When individuals file for bankruptcy, they may not necessarily have to meet with a judge. In the state of Pennsylvania, these people will need to go through a 341 meeting, where the debtor appears and answers questions from a group of trustees.
A lot of people think they have a good idea of the bankruptcy process. However, they tend to overlook the actual court date meant to relieve you of certain debts. Here is what you can expect during the 341 meeting.
You absolutely need to attend
You should have an attorney help guide you through your bankruptcy. Although your lawyer can attend many of the meetings without you, you need to be there for your 341 meeting. The reason for this is that the trustees will ask you questions about your debt. While your lawyer can help you answer questions, the trustees still need to hear from you. If extenuating circumstances are present, then you may be able to answer these questions via phone.
A trustee will be there
Everyone who files for bankruptcy gets a trustee appointed to her or his case. This person oversees all your financial information, including all materials submitted by your creditors. You will need to verify that all your debts are accurate and verify that no fraud has occurred in your paperwork.
Your creditors may show up
You should know what your 341-meeting date is roughly 50 days in advance. While creditors get an invitation, it is actually fairly rare that someone actually shows up. In the event a creditor does appear, a representative has the opportunity to discuss your debts. Most of the time, a creditor only appears if the company wishes to dispute an aspect of your bankruptcy case. Since bankruptcies happen all the time, creditors are generally too busy to attend, and they allow the trustee to handle all the details of a case.