For many debtors filing for bankruptcy, it can be hard to get time off work or find childcare to attend a 341 Meeting of Creditors. Many clients ask if they truly need to attend. In general, the answer is YES. Here are some common reasons clients want to avoid attending their 341 Meeting of Creditors.
–They can’t collect the trustee’s requested documents in time: This will likely result in a continuance, meaning they will have to attend a different 341 at a later date. This also means the date their bankruptcy is eligible for discharge will be pushed back. This is why it is vital that you start collecting your documents as soon as possible after receiving your Trustee Letter.
–They forget or can’t get time off work: This will again result in a continuance. This may not sound like a big deal, but it is highly unfavorable. Missing any additional 341 Hearings may result in a Chapter 7 being dismissed.
–They are physically unable to attend: Attending the 341 Meeting of Creditors may be impossible if the client is hospitalized or has a serious illness or injury. Their attorney should file a Motion to Waive Appearance if that is the case so the attorney may appear on the client’s behalf.
–They have moved out of state: The debtor may be able to appear telephonically at the Trustee office in their new jurisdiction.
What If You Don’t Show up at the Meeting?
It would be a serious mistake to not show up for your 341 hearing. Especially if you “no show” your 341 meeting without a prior explanation to your bankruptcy trustee. Sans an explanation, the trustee is less likely to agree to a continuance or re-scheduling of your meeting of creditors.
Additionally, you should always assume that it will be mandatory for you to attend your 341 Meeting of Creditors. It is the creditors’ chance to object to your debts being discharged. Our experienced attorneys will attend your 341 Hearing with you should you retain, and file any applicable motions if it is impossible for you to attend. Call our office today to schedule a free consultation.
Please keep in mind that your attorney will probably have to attend your meeting of creditors even if you are unable to attend in order to achieve a successful continuance. This additional hearing may lead to additional charges to you from your bankruptcy attorney. Often, the fee quoted and paid for a bankruptcy is inclusive of 1 (one) meeting of creditors appearance. An additional court appearance because you are unable to make your 341 usually leads to an added expense to your bankruptcy. All of the details should be laid out in your contract agreement you have with your bankruptcy lawyer.