If you have chosen to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Florida, part of the process is meeting with your creditors, which is called a 341 meeting. The purpose of the meeting is for your bankruptcy trustee and creditors to review your payment plan and financial standing. Knowing what to expect at the meeting can help you better prepare for it. A Florida bankruptcy lawyer can assist you through the entire process of filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, including the meeting, to ensure everything goes as smoothly and fairly as possible.
When and where
You will have the meeting 21 to 50 days after filing for bankruptcy. This gives you enough time to gather all the documents you have to bring to the meeting, and it gives your bankruptcy attorney enough time to review all the paperwork. You will not be in a courtroom but in a normal meeting room with just you, the trustee and your attorney. Your creditors and their attorneys may come as well, though this is not common. The entire meeting usually lasts under 10 minutes.
What to bring
Meeting with your creditors takes preparation. It requires you to bring a photo ID, your Social Security number and documents to prove the information in your bankruptcy petition is correct. Evidence can include the following:
- Statements from financial institutions
- Tax returns
- Insurance cards
- Pay stubs
Your trustee may require additional documents depending on your case.
How it will proceed
The meeting will commence with confirming your identity and ensuring that you have read and signed all the paperwork. The trustee will then ask you a series of required questions concerning the accuracy of your documents, if this is your first time filing for bankruptcy, your employer's information and any child or spousal support you ar e paying.
The trustee then has the discretion to ask additional questions about your financial history, interactions, assets and other debts relevant to your case. It can be wise to review these questions with your attorney in advance so you will be prepared to answer them.
Your creditors will then have the opportunity to ask questions if they are present. If you do not have the necessary information to answer the questions of the trustee or creditors, you will have another meeting at a later date. This can also occur if you need to make any changes to your petition. Hiring a lawyer can ensure there are no inappropriate questions asked and that you do not make any avoidable mistakes.