I paid a lawyer just to file a chapter 7 for me but I will attend by myself and do not want to have any surprises
The questions will vary a bit from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but you can probably count on at least the following: Has anything changed since you filed your petition? (moved, got/lost job, etc.). Did you read the petition before you signed it? Is everything in the petition correct? Does anyone owe you any money? Did you list all your creditors? You will need to bring your current photo ID (normally a driver's license) and either your Social Security card or a document other than a tax return with your full SS# on it - a pay stub, W-2, insurance card or something similar. The bulk of the time will be waiting for your name to be called. The hearing itself will normally be no more than 5-10 minutes. Here's a link to a good article about the 341 hearing in general: http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/the-bank...
You need to talk with the BK attorney who prepared your BK petition as each jursidiction is different. It will do no good for me to tell you what Oregon BK trustees ask. Be sure to read the "bankrupty notice" and bring all documents mentioned. At bare minimun you need to bring your SS card, your driver's license, your last 2-months of payroll checkstubs, you last 2 bank account statements, your 2012 state & federal tax return. Good luck.
I liked Ms. Rodriguez's answer the best. THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO REMEMBER IS TO BRING YOUR DRIVER'S LICENSE AND SOCIAL SECURITY CARD (or other official document with your full social - no copies allowed). Second, you need to make sure you sent the trustee a copy of your last filed tax return 7 days prior to your 341a. Take a copy with you in case the trustee does not have it for one reason or another. If you owe child or spousal support, you will have to fill out an additional form with the payee's name, address and phone number (make sure you know this if applicable). If a paralegal helped you, you will have to fill out an additional form, which you will find on a table towards the front of the meeting room on the left. A couple trustees, Kosmala & Naylor, have an additional questionaire to complete. Those will also be on the same table.
Remember, driver's license, social security, taxes & good luck! Shoot me an email if you have further questions.
The meeting is short. They will have basic questions like did you read your petition? Is it accurate? What made you file? If anything is inaccurate tell the trustee as soon as you sit down when called. Other questions are based upon specific facts of your case and you will have to answer the questions when asked. Bring a photo ID and your social security card. Creditors may appear but it is infrequent
First, a lawyer should not be just getting paid to file the chapter 7 petition. The trustee assigned to your case may ask who helped you prepare the bankruptcy petition and how much you paid them. Bankruptcy petition preparers are only allowed to charge you $150, so if you paid more than that . . . . . . . . . whoever helped you could have a problem. I have many a time witnessed the United States Trustee send an attorney to a 341 hearing to ask about the preparation of a pro se bankruptcy petition.
Second, just tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth and you will not have any problems, unless the person you paid to prepare the petition, who did not want to put their name on it, made mistakes and left you holding the bag. I hope that is not the case and it goes smoothly though.
Ryan C. Wood is a Bay Area bankruptcy lawyer and has been practicing exclusively bankruptcy law in California since 2007. Mr. Wood formerly worked for David Burchard, Chapter 13 Trustee for the Santa Rosa and San Francisco Divisions of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California. West Coast Bankruptcy Attorneys has filed hundreds of bankruptcy cases and has an “A” rating by the Better Business Bureau.
341 (a) Meeting of Creditors in California:
a. If you are unable to make this meeting, please advise your attorney to arrange a continuance. Trustees “usually” allow you to miss one hearing if there is a proper reason. If you do not attend your first 341(a) meeting, you MUST attend the second/continued hearing. If you miss two meetings your case will be dismissed.
b. You MUST bring (i) your Social Security Card and (ii) Current Driver’s License. Without these two documents, the Trustee will refuse to examine you.
c. There will be another 25 to 30 people schedule during the same hour that you are scheduled. You will be on a calendar and your case will be called according to where you are listed on the calendar. There is no magic formula as to how long you will be there. We recommend that you take off a half day of work, morning or afternoon depending on the time of the hearing.
d. You should get there early and listen to the Trustee ask questions of other debtors to be better prepared. Each Trustee is a little different.
Most examinations will proceed as follows:
i. You will be asked for your driver’s license and social security card, so have them out and ready to go.
ii. You will be asked your name and address. If you have moved, tell the trustee your new address.
iii. You will be shown the “Notice of Commencement of Case” and you will be asked if your social security number is correct.
iv. The trustee will then ask you a series of questions “under oath” of this nature:
“Did you read the petition and schedules before you signed them?”
“Are you familiar with the contents therein?”
“Did you list all of your assets, wherever located?”
“Did you list all the people you owe money to?”
“Is everything you have stated in your petition, schedules and statement of financial affairs true and correct?”
“Do you wish to make any changes?”
“When was the last time you used a credit card and for what purpose?”
“Did you read the Green Pamphlet?” (The Green Pamphlet can be found on the table in the meeting room. You should read it when you first arrive. It was written by the Office of the United States Trustee and provides additional information about the bankruptcy process).
v. If you have a home, the trustee may ask how you arrived at the value of the house, when you purchased it, etc.
vi. If you have a car, the trustee may ask you if you have taken the necessary steps with the lender to reaffirm (i.e. keep), or surrender the vehicle. (Whatever needs to be done with reference to your vehicle should be taken care of prior to the hearing).
vii. If the Trustee has no further questions or requires no further information, he/she will state “I have no further questions” and he will excuse you.
That will complete your 341(a) Meeting.
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