If you have filed or have thought of filing a bankruptcy petition in Texas because your business is in debt, you will hear about something known as the “meeting of creditors.” A creditor meeting, often referred to as the “341 meeting,” is common in both Chapter 7 and 13 filings. This meeting takes place weeks after a debtor files for bankruptcy and is the first time that you will meet with the trustee who is overseeing your entire case.
This meeting is the best time for creditors to meet with you and the trustee and inquire about where you are at when it comes to your finances. Everybody has a unique financial situation and creditors might be curious as to how they will receive the money they are owed and have questions for you. This is their time to ask. But, what happens if you are unable to attend this meeting due to other obligations?
The Meeting of Creditors: A Requirement for Bankruptcy
It is true that many creditors will skip out on the meeting of creditors and will not show. However, you should know that the meeting of creditors is a personal requirement for you if you plan to go through with the bankruptcy process. This meeting is scheduled between 20-40 days after the case is filed. You will not be given a choice of times or dates but it is mandatory that the meeting is held. This means that, if you do not attend the meeting, it can be impossible to obtain a discharge from your debts.
If something comes up and there is a conflict, especially one that is considered to be an emergency, you might have options at this time. Some examples of conflicts are if a debtor is suddenly incarcerated