One of the first things that happens in a bankruptcy case in Connecticut after the debtor has filed a petition, is a “Meeting of Creditors,” also know as a “341 Meeting” which refers to Section 341 of the Bankruptcy Code.
What happens at a 341 Meeting and what’s the experience like?
A 341 Meeting is a relatively informal meeting. It’s usually just the trustee, you and your lawyer. Any creditors are allowed and invited to attend. But typically they do not attend.
It’s common for debtors to worry about this meeting. Perhaps they imagine being grilled in a Perry Mason-like cross-examination about their debts and finances. But the reality is that these meetings are often very routine and go quickly too. The trustee just needs to ask some basic questions. Roughly six cases are scheduled to occur every half-hour. So you can imagine that the time spent on each case is rather short.
This doesn’t mean that you take a 341 Meeting for granted. But if you have an experienced Connecticut bankruptcy lawyer who is familiar with the trustees and the process, then you really have nothing to worry about. The key is just a matter of good preparation. This means your lawyer has done his or her job by filing a complete and well-thought-out bankruptcy petition. He has also discussed all the significant issues with you ahead of time. That way there are no surprises.
That said, it’s still not uncommon for people to feel nervous when they actually go to the meeting. A good tip is to arrive a little early. (Fifteen minutes is a good time, but also remember to allow enough time to find that sometimes rare parking space.) That way you get to see the trustee ask questions to other people before you. And you’ll get a sense of what it’s like. Seeing the process in person usually helps people relax.
If you’re thinking about bankruptcy in Connecticut, please contact me for a free initial consultation to get answers to all of your Connecticut bankruptcy questions.
Contact Attorney Melchionne
Eugene S. Melchionne, Esq.
27 First Ave.
Waterbury, CT 06710