If you have decided to petition for bankruptcy protection, you will attend the 341 meeting and provide your 521 documents shortly after you file.
What does all this mean and what should you expect to happen at the meeting?
Understanding the 341 meeting
The 341 meeting, also called the meeting of creditors, gets its name from section 341 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. Although creditors rarely appear, they may attend and question you about your finances. However, from your point of view, this meeting is important because it is here that you will meet the trustee from the Office of the U.S. Trustee who will take charge of administering your bankruptcy case.
The trustee will ask questions that will help him or her manage your case in as efficient and effective a way as possible. You must answer these questions truthfully under penalty of perjury. The trustee will also want to make sure you understand both the positive and the negative consequences of filing for bankruptcy protection.
Providing 521 documents
Prior to your appearance at the 341 meeting, your attorney will have provided the trustee with the 521 documents, so named because section 521 of the United States Code lists the requirements. Standard documents include your tax returns, bank statements and paycheck stubs, but your trustee may also want other documents such as property deeds, vehicle loan documents and marital settlement agreements, if applicable.
There is no need for you to worry about the 341 meeting, which usually lasts just a few minutes. Consider it a short but productive stop as you make your way toward a brighter financial future.