothing to fear.

  • Gather the following documents: A photo I.D., your social security card, a copy of your bankruptcy petition and any other documents the trustee requested you bring.
  • Review your petition. Make sure you are familiar with everything on it so you can answer questions accurately.
  • Review for mistakes. If you see a mistake on your petition, you can amend it any time before discharge, but you should correct it before your meeting.
  • Correct any mistakes. If you do find a mistake, contact the court’s clerk for a blank form and ask for directions on how the court would like you to submit the correction. You will also need to sign a new declaration. File the form along with any fees, and make sure the trustee gets a copy.
  • Practice your answers. You can look online to find the questions the trustee must ask you, as well as other suggested questions. Practice your answers to these questions.

A meeting of creditors may seem frightening when you receive the notice in the mail. Now that you know what to expect, however, you can see that with a little preparation, you have nothing to be afraid of.

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