What Actually Happens at a Chapter 7 Meeting of Creditors?

One of the requirements of Chapter 7 bankruptcy is that you must eventually appear to answer questions under oath at a hearing. That hearing is called the Section 341 “Meeting of Creditors” . For the average Chapter 7 Meeting of Creditors, there are not a lot of creditors. In fact, if you have filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy and you don’t owe money to individual people, then it’s likely that no creditors will be present at all. If you are the President of a small corporation, then yes, creditors will likely appear at your Meeting of Creditors. But if you don’t own a small company and you don’t owe money to individual people, then it’s likely that you will have just one person who will ask you questions. That person is known as the Chapter 7 Trustee.

So then, what questions does the Trustee ask? Basically, the Trustee has a list of about fifteen questions to be asked in every Meeting. First, the Trustee wants to see your identification (drivers license and Social Security card). Then the Trustee will ask that you swear the oath to tell the truth. Your Meeting will be audiotaped, so you must keep your voice up to be heard. Then the questions begin. Your name and address is first. Have you lived in Pennsylvania for the past 5 years? Did you read and understand the bankruptcy papers that your attorney filed? Did you list all of your assets and liabilities? Do you own any real estate, and if so, how much is it worth? Did you transfer any property in the past 5 years to any family members or business associates? Have you borrowed money from family members or business associates in the past five years and then repaid them? Do you pay child support or alimony to anyone? Have you filed all of your tax returns in the past four years? Do you have any legal claims such as personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits that you either have filed or could file? Do you expect to receive money from an estate or life insurance policy in the next six months? Finally, what is the reason for filing your bankruptcy case?

If you’ve owned a business in the recent past, expect some questions about whether you are still owed money from customers? Or whether you still own property from the business.

But there you have it—those are the questions to expect in the typical Chapter 7 Meeting of Creditors.

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