When you file for bankruptcy protection, you will attend the 341 meeting as required under the Bankruptcy Code.

A court-appointed trustee assigned to your case will preside over the hearing during which you will answer questions under oath about your bankruptcy petition and financial circumstances.

About your creditors

The 341 meeting, named after the corresponding section in the United States Bankruptcy Code, is also known as the meeting of creditors. The main purpose of the meeting is for the trustee to gather information in order to administer your case efficiently, and to allow creditors the opportunity to question you about your bankruptcy and the disposition of your assets. However, creditors rarely appear: They are aware that they do not waive any of their rights by staying away from the meeting.

Reviewing your petition

Your attorney will have provided pertinent documents to the trustee in advance of the meeting, and these will provide the basis for the questions he or she will ask. Under penalty of perjury, you will respond to questions about the property you own, your liabilities and your current financial condition. The trustee may ask you how long you have lived in Arizona, whether you have ever filed bankruptcy before, if you owe spousal maintenance or child support and if you are familiar with the information that you included in your bankruptcy petition.

Reasons for delay or dismissal

Your attorney will accompany you to the 341 meeting and serve as your advocate. To begin with, the trustee will ask to see your photo ID and Social Security card to confirm your identity. Do not forget to bring these items; if you do not have them, your case will have to be continued.

Do not fail to appear at your 341 meeting. Otherwise, the trustee could ask the court to dismiss your case. The meeting usually only lasts for a few minutes, so there is no need to be apprehensive. Remember that this brings you one step closer to a financial future free of debt and the anxiety it can cause.