When you file for bankruptcy, you will have to attend this meeting along with your attorney and your trustee. It may sound a bit scary, but the 341 meeting is not as arduous an event as you might think.
At this first meeting of equity security holders and creditors, you as the debtor must appear and answer questions under penalty of perjury. The examination enables the trustee to better understand your circumstances and to begin an efficient administration of your bankruptcy case.
You may feel somewhat relieved to know that the 341 meeting does not occur in the presence of a judge. The trustee assigned by the United States Trustee is in charge of conducting the hearing, which will only last a few minutes. Your creditors will receive notification of your filing for bankruptcy, and while they may decide to attend, they usually do not; they do not waive their rights if they choose not to appear. Under oath, you will answer questions about subjects such as your assets, liabilities, financial circumstances and conduct in handling your debts. Remember that your attorney will be with you; you do not have to manage this hearing alone.
What not to do
The one thing you must not do is fail to appear at the 341 meeting. If that should happen, or if you appear but do not answer the questions asked, the trustee can request the dismissal of your bankruptcy case. The court could also order you to cooperate with the trustee or else hold you in contempt.
Part of the process
Think of the 341 meeting as a natural part of the bankruptcy process. Completing this meeting brings you one step closer to resolving your debt, removing that dark cloud hanging over your head and heading off on the path to a much brighter future.