341A Meeting of Creditors for Chapter 7

The purpose of a 341A meeting of creditors in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is to enable the trustee to assess the debtor’s declared assets and liabilities and identify any available assets for distribution to unsecured creditors after exempt assets are separated and non-exempt assets are liquidated.

For almost 20 years, I have been helping individuals file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and joining them for their 341A meeting of creditors. As an experienced bankruptcy attorney, I know whether I can get the debtor into a Chapter 7 using the means test. I also prepare my clients for their 341A meeting by understanding what the trustee will accept and what they will question.

Who will attend the meeting
It is mandatory that every debtor attends the 341A hearing. If you and your spouse filed for bankruptcy together, you both must attend the meeting. No judge will be present, so the appointed trustee will run the meeting. Your attorney will also attend. Every creditor on your petition will be invited to attend, but they usually don’t. The trustee represents the creditors, so they generally trust the trustee to handle their interests.

Where and when will the meeting take place?

The court will mail you a letter stating the time and date of your 341 hearing, usually 30-40 days after you file. The letter will also contain information about whether the meeting will be in person, by telephone, or by Zoom. Additionally, our firm sends emails with exact instructions to ensure you have time to ask any questions to prepare for the meeting.

What happens at the 341 Meeting
During a Chapter 7 341 meeting of creditors, the trustee's primary role is to assess the debtor's bankruptcy estate. The trustee focuses on identifying assets that can be liquidated to repay creditors. Assets with cash value, such as houses, vehicles, inheritances, and other valuables, are the primary focus of the trustee. The trustee evaluates these assets, determining which are part of the bankruptcy estate – the sum of the debtor's non-exempt assets and funds.

Intangible Assets
It's important to note that while tangible assets like real estate and vehicles are straightforward for trustees to appraise and sell, more obscure assets like cryptocurrency, NFTs, and domain names present challenges in terms of valuation and sale. Trustees, handling numerous cases monthly, may not have the resources to market and sell these niche assets. For instance, in the case of a recently closed company, a trustee would likely focus on physical assets over intangible ones like client lists or domain names. These items may hold value, but the trustee's primary concern is liquidating easily marketable assets to manage the bankruptcy estate efficiently. Even if you don't think an asset has value or is questionable, you MUST list every asset of potential value to the trustee. Let the trustee decide what they can sell and what they cannot.

The trustee's questions aim to create a comprehensive picture of the debtor's financial situation and identify assets for potential liquidation.

A list of what are typically the assets of most concern for the trustee: 
  • Cash and Bank Accounts: This includes all cash on hand and the balances in checking and savings accounts.
  • Real Estate: Any interest in wholly or partially owned land or buildings.
  • Vehicles: Cars, trucks, motorcycles, or other vehicles.
  • Personal Property: Household items, furniture, electronics, clothing, and jewelry.
  • Investments: Stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and retirement accounts.
  • Life Insurance Policies: Some types of life insurance with a cash value.
  • Legal Claims: Pending lawsuits or claims, like personal injury claims or tax refunds.
  • Business Interests: Ownership interests in businesses.
  • Intellectual Property: Copyrights, patents, trademarks.
  • Other Valuables: Artwork, collectibles, antiques.
Telephonic and Zoom Meetings
If you have never used Zoom before, test it before your crucial 341A meeting. The meeting will usually take about 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the trustee, but our team will be able to tell you what to expect. During a telephone or Zoom meeting, please keep yourself on mute until the trustee calls on you. Many people are in the meeting simultaneously, so please be considerate of everyone.

Continuation Meeting
When a trustee calls for a continuation of a 341(a) meeting, it typically occurs if the trustee needs additional information or documentation from the debtor to assess the bankruptcy estate fully. This continuation allows the trustee more time to review the debtor's financial situation, assets, and any claims made in the bankruptcy filing. It also gives the debtor and attorney time to hand over any lacking documents the trustee has requested. If you supply the trustee with the required documents with time to review them before the continuation meeting, the trustee will cancel the meeting if they are satisfied.

Section 341(A) Meeting Locations for Southern California
  • 915 Wilshire Boulevard, 10th Floor, Room 1, Los Angeles, CA
  • 411 West Fourth Street, 1st Floor, Room 1-154, Santa Ana, CA
  • 21041 Burbank Boulevard, 1st Floor, Suite 100, Woodland Hills, CA
  • 1415 State Street, 1st Floor, Room 148, Santa Barbara, CA
  • 3801 University Avenue, 1st Floor, Room 101, Riverside, CA
*There may be additional instructions on which floor and courtroom you will appear for your meeting. Telephonic and Zoom meetings will be conducted from your home.

Example Questions
These are example questions the trustee may ask you which reflect the above typical assets of concern for the trustee. The trustee can ask any questions that they find applicable. We include these example questions as many debtors become nervous about their 341 meetings, and example questions allow them to understand the process is not complicated and that the trustee is simply trying to verify the information on your Chapter 7 voluntary petition.

  1. Are you married?
  2. Who do you live with?
  3. Do you own an interest in real estate?
  4. When did you purchase it? What was the price?
  5. What is the balance on the mortgage?
  6. Are you expecting Federal or State tax refunds? If so, how much for each?
  7. Did you sell, give away, or dispose of anything worth more than 10k in the last four years? If so, what was it?
  8. Have you repaid any loans to any friends or relatives over $10,000? What?
  9. During the past year, have you been engaged in business?
  10. Are you currently suing anybody, or are you planning to sue anyone?
  11. Are you entitled to perceive any severance payments?
  12. Are you a trust or annuity beneficiary or expecting to inherit anything within a year?
  13. Have you ever created a trust, or have you ever transferred any assets to a trust?
  14. Do you have or are you the beneficiary of a  retirement plan that is not scheduled in your bankruptcy?
  15. Do you have or are you the beneficiary of a life insurance policy that is not scheduled in your bankruptcy?
  16. Have you had any winning lottery tickets within the last year?
  17. Did you rearrange your assets and/or finances in any way to prepare for your bankruptcy filing?  
  18. Do you currently have a claim pending with an insurance company?
  19. Are you expecting to receive any insurance proceeds?
  20. Are you represented by an attorney for any other matter besides this bankruptcy?
  21. Are you entitled to receive any residuals or commissions of any kind?
  22. Do you have funds in any account other than a bank account, including but not limited to PayPal accounts, cryptocurrency accounts, brokerage accounts, or prepaid credit cards?
  23. Are you expecting to receive any possible inheritance in the upcoming years?

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