What Happens in the Meeting with the Bankruptcy Trustee? (Part 2)

These are not trick questions — you will readily understand what the Trustee is asking, and should be able to give a quick and simple answer.  His questions will be about your life and regular finances.  Every once in a while, I realize that my client is misunderstanding what the Trustee is asking, usually because of some information that is pertinent to their case.  In that situation, I will interject some remark to guide my client into responding to what the Trustee is actually asking about.

Keep in mind that the Trustee’s job is to protect the creditors and to get the most he can for them in the event you have money or other assets that are eligible to be divided amongst them.  Therefore, the Trustee’s questions in a Chapter 7 case will be geared towards assets you have which are not fully protected under state law exemptions.  If you do have unprotected assets, he will either liquidate them or you can come up with the money to pay off the unprotected portion and keep the asset.  The proceeds will be divided among the creditors.  Among those assets could be a claim for personal injury that is still in progress, where you stand to get an award from an insurance company to compensate you for your medical bills plus pain and suffering.  Another possibility of an nonexempt asset could be if someone in your family passes away within six months after the bankruptcy and  you are going to inherit.

In a Chapter 13 meeting of creditors, the emphasis is more on how the plan calculation will work, whether you’re devoting all of your income over and above your monthly costs of living, and whether you are accounting in your plan payments for the nonexempt equity in any assets.  The meeting may result in the Trustee suggesting certain changes be made to the proposed Plan, which will be done by your attorney.  Once you, your attorney, and the Trustee are in agreement with the terms of the Plan, your case will be on its way to the Judge for confirmation.

I hope this Blog has provided you with some useful information about what goes on during the 341 meeting.  Obviously, this is a simple explanation.  If you are thinking about filing bankruptcy and have questions regarding your own circumstances, you are welcome to contact me to discuss how the process would work in your case.

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About Barbara Horwitz

Barbara Horwitz is an experienced bankruptcy attorney helping people get past financial difficulties. She believes in creating a relationship with clients and is dedicated to making the bankruptcy process as easy and stress-free for clients.

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