Perhaps you have decided that your best course of action for getting out of debt is to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

You have taken the means test to confirm that you qualify, so once you have filed your petition, the next step is to prepare for the upcoming 341 meeting.

The meeting with your creditors

The name “341 meeting,” also called the meeting of creditors, comes from Section 341 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. This part of the Code requires you, as the debtor, to appear at a meeting where your creditors may question you about matters pertaining to your assets and your bankruptcy. Once the meeting is scheduled, your creditors will receive notification of the date. They rarely attend, however, because they do not relinquish their rights if they fail to turn up.

What to expect

The 341 meeting is usually set for a date between 21 and 40 days after you file your petition. The meeting takes place at a location outside of court, and the person in charge will be the trustee assigned to your bankruptcy case by the United States Trustee. The trustee will review your petition and ask questions—which you will answer under penalty of perjury—about your financial condition, your liabilities and anything else that will assist in the efficient administration of your case.

What to bring

Prior to the meeting, your attorney will probably have provided the trustee with standard documents, such as your bank statements and tax returns, the deed to your home and the title to your car. If so, you will only need to present a photo ID and your Social Security card. Be prepared to have those items with you.

Your attorney will accompany you to the 341 meeting. The hearing should not take more than a few minutes, and it will help to put you on the path to a brighter financial future.