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A 341 Meeting in Texas: Bankruptcy Basics

 Posted on September 22, 2013 in Chapter 7 bankruptcy

Deciding whether or not to file for bankruptcy can be one of the most important decisions a family makes. Some families put off the process as long as possible hoping to avoid the stigma that comes with filing for bankruptcy, but in many cases it’s the easiest, simplest, and most effective way to recover from financial insolvency. Following the financial crisis of 2008, from which many Texans are still recovering, bankruptcy became a more important option than ever.

But it’s a complicated process, one that has many different steps and processes depending on which type of bankruptcy the debtor is filing. Though local rules govern each bankruptcy court, the overall procedure of filing bankruptcy is overseen by Federal Rules under the Bankruptcy Procedure, set forth by the U.S. Court system and laid out in the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. There are two main types of personal bankruptcy: Chapter 7, in which the debtor liquidates his assets and his debts; and Chapter 13, in which the debtor goes through a debt reorganization process. In a Chapter 7 filing, the debtor never appears in court, and only sees the judge if an objection is raised in the case. In a Chapter 13 filing, the debtor will likely appear before a bankruptcy judge only at a plan confirmation hearing.

The debtor, in fact, has very little formal dealing with the bankruptcy filing at all. Usually, the only meeting at which a debtor must be present is the “meeting of creditors, which is usually held at the offices of the U.S. trustee,” according to the U.S. Court website. This meeting is informally known as a “341 meeting.” It is section 341 of the Bankruptcy Code that requires a debtor to answer questions to creditors about both assets and debts.

According to publication released by Dallas and Ft. Worth trustees, a 341 meeting in Texas is pretty simple for the debtor. Attendees will be asked to state their appearances, and the meeting process will be explained to the debtor. The debtor will be sworn in, and all personal information (as well as prior filings) will be verified. Clients MUST bring “valid proof of identity and social security number.” Though the meeting is pretty straightforward for a debtor, but the process cannot be completed effectively without an experienced bankruptcy lawyer.

If you or someone you know is considering filing for bankruptcy, don’t go through it alone. Contact a dedicated Texas bankruptcy attorney today.

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