If you have decided to file for bankruptcy, there are several tasks and responsibilities you have. Even a simple Chapter 7 bankruptcy involves a complicated legal procedure in federal court. One of the things you need to understand is the bankruptcy 341 meeting. This is a meeting between you, your creditors and the trustee. To ensure you are ready for this meeting, use the tips here.
You won’t make a very good impression on the trustee if you show up in cargo shorts or a cutoff t-shirt. Make sure to dress as if you are attending a business casual event. While you don’t need a suit and tie, you should show respect for the federal court system. Also, make sure to list your watches and jewelry in your bankruptcy. Your trustee is going to know if you “forgot” to list the necklace or watch you wear to the meeting.
Send Required Documents to the Trustee Early
It is important you send your documentation to the bankruptcy Trustee before the meeting. Be sure you send all documents – tax returns and 521 documents – ahead of time for your lawyer to review and submit a few weeks before the 341 meeting is scheduled. If the Trustee doesn’t receive the documents, it is going to be impossible to move forward with the case. This may result in an unnecessary delay to receive a discharge and additional work by attending a continued 341 meeting.
Bring Your Social Security Card and Driver’s License
Make sure you leave your cell phone in your vehicle, Most Federal Court buildings don’t allow civilians to bring their cell phones with them inside. To avoid the frustration of this, just leave it in your car.
Be Direct and Honest
There are certain required questions the Trustee has to ask. You can search online or ask your attorney to find out what they are. It is a good idea to do this, so you are prepared to answer honestly and directly. If you seem evasive, the Trustee may set a 2004 examination (essentially a deposition), which results in you having to miss more work and spend more money to defend the 2004 exam.
Make Sure to Provide Accurate Information
To have a successful case, you have to have accurate schedules. If you “forget” to list assets on your schedules, then the Trustee is going to assume you forgot, even more, assets and continue to hold a deeper investigation. Make sure you are honest from the very beginning. A quality lawyer is going to let you know what the Trustee may request. Even a single mistake may have your entire filing dismissed.
Don’t Miss the Meeting
If you miss the scheduled 341 meeting, the bankruptcy filing will be dismissed by the Trustee, and you will have to start the entire process again. The meeting is not optional. Even if your creditors don’t show up, your attendance is mandatory if you plan to move forward with the bankruptcy.
If you need help with filing bankruptcy or have questions, contact the Badgley Law Group. The professional staff is available to help with your case.