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341 tomorrow and lawyer bailed out!

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  • 341 tomorrow and lawyer bailed out!

    AGH!!!! Our 341 is scheduled for 8:30am tomorrow morning and our lawyer JUST emailed me to say that his wife is in labor and he can't make it. Furthermore, there is no available lawyer at the office to cover him. So, he's asking us to attend and either ask for a continuance or to conduct the 341 without him. He said the trustee knows him well and will "most likely" proceed without him if we wish.

    WHAT SHOULD I DO? I don't want to reschedule this as it's hanging over my head and I wanted to get it over with. But, I don't want to make a mistake at the 341 either. I'm wondering how big of a deal this is. ADVICE? I"m totally freaking out now.

  • #2
    No matter what you there at your scheduled time. The 341 is no big deal unless you have a complex case or hidden assets. For the most part, the lawyer does nothing but hand your ID and paperwork to the trustee...they don't answer any questions for you.

    I would do it and if it gets ugly, and it likely won't, tell the trustee that your lawyer needs to be present and ask to reschedule. Chances are if the trustee knows your lawyer and the circumstances, they will likely be very accomodating and understanding.

    Just remember, tell the truth, answer all the questions with a yes or no, and never add anything that wasn't asked. It will be slick, I worried and wondered for weeks, it is a very simple process that does not involve bright lights in your face....they are simply asking you to verify under oath that the documents presented are true to the best of your knowledge.


    • #3
      Okay, I can imagine the initial panic. Don't succumb to it! You're going to be fine! have options (continuance or self-representation).

      There are plenty of people who successfully emerge from 341s without legal representation. Sure, you paid to have an attorney present; and, you expected such. Life has its clever way of introducing the unexpected. I'm sorry your attorney won't be available.

      I think you can handle this. Your desire to complete this step coupled with the fact that you don't appear to have a complex case (as mentioned in your current pre-attorney bailing for baby post) -no assets, one income, no recent credit card use -are foundations for strength and confidence. It surely doesn't sound like you're surrounded in BK fraud flags. I think the Trustee will like you!

      When I began my BK journey I was adamant about having my attorney present at my 341. As the date approached, I grew increasingly less needy. I discovered he had a 341 scheduled at the same time as mine. I knew I didn't have a complex case; and, I offered to attend my 341 solo. Ultimately, my attorney was available and sat by my side during my 341. Introducing my paperwork and SITTING were his only actions! I received the standard questions from the Trustee (and a few oddball questions about my house and car -I think the Trustee liked to hear himself talk). Not one of the anticipated questions I imagined surfaced. I honestly could have tackled the 341 by myself. In fact, I think I did. I just had a friendly face sitting next to me.

      My advice...

      Read a few 341 posts to increase your confidence (the majority are completely painless). Practice the last four digits of your social security number (not exactly challenging ). Attend your 341 without your attorney. Explain the reasoning behind your attorney's absence. Answer the questions posed honestly (there will likely be very few). Exit happily, pat yourself on the back, and report your success to us!
      *Filed: September 23, 2009 *341: November 4, 2009 *Discharged: January 4, 2010 *Closed: January 20, 2010

      Hakuna means NO WORRIES!


      • #4
        Thanks. I can't really blame the lawyer - having a child is a perfectly valid reason and I understand completely. Just sucks, that's all.

        I did call him and he walked me through the process and said that he reviewed our file tonight and it looks in order. We have no assets and all our expenses are reasonable and within guidelines. He told me to tell the trustee right away that he is our lawyer and his wife is in labor but that we would like to proceed without him. He said if there were creditors there (he doubted there would be), then ask the trustee to reschedule. He also said if at any point we felt it was over our heads, we should tell the trustee that we feel our counsel needs to be present and she would stop the meeting right away and reschedule.

        I'm going to give it a shot and see what happens. If I get over my head, I could always stop the meeting. I'll review the paperwork tonight for my own peace of mind and just try to get some rest. Haha!


        • #5
          Knowing what I know now I would have no concern at all without an attorney. You will be fine. All you will do is just confirm under oath what is in your filing.


          • #6
            SHOW UP! The trustee may ask you the general questions that really don't require the attorney. Most likely the hearing will be continued, but SHOW UP!!
            7-2-2009 Filed
            8-28-09 341 Concluded, no assets
            10-28-09 DISCHARGED/CLOSED!!!!


