Chapter 7 341 Meeting of Creditors
The Chapter 7 341 Meeting of Creditors
Where is the hearing?
Who is at the hearing?
What do I need to bring to the hearing?
All debtors must bring their social security cards (or proof of social security number via a W2, 1099, or government issued document) and picture identification (driver’s license, government ID) to their 341 hearings. The trustee will verify that the social security numbers and identifications match those on the bankruptcy petition. If you have a bankruptcy attorney taking care of your case, then you should have already provided her/him with a copy of your most recently filed tax return, which the attorney should have provided to the trustee. However, it is never a bad idea to bring a copy of your tax return to the hearing.
What kind of questions will the trustee ask me at the hearing?
If you own a business, the trustee will likely ask you about the nature of your business and whether your business owns any inventory or if you have any partners. Even if your business did not file bankruptcy, your interest in the business is considered an asset.
Finally, the trustee asks about your household income and household size. Part of the equation for determining if a person qualifies to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy is whether s/he meets an income requirement known as the means test. The means test is a worksheet that compares a bankruptcy debtor’s income to the average income in Dekalb County, Georgia for the debtor’s household size. If a debtor earns less than median income for his/her household size, then s/he may file Chapter 7.
However, if the debtor earns more than median income for his/her household size, then s/he must fill out the means test worksheet to determine if his/her expenses such as taxes, secured debt repayment, health insurance, transportation, and education expenses show that s/he does not have any disposable income with which to repay creditors. Thus, even if a person makes more than median income for his/her household size in Decatur, Georgia, s/he may still be able to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
How long will the hearing last?
In Atlanta, the hearings are usually scheduled 30 minutes apart and there are five to ten debtors on each calendar. Each debtor’s hearing typically lasts only five or ten minutes. Debtors who have complex cases that involve a significant amount of assets, transfers, or complex business ownership may have 341 meetings that last longer.
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