Anxiety and confusion are understandable emotions when filing for bankruptcy, especially when you're told that you must attend the "meeting of the creditors." Sounds scary doesn't it? But it's not as scary as it sounds and there's no reason to be anxious. The meeting of the creditors or 341 hearing is simply a meeting between the debtor, the debtor's bankruptcy attorney, the bankruptcy trustee and any creditors who want to attend. Don't worry, it's rare that creditors show up and if they do, they don't usually say much. At the meeting of the creditors the bankruptcy trustee will ask the debtor a few questions such as: "Are you aware of the consequences of filing bankruptcy? Do you understand what a bankruptcy discharge is? Do you understand the affect of reaffirming a debt?" The meeting lasts about 10 minutes and is generally pain free.
But if you're still feeling a little anxious about your meeting of the creditors, below are a few tips on getting through the process:
- Dress professionally. Don't show up to the meeting of the creditors in shorts, flip-flops or other casual attire, unless you want to make a bad impression on the bankruptcy trustee. Let the bankruptcy trustee know that you take bankruptcy seriously by dressing as if you were attending a job interview.
- Review the assets and liabilities in your bankruptcy case so that you can accurately and confidently answer the bankruptcy trustee's questions.
- Consider coming early so that you can see other debtors go through their meeting of the creditors. This will help you understand what will happen when it's your turn to meet with the bankruptcy trustee.