The Bankruptcy Trustee Runs the Show
If you are filing for bankruptcy in Georgia and live in the following counties – Carroll, Coweta, Fayette, Haralson, Heard, Meriwether, Pike, Spalding or Troup – the Bankruptcy Court in Newnan, GA will have jurisdiction over your case. That means all of your court proceedings will be governed by the Bankruptcy Judge and Bankruptcy officials assigned to the Bankruptcy Court in Newnan, GA.
Consequently, that means that your 341 meeting of creditors will also be held in Newnan, GA. Both the chapter 7 and chapter 13, 341 meetings are held in the Comfort Inn, located off of Georgia Highway 34.
The meetings are scheduled a few days after the filing of your bankruptcy case and are generally the only time when you will be required to meet with anyone other than your bankruptcy lawyer. They are mandatory and should not be missed unless you are ill. Missing your 341 meeting of creditors can cause your bankruptcy case to be dismissed.
The bankruptcy trustee conducts the meeting. The meetings are scheduled so that the trustee can see approximately 8 to 10 people per hour. Everyone who has a meeting scheduled at a particular time will likely be in the room with you along with an attorney to represent them. Often an attorney will have to meet with more than one client per 341 meeting.
At the beginning of the meeting, the trustee will call the calendar for the meeting to determine whether everyone is present and ready to move forward with the hearing. Your attorney will generally answer “ready” for you. Once the calendar is complete, the trustee will call the first case that is ready.
When your name is called, you will move forward and sit at the table with the trustee. Your attorney will accompany you and will provide the trustee with a copy of your state issued ID, and document providing proof of your social security number. These are generally your driver’s license and social security card.
The trustee will also swear you in and it is important to understand that while the 341 hearing is not “bankruptcy court,” you are testifying under oath and are expected to answer truthfully under penalty of perjury. Once you are sworn, the trustee will ask a series of questions.
Our office will provide you a list of the most commonly asked questions at the 341 meetings of creditors. The question are generally geared toward confirming the contents of your bankruptcy petition and confirming whether you have any assets that might be available for liquidation if you have filed a chapter 7 bankruptcy case. The meetings generally take no more than 5 or 10 minutes per person or couple. Interestingly, given the name of the meeting, creditors rarely make an appearance at the meeting.
Most people find afterwards that they have worried much more than necessary about this meeting. While it is important and is a court proceeding, for most cases, there is almost no concern that this meeting could impact your case in a negative way.