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My 341 experience

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  • My 341 experience

    Well, had my 341 earlier this week. Talk about a surreal experience!

    I arrived about 40 minutes early, expecting to find a crowd ahead of me. In fact I was the only one there for about 30 minutes. Gradually a few more filers made their way into the courtroom-maybe 8 people altogether. The trustee showed up about 3 minutes before things were scheduled to start and set up her computer, etc. My attorney was unavailable so he sent his partner to represent me. Not a big deal, except I had never seen his partner before and thought I was going up to the table by myself until he came and introduced himself as the proceedings began.

    The trustee began things by making some opening remarks that she had obviously made many times before. It was like listening to a robot talk. The gist of it was that her purpose was to confirm the information we had already submitted and to ask questions over areas that were unclear to her. She emphasized that this time we would be answering the questions under oath, so if we didn't understand a question to ask for clarification. Don't guess. She also made it clear that if any of the documents she had requested were not received in a timely enough fashion she would continue that meeting.

    The first meeting was very sad. It was an elderly couple-I am assuming perhaps early 80's. The husband was clearly having extreme trouble following the proceedings and frankly did not seem competent to be taking part in them at all. He would either ignore the trustee's questions or answer by nodding his head. The trustee had to repeatedly tell him that his answers must be verbal for the recording. Documents were missing and the couple could answer basically none of the trustee's questions. The husband took about 3 minutes to sign his name-with some assistance from his wife. The trustee was rather unhappy and was somewhat abrupt with the couple's attorney. I was thinking how I wouldn't want to be the next person to sit at the table. So of course my name was called.

    All in all, my own experience was much better. The trustee asked most of the standard questions; did you read the documents before you signed them? Have you listed all your debts? Have you listed all your assets? What did I intend to do with my house and cars? Did I have any single item worth over $500 with the exception of my cars and house?

    One area that did surprise me was her interest in the home improvement loan I took out last year to make emergency repairs to my house. She asked what I did with the money and I said a new roof. She said, is that all? I said, they also added gutters and did a lot of structural repairs. Her basic concern was that she didn't think a new roof should cost that much and wondered if I pocketed the difference. I told her that the money went straight from the banks hands to the contractors hands and that I had the documents to prove it. She lost interest at that point and had me sign some paperwork. Told me that I would need to let my attorney know when I got my tax refund because a portion of that will have to go to creditors. She said thanks and that was it. I was probably at the table for 10 minutes or less. Seemed like an eternity.

    I honestly left the meeting not knowing if it went good or bad. My attorney's representative was handling a couple of the other people there so I was unable to talk to him. I guess if it had gone badly I would know about it. Now I guess I just wait 60 days and then hope for discharge. I am scheduled to resume school in January and really hope my discharge comes in so I can get my student loans done. Very happy it is over, be even happier in 60 days.

  • #2
    Congratulations on getting past that part. This is such a HUGE, huge event in our lives -- but what's hard for us to see beforehand is that it really is just another day at work for these folks, another case... like you said, robotic -- just going through the motions. That was pretty much our experience, as well.


    • #3
      This is somewhat unrelated to my original post but I hate to start a new thread for it. My case is an asset case (tax refund). The court set a deadline to file a proof for claim to all creditors of January 5th. That is related to the closing date correct? My discharge date should still be 60 days after the 341? I ask because my federal student loans are on hold for the upcoming semester because of the BK. My understanding is that the BK has to be discharged but not necessarily closed for the loans to be released to me. Am I understanding this correctly?


      • #4
        Your discharge comes regardless of the administrative closing of the case. Your discharge will come as soon as "administratively possible" after the 60 days elapsed from the first scheduled 341 Meeting of Creditors.

        Most college financial aid offices know the process on how to deal with a bankruptcy... but some do not. I had this issue and all I had to do was sign a form attesting that the loan was neither discharged nor subject to discharge. (There were a couple of other reasons on the form, but I was only dealing with the discharge.). Because not all schools are up to speed, you may need to read the Federal Loan guidelines, then write a nice formal email/letter to the financial aid office.
        Chapter 7 (No Asset/Non-Consumer) Filed (Pro Se) 7/08 (converted from Chapter 13 - 2/10)
        Status: (Auto) Discharged and Closed! 5/10
        Visit My BKForum Blog: justbroke's Blog

        I am not an attorney. Any advice provided is not legal advice.


        • #5
          Thank you much. I will get back in touch with financial aid. It is a large state school so I am sure they deal with this on occasion. I just wanted to make sure I was fully understanding how things should go. There are so many loose ends to tie up-even post 341.


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