Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy requires attending a court hearing called a 341 meeting of the creditors. You and your bankruptcy lawyer must attend this meeting since it is required for all Chapter 7 cases. Here is some information to help you learn more about this meeting and the things that happen after it.
The Basics of the 341 Meeting
Once you submit your bankruptcy documents, you can expect to have your 341 meeting within approximately three weeks. This meeting is crucial, and you cannot skip it. During the meeting, you meet with a bankruptcy trustee, which is a court-appointed lawyer. The trustee's job is to verify all your information to make sure you are eligible for Chapter 7. The trustee also verifies all your financial details to determine how to proceed with the case.
The Role of the Trustee After the Meeting
Once you complete the meeting, the trustee gets to work on your case. During this time, they will verify all your assets, ensuring that you listed everything you own. They will also verify your debts and research any that you failed to list on your forms. They might also research lawsuits and other information that you might be involved in when you filed your case. The trustee's goal is to make sure that your information is correct and that you qualify for a discharge of debt. This process takes some time, and the trustee will only contact you if they need additional information.
Your Responsibilities After the Meeting
After attending the meeting, you might have a few responsibilities. The main one is to complete the second credit counseling course required by law. Before you can file, you must also complete a credit counseling course, but the trustee cannot offer a discharge unless you also complete the second one. Additionally, you will need to continue paying all your regular expenses after this meeting. If you fall behind on additional bills, you cannot change your case to reflect those new debts. Therefore, one of your main responsibilities is to continue paying your bills and properly managing your money after you file your Chapter 7 case.
You will not receive a discharge on your case until you complete every required step of the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process. If you would like to get started, contact a law firm that offers bankruptcy legal services. You can meet with a chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer to learn more.