How Can Someone Prepare For The 341 Meeting Of Creditors?
Preparation is a good idea, and it doesn’t have to be a huge ordeal. In fact, it’s considered unethical if your lawyer spends too much time “preparing” you for the meeting. Certainly, regarding the questions to expect, it’s obviously important to be honest because you are testifying under oath. But your attorney will give you an idea of what questions to expect, to avoid any potential confusion about what the answer might be and to ensure that you are answering the questions correctly and honestly.
However, your attorney shouldn’t over-prepare you for the 341 meeting and coach your answers, which would be what’s called “woodshedding.” This is considered unethical, but certainly, your attorney should give you an idea of what to expect. I tell all of my clients that everyone is nervous when they go in for a 341 meeting, but 10 minutes later, when it’s over, they feel a little bit silly for being so nervous because it’s a simple and straightforward meeting. There are no real gotcha questions going on; and if you’ve hired an attorney with a good reputation, the trustee knows he won’t have to dig deep to try to find some nefarious thing going on or some hidden asset.
At What Point In The Bankruptcy Process Does The 341 Meeting Generally Take Place?
The 341 meeting is held about 30 days after the case is filed. Under the Bankruptcy Rules of Procedure, it has to be no earlier than 21 days and no later than 50 days from the date of filing, and on average, it’s about 30 days after.
What Is The Role Of Your Attorney At The 341 Meeting Of Creditors?
Your attorney cannot testify on your behalf, and all that means is your attorney can’t answer for you. But if you don’t know something off the top of your head or you are confused about the question, the attorney is going to be sitting right there at the table with you, and can help you answer the question. I typically have a copy of the petition with me at the table next to my client; and if a trustee asks, “What do you value your house at?” and if my client’s forgotten since we filed the case, I’ll open the petition to that particular page and say, “Did we put the value at X, do you recall us talking about this?” and he or she will say, “Yes, okay, that’s the number,” and then we go forward.
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