The 341 Meeting which has been scheduled in your case will be held at the Federal Courthouse located at 2005 University Boulevard, Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35401.
Remember to dress appropriately for your hearing-business casual attire. (Shirts with collars and sleeves, long pants, skirts or dresses with sleeves. No shorts, t-shirts, tank tops, flip flops, etc.)
When you enter the federal building, you will be required to go through a metal detector so please don’t bring along any items that you won’t need. This having been said, you can and should bring along your cell phone. Put your phone in silent mode but please keep a close eye on it in case we need to send you a message prior to your hearing.
Going through security sometimes takes a few minutes so please allow yourself plenty of time so that you are not late for your hearing. Once through the metal detector, follow the signs that say 341 Meeting. When you arrive, please go into the meeting room and have a seat. Other hearings will likely be scheduled before yours so make yourself comfortable and listen in so that you know what to expect when your case is called. Rest assured that one of our attorneys will be present and will be with you when it is time for your case to be heard. If for some reason our attorney is not present, then something unforeseen has happened. Simply notify the Trustee and he will allow you to call our office.
The 341 Meeting is not a court hearing and the bankruptcy judge will not be present. There may be a short wait but your actual meeting will normally last just a few minutes. You will be sworn in and then the Trustee appointed in your case, and any of your creditors who are present, will be given an opportunity to ask you questions about your bankruptcy petition under oath. When it is time for your hearing, you will be called to the podium and one of our attorneys will be at your side.
One of the first questions you will be asked is HAS YOUR FIRST CHAPTER 13 PAYMENT BEEN MADE? Therefore, it is very important that you bring proof of your first payment to the 341 meeting. If your payment is being made through a payroll deduction and money has started coming out of your check, simply bring a copy of your paystub showing the deduction and the Trustee will be satisfied. If you are making your payments on your own or have not been payroll deducted prior to the 341 Meeting, you MUST make a payment on your own PRIOR TO THE HEARING and bring proof thereof with you. To make a payment on your own, you can do one of the following:
- Online @ https://app.courtcompass.com/
- In person @ David Cottingham’s office @ 701 22nd Avenue, Suite 4, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401
- By mail to C. David Cottingham, P.O. Drawer 020588, Tuscaloosa AL 35402-0588
We never know exactly what other questions the trustee will ask but sample questions include:
- State your name. Are you still at the same address you listed on your bankruptcy paperwork?
- Did you sign the petition, schedules, statements, and related documents? Is the signature your own?
- Did you read the petition, schedules, statements, and documents before you signed them?
- Are you personally familiar with the information contained in the petition and schedules?
- To the best of your knowledge, is the information contained in the petition, schedules, statements, and related documents true and correct?
- Did you provide the information to your attorney for the preparation of the Means Test?
- Are there any errors or omissions you need to bring to my attention at this time?
- Are all of your assets and property identified on the schedules?
- Have you listed all of your creditors on the schedules?
- Have you filed bankruptcy before?
- Is your income still the same as it was on the day you filed bankruptcy?
- Are your expenses still the same?
- What is the address of your current employer?
- Is the copy of the tax return you provided a true copy of your most recent tax return?
- Do you have a domestic support obligation, (child support or alimony)?
- Are you current on your post-petition child support or alimony obligations?
- Have you filed all required tax returns for the past four years?
- Do you have a claim or lawsuit against anyone or any business that might result in you getting some money? If so, what is the status of each case and who is representing you?
- Have you sold or transferred any property to anyone within the last ten years?
The foregoing is not an exhaustive list of questions. You may be asked other or different questions depending on the circumstances of your case. For example, you may be asked about any large or unusual bank deposits appearing on your recent bank statements. Or, if you are self-employed, you may be asked questions about your business and how it operates. You should be respectful and courteous in responding to questions that are asked. If you have a concern about how you should respond, please let our attorney know and we will assist you as necessary.
When the Trustee is done with his questioning, he will let you know. But our attorney may want to review things with you after the meeting is over so please don’t leave until we tell you that you can do so.