After the case has been filed, the Court issues a notice to all creditors and parties listed in the case advising them of the filing, the case number and the name of the trustee assigned to the case (in Chapters 7, 12, and 13). The notice also tells creditors the date of the meeting of creditors (the "341 meeting") the deadline for filing objections to the debtor's discharge or to the dischargeability of certain debts, and whether and where to file claims. The information in the notice varies with the Chapter of the case.
Complete Debtor Education
Under the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA), debtors are required to complete debtor education. (Approved Debtor Education Providers) Individual debtors and each spouse (in a joint petition) must complete a financial management course from an approved provider in order to meet discharge eligibility. It must be filed along with Official Form B23.
Attend § 341(a) Meeting
You will be required to attend a § 341(a) meeting of creditors. Section 341 of the Bankruptcy Code requires that the debtor attend this meeting so that creditors can question the debtor about debts and property. It is presided over by the trustee assigned to the bankruptcy case. A debtor is required to appear and testify under oath about his/her assets/ liabilities. If the case involves spouses filing jointly, both spouses must appear at the meeting of creditors. Failure to appear may result in dismissal of your case.
What to Submit Prior To The Meeting Of Creditors
You must submit to the Chapter 7 trustee assigned to your case the following :
1. A copy of the Chapter 7 petition (complete with all schedules and the statement of financial affairs) which bears a copy of the Debtor’s signature. Note: The petition should not reflect the Debtor’s signature as /s/.
2. Copies of all payment advices (i.e., pay stubs) or other evidence of payment received within 60 days before the date of the filing of the petition by the Debtor from any employer of the Debtor. (See Bankruptcy Code § 521(a)(1)(iv)). Note: If such payment advices are not available or the Debtor does not have payment advices then the Debtor should provide the trustee and file with the Bankruptcy Court a notarized affidavit of the Debtor explaining the circumstances.
3. A copy of the Federal income tax return (or a transcript of such return) for the most recent tax year ending immediately before the commencement of the case and for which the Federal income tax return was filed. You may request a copy of your tax return from the IRS website.
Note: The tax return or transcript must be provided to the Chapter 7 trustee no later than 7 days before the meeting of creditors. (See Bankruptcy Code § 521(e)(2)(A)(I)) The tax return or transcript should not be filed with the Bankruptcy Court.
The Chapter 7 trustees request that this information be provided as soon as possible after the petition is filed. The name and address of the assigned Chapter 7 trustee appears on the meeting notice. These requirements do not supersede or replace any of the requirements under the Bankruptcy Code, Bankruptcy Rules and Local Bankruptcy Rules.
What To Bring To The Meeting Of Creditors (All Debtors)
Each Debtor should bring to the meeting of creditors:
(a) original government issued photo identification and
(b) an original social security card or other original government issued document that reflects the Debtor’s social security number and
(c) copies of all documents submitted to the court
341(a) Meeting Locations
Chapter 7 and Chapter 13:
Central Islip Cases
Office of the U.S. Trustee
The United States Trustee Program recently began a Language Assistance Program (“LAP”), which provides telephonic interpreter services at Section 341 meetings to debtors with limited English proficiency. Debtors with limited English proficiency may request that the trustee provide a telephonic interpreter at their Section 341 meeting at no cost to them. Debtors wishing to take advantage of this free service are encouraged to contact the trustee in advance of the Section 341 meeting to minimize disruption of the meeting calendar. Please note that telephonic interpreter services are available only for Section 341 meetings.