In every single bankruptcy case, be it Chapter 7, 11 or 13, there is an initial meeting at the bankruptcy court called the Meeting of Creditors. In consumer cases under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, the purpose of the meeting is for the court-appointed trustee to review the case with the debtor by examining the debtor under oath.
Section 341 of the Bankruptcy Code provides for this hearing, which is why it is often referred to as the "341 Hearing."
The Bankruptcy Rules Provide the Time Frame For Holding the Meeting of Creditors
Although the 341 hearing is usually held about a month after the petition is filed, it can sometimes be held much earlier than that, and other times, much later.
Bankruptcy Rule 2003(a) sets forth the time parameters for the 341 Hearing:
In a Chapter 7 or Chapter 11 case, the meeting must be held no fewer than 20 days, and no more than 40 days after the date the petition is filed.
However, in a Chapter 13 case, the meeting shall be held no fewer than 20 days, and no more than 50 days after the date of filing.
When the bankruptcy court is operating very efficiently, meetings tend to be sooner. When the court is overburdened, or trustees are taking vacations, the time frame is longer.
When the there was a massive rush of bankruptcy filings in September and October 2005 because consumers were anxious to file their bankruptcy petitions before the bankruptcy laws were about to change, the bankruptcy court could not accommodate the great number of cases, and most debtors
There's Lots of Information About Preparing for the Meeting of Creditors on my Bankruptcy Blog
One of the biggest concerns my clients have is how to prepare for the meeting of creditors and what to do about going to the bankruptcy court for the very first time. As such, I have written extensively about this. Links to the following helpful articles are below: