A Section 341 hearing, or “meeting of the creditors,” occurs after the petitioner has filed his or her bankruptcy petition as per the Bankruptcy Code. The petition contains information about your bankruptcy and personal finances, such as your assets (what you own) and liabilities (what you owe). Our offices files petitions electronically after the client has provided information, reviewed information and signed the papers. Once the petition is filed, the client will be assigned a date for a 341 hearing.
341 hearings for petitioners in the Southern District of New York (SDNY) who live in the Bronx or Manhattan take place at
One Bowling Green,
New York, NY 10004.
There are additional courthouses in White Plains, NY and Poughkeepsie, NY.
341 hearings for petitioners in the Eastern District of New York (EDNY) often take place at
225 Cadman Plaza East
Brooklyn, NY 11201.
Additionally, there is a U.S. District Courthouse for the Eastern District in Long Island.
You will be represented by a lawyer at your 341 hearing, which lasts only ten minutes. The official presiding and convening over the meeting is a trustee for the creditors. It is the trustee’s job conduct hearings, and, for some petitioners collects money or property for creditors, which the trustee represents. After the meeting, the trustee will usually send a letter to the bankruptcy judge recommending that the petitioner’s bankruptcy be discharged. In some cases, the trustee will collect additional information first.
About the meeting
Arrive early to the courthouse due to security screenings, which may take some time. Bring your valid government-issued photo ID and your Social Security card. Go to the floor that our office has indicated to you beforehand. Interpreters are available at no cost, but you must request an interpreter before your meeting. Please let the office know which language interpreter you need.
At the meeting, you will be asked a few questions. In general, they do not require long answers, and some are even “yes or no” questions. Some sample questions include:
- Is all of the information listed on your petition accurate and true to your knowledge?
- Did you read your petition before signing it?
- Have you listed all of your assets on the petition?
- Is the tax return your have provided with your petition your most recent return and is it accurate?
- Have you filed for bankruptcy before?
- Do you have any interest in real estate?
- Are you entitled to a life insurance payment or inheritance upon someone’s death?
- Do you have any winning lottery tickets?
- When you filed your petition, did you have any cash, bonds or stocks?
A longer list of questions that the Justice Department requires trustees to ask can be found here. The department allows trustees to vary their questions to some degree.
If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, then it is best to consult with a qualified attorney. Jayson Lutzky is a lawyer with an office in the Bronx, NY, who has over 34 years of experience. He handles personal bankruptcies. Call 718-329-9500 to set up a free in-office consultation.