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Tips about Appearing at the Bankruptcy Meeting of Creditors Also Known as the 341 Meeting

Posted by attorney Dorothy Bunce

Get the documents the Trustee requires to your attorney or the Trustee as soon as possible. Don't try to chisel with the documents. This is no time to cut corners. If you need to provide bank records from March 1 through May 5, it isn't acceptable to provide the records from March 2 though May 4. If there's one time in your life to really dot your i's and cross your t's, this is it. This is your financial Olympics, World Cup and Miss Universe Pageant all rolled into one. Make it count!

Don't bring your children or your grandchildren to the meeting. It won't be fun for them, and it won't be fun for the court staff. Kids are cute in funny home videos, not bankruptcy court.

When the Trustee asks you a question, listen before answering. The Trustee isn't interested in hearing excuses or explanations or your stand-up comedy routine. I know, because he's not interested in my excuses, explanations, or stand-up comedy routine either. He just wants to get us done and then on to his next case.

And, needless to say, be prepared for the meeting. Don't expect court to stop while you rifle through your paperwork like a raccoon. There are other people waiting for the Trustee to call their cases, and like you, they want to get out of court as quickly as possible.. If you don't understand a question, it is OK to say that you don't understand, but don't play dumb. You will just be inviting more and more questions and annoying everyone.

Finally, always answer the questions honestly. A dishonest answer will introduce you to the angry side of the judge and the Trustee in no time. Not fun at all.

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