The 341 Meeting of Creditors is usually the only formal appearance that a person filing for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy will have to make. It is usually a straight-forward meeting that is run by the Ch. 7 trustee on behalf of the creditors. Creditors are welcome to show up and question you during this meeting also, but they usually do not.
It is best to be under the care of a bankruptcy attorney when you file so that your petition and schedules are prepared correctly, so as not to draw the attention of the trustee. You also benefit greatly when you have your attorney present with you. No one else can appear with you – only a licensed attorney.
The Chapter 7 trustee will, after swearing you in, ask you a series of questions. Some of these questions are about the same for everyone, but some of them the trustee may ask based on his/her review of your bankruptcy petition and the associated schedules. Your attorney can tell you what you should expect as the meeting can be quite intimidating for folks that have not been through it. However, it is usually over in just a few minutes.
When you go, remember to have your gov’t-issued identification and another form of ID that proves your social security number. You must have both of these, or you may end up having to come back on another day.
In Northwestern Washington, we have 341 Meetings of Creditors in a wide range of facilities. If you are up near the Canadian border (Whatcom County, San Juan County, and part of Skagit County), you will likely end up at the Bellingham Four Points by Sheraton – in a conference room. If you are in Snohomish County, Island County, or the lower half of Skagit County, you’ll end up attending the Meeting of Creditors in Everett at Everett Station (the local train/bus terminal). If you end up in the Everett 341 Meeting of Creditors, get there a little early so that you can have time to park and walk in.
Tip – you might have to park on the far side of the tracks, and take the pedestrian overpass to get to the facility with the least amount of headaches. Parking can be tight at this facility as the Seattle and North Sound work force are heavy users of public transportation. We here at Westward LAW PLLC, and other bankruptcy lawyers I have spoken to appreciate both locations and feel lucky to not have to visit the federal courthouses in Seattle and in Tacoma very often.
To access our Bankruptcy website for the Snohomish County area, visit www.snohomishcountybankruptcy.com