The Meeting of Creditors is typically the only mandatory appearance most debtors will have to make in their bankruptcy proceeding. While it is a short and usually uneventful occurrence, it is a court hearing nonetheless and all answers are provided under oath and must be truthful and accurate. The bankruptcy trustee assigned to the case will call each case by the debtor’s name, verify the identity of each debtor with their driver’s license and social security card, check any other documents that were requested to be provided at the Meeting (for example, recent post-petition paystubs and file date bank statements), swear-in each debtor under oath to provide truthful testimony under the penalty of perjury, and then ask a series of mostly yes-no questions. Many questions asked at the Meeting of Creditors will repeat information that was already disclosed in the bankruptcy petition and schedules.
These are some of the common questions asked by the Chapter 7 trustee at the Meeting of Creditors in Minnesota (note: the questions asked at a Chapter 13 Meeting of Creditors are similar to this list but may be more extensive):
- State your name and current address for the record.
- Have you read the Bankruptcy Information Sheet provided by the United States Trustee?
- Did you sign the petition, schedules, statements, and related documents that were filed with the court?
- Did you read those documents before you signed them?
- Are you personally familiar with the information contained in those documents?
- To the best of your knowledge, is the information contained in those documents true and correct?
- Are there any errors or omissions to bring to my attention at this time?
- Are all of your assets identified on the schedules?
- Have you listed all of your creditors on the schedules?
- Are you married? Have you ever been married? If you are recently divorced, the trustee may also ask if you have any money or property still owed to you from the divorce.
- Have you ever filed for bankruptcy before? If yes, when, where and what type?
- Are you employed in the same job as when you filed bankruptcy?
- Do you have a domestic support obligation, such as child support or alimony?
- Do you own or have any interest whatsoever in any real estate? If yes, you may also be asked when did you purchase the real estate, did you take any equity out of the property in the past five years?
- Have you given away any property or given any property within the last two years? If yes, what did you sell, how much was it worth and to whom did you sell it?
- Do you have a claim against anyone or any business?
- Are you the plaintiff in any lawsuit?
- Do you have the right to sue anyone in a lawsuit?
- Does anyone owe you money?
- Has someone died and left you an inheritance? The trustee may also mention that if anyone dies in the next six months and you inherit something, it could become “property of the estate”. This means that you must report any such inheritance to your attorney and to the court.
- In the 90 days prior to filing bankruptcy, did you pay any one unsecured creditor more than $600? If yes, the trustee may want to know how much you paid total, to whom and may request to see copies of the checks/payments.
- In the past six years, have you run any business? If yes, the trustee may ask questions about the nature of the business, what assets the business owns and what happened to the business if it is no longer operational.
Keep reading for more information on What Happens after the 341 Meeting of Creditors is Over…
Located in Edina, Minnesota, Lynn Wartchow represents consumer bankruptcy clients in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 filings in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Ramsey and Hennepin County, and throughout Minnesota.