What happens at a bankruptcy creditor's meeting in Rhode Island?

by JOSHUA R KARNS on Jul. 13, 2020

Bankruptcy & Debt Bankruptcy Bankruptcy & Debt  Collection Bankruptcy & Debt  Credit & Debt 

Summary: Everyone who files a bankruptcy case in Rhode Island will have to attend a creditors meeting also known as the "341 Meeting". It's a meeting between the case trustee, the debtor, the debtor's attorney if they have one and any creditors that decide to attend. The debtor is asked a series of questions during this meeting about their income, expenses, debt, property, financial transactions and other things. The bankruptcy judge is not permitted to be at the creditors meeting. The meeting is held between 20 and 40 days after the case is filed. Creditors that the receive the notice. That is why it is so important to list all of your creditors and their correct addresses in your bankruptcy court forms.

Who will be at the creditors meeting?

In most cases creditors do not bother attending 341 Meetings.  The time and expense required to send someone to the meeting is much greater than the potential recovery.  Sometime they will be at the meeting to listen in and possibly ask questions.  The most common reasons to have a creditor show up at your meeting are:

  • you have a business with partners, investors or a local creditor
  • you owe money to an ex-spouse
  • you owe back taxes to the Federal or State government
  • you have pledged an asset as security for a debt you owe like a home
    mortgage or car loan

There will not be a judge at the meeting.  The bankruptcy judge is not permitted to be at the creditors meeting.

What questions will I be asked at the creditors meeting?

The bankruptcy trustee is required by law to ask you certain questions on the record.  Your responses to these questions will be recorded and could be used against you in a court of law so you will want to take your time answering them and make certain that your answers are TRUTHFUL.  If you have hired a bankruptcy attorney, they will be next to you to object to improper questions and offer additional information to the bankruptcy trustee.  Your bankruptcy attorney cannot answer questions for you though.  In a Chapter 7 case it is the bankruptcy trustee’s job to determine whether you have any non-exempt assets that can be sold to pay off your debts.  In a Chapter 13 case it is the bankruptcy trustee’s job to determine what disposable income you have and whether your plan is in the best interests of your creditors.

Common questions asked at a bankruptcy creditors meeting

  • What is your name and address?
  • How long have you lived at that address?
  • How long have you lived in (whatever State you have filed your bankruptcy case in)?
  • Have you read the bankruptcy information sheet?  (I will hand you this once we are at the meeting but you were already given one.)
  • Have you ever filed bankruptcy before?  If so, when?
  • Is that your signature on all the documents and petition?
  • What date did you sign the documents?
  • Did you read all of those documents before you signed them?
  • Is the information contained in all of your bankruptcy case documents true and accurate?
  • Are there any changes you would like to make at this time?
  • Do the schedules list everything you own on this earth?  (The trustee will then read all of your property listed in your paperwork.) 
  • Where do you live now and do you own or rent the property?
  • Are you related to the person you rent from? (if you rent the property).
  • Do you own any real estate?
  • Do you have a mortgage on your property?  If so, how much?  Are you current with the payments?  Do you want to keep the property?
  • Have you owned real estate in the past 4 years?  If so, what is the status of it?  (You still own it, you sold it, foreclosure, short sale, deed in lieu, etc.)
  • Have you sold any property worth more than $2,000.00 (real estate, land, cars, boats, jewelry, etc.) in the last 4 years?
  • If so, what was it, how much did you sell it for, was that a fair price and to whom did you sell it to?
  • Do you own any jewelry, including jewelry?  If you own jewelry you will be asked a few questions about it.  You should know its value, get it appraised if you have expensive items and if it is insured you should have all that information.
  • Have you listed all of your debts in your bankruptcy schedules?
  • How did you incur all of this credit card debt? 
  • What did you use your credit cards for?
  • When is the last time you used your credit cards and what was it for?
  • Did you incur any debts within 90 days of your bankruptcy filing date?  Loans?
  • How come you have such high credit card debt but don’t seem to have any property or assets?  
  • Have you bought gifts for anyone totaling more than $200.00 in the past year?
  • Where do you work and what is your pay?  
  • How often are you paid and what is your take home pay?
  • Do you have any other sources of income?  If so, what are they?
  • Does anyone owe you any money?
  • Have you sued anyone in the past 4 years or have you been injured in any accidents in the past 3 years?
  • Do you have the right to sue anyone or bring any claims against anyone?
  • Why are you filing for bankruptcy?
  • Have you paid any family members back over the past year?
  • Have you given any gifts over $600.00 to anyone in the last 2 years? 
  • Have you given any gifts over $600.00 to any one charity in the last 2 years?
  • Are you going to inherit anything or have you recently inherited anything?
  • Have you been self-employed in the past 6 years?  If you have, the trustee might ask you about property owned by the business.

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