            • #7
              As long as your case is not out of the ordinary, you should not have any issues.

              Just advise the trustee that your lawyer is unable to make it due to the circumstances stated.
              My comments are solely based on my opinion. The information and links that I have
              posted are provided solely for informational purposes, and do not constitute legal advice


              • #8
                i did my case pro se- and believe me- it was easy without an attorney. I arrived early to my 341- and really there wasn't much difference between the pro se filers and those with an attorney. The attorneys actually screwed up a few times...

                The 341 really isn't a big deal. The trustee will ask a few questions; in ours - he asked every person the exact same questions and only maybe 2 people out of 50 were asked anything addtional.

                you'll do fine i'm sure. good luck

                Originally posted by cleanslate01 View Post
                AGH!!!! Our 341 is scheduled for 8:30am tomorrow morning and our lawyer JUST emailed me to say that his wife is in labor and he can't make it. Furthermore, there is no available lawyer at the office to cover him. So, he's asking us to attend and either ask for a continuance or to conduct the 341 without him. He said the trustee knows him well and will "most likely" proceed without him if we wish.

                WHAT SHOULD I DO? I don't want to reschedule this as it's hanging over my head and I wanted to get it over with. But, I don't want to make a mistake at the 341 either. I'm wondering how big of a deal this is. ADVICE? I"m totally freaking out now.
                Filed Pro Se: 10/16/2009
                341 Scheduled: 11/23/2009
                Last Day for Objections: 1/22/2010
                Discharged: 1/28/2010


                • #9
                  My lawyer never said a word the whole time we were in front of the trustee. So I wouldn't worry too much about it. The trustee is there to ask YOU questions...not your lawyer. Just give honest answers and you'll be out of there before you know it. Good luck and keep us posted.
                  Stopped paying CC...April 2009
                  Filed CH 7 no-asset...Aug. 19, 2009
                  341 meeting...Sept. 22, 2009
                  DISCHARGED Nov. 24, 2009 CLOSED Dec. 9, 2009


                  • #10
                    i also think you should just go ahead with it. if at any point you are uncomfortable, you can stop and say you want to reschedule. but i feel you'll be fine, and you'll be done before you know it. if your attorney feels you can do it without him, that means the case is simple and no problems are anticipated. trust that (it's true!). and good luck. let us know how it went.
                    filed ch7 May 09
                    341 june 09
                    discharged, closed Aug 09


                    • #11
                      OMG, that is so wierd because ours is scheduled for 12:30 tomorow and same deal, my attorney can't be there because his wife is in labor! I'm in Northeast Florida. Where are you? According to his office when they called this morning, she said another lawyer will be there in his place, one we have never met. Hope that's not an issue!


                      • #12
                        When I had my 341, I had a substitute attorney that did not know anything about my case, and didn't say a word while the trustee grilled me.

                        Many people that day had substitute attorneys that they had never met. I don't think a substitute attorney is any better than just going up there yourself. I would go to the 341 and try to get through it. Most people only get asked very basic questions. I think you will be fine.
                        You can't take a picture of this. It's already gone. ~~Nate, Six Feet Under


                        • #13
                          My attorney sent one of his junior associates to our 341. Not a big deal as all he really did was hand back our IDs and social security cards and deliver the reaffirmation agreement back to his office. We answered all the questions and had no issues. We indicated that there were some changes to our expense schedule and an asset we forgot to list initially. No problem. I'd definitely go to the hearing and only ask for a continuance if the trustee has some issue you aren't comfortable with.
                          Case Closed > 2/08/2010


                          • #14
                            Don't worry about it. You'll be just fine. The only thing our lawyer did at the 341 was state his name for the record
                            Filed Ch7 10/14/09 - 341 11/23/09
                            Last day for objections 1/22/2010
                            Discharged!!! 1/25/2010
                            Closed! 1/28/2010


                            • #15
                              Part of my attorney fees were clearly stated that it included my attorney being at the 341 meeting. Regardless of the reason, I'd be asking for a partial refund.
                              Stopped Payings CC's: 8/14/2009 | Retained Attorney: 9/23/2009 | Filed CH 7: 12/7/2009 | 341 Meeting: 1/21/2010 - Complete | Discharged: 4/9/2010
                              "One person pretends to be rich, yet has nothing; another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth."


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