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Understanding the 341 meeting for your bankruptcy case

Having money problems is not an ideal situation to be in. Unfortunately, many people in Tennessee and across the country find themselves struggling with debt due to high credit card balances, medical bills, job losses and other issues that leave them with far more liabilities than assets. You may fall into this group, and try as you might, getting back on financial track has not happened yet.

As a result, you have decided to move forward with Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Though the process may seem intimidating, it may be able to help you like it has helped numerous other individuals. Because you want to do your part to ensure that the process is as smooth as possible, you may want to prepare for your 341 meeting.

What does a 341 meeting involve?

After filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will need to attend a 341 meeting approximately one month after your filing. This meeting will involve you, the bankruptcy trustee assigned to your case, your legal counsel and any of your creditors who wish to be present, though it is optional for creditors to attend. This meeting takes place a few weeks after you file your petition so that the trustee can go over your information. The meeting will then allow everyone involved to go over the information together.

Often, this meeting allows the trustee to clarify certain information, ensure that the petitioner is not committing bankruptcy fraud and go over any exempt assets that will not be liquidated during bankruptcy. If any creditors attend, they can also pose questions about repayment, collateral associated with the loan and other related topics. You will also need to disclose any information about funds you may receive in the near future, such as from a lawsuit settlement, tax refund or inheritance.

How can you prepare?

Certainly, having to sit down and discuss your financial affairs in great detail can seem intimidating. Fortunately, you can prepare ahead of time and ensure that you have all your information in order and can readily answer any questions that may arise. Enlisting the help of a bankruptcy attorney can be invaluable during your legal proceedings, and your legal counsel can help you prepare for this meeting and attend to ensure that you understand everything going on and to protect your rights. Having this advocate can go a long way.

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