The 341 Meeting which has been scheduled in your case will be held at the Robert S. Vance Federal Building located at 1800 Fifth Avenue North, Birmingham, Alabama 35203-2111.
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.)
Street parking is usually available but there is also a parking deck nearby with an entrance on 18th Street. If you park on the street, you will need change for a parking meter. There is also a small fee if you park in the parking deck.
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 in the main hallway that state “Meeting of Creditors” or “Creditors Meeting Room”. The Creditors Meeting Room is downstairs. An elevator is available if needed. 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. We never know exactly what 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.
Brad Botes is a principal of each of the Bond & Botes Law Offices throughout Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee. He holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of North Alabama, and a Juris Doctorate from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University. He and his team of bankruptcy lawyers have spent over 30 years guiding people through financial challenges. Read his full bio here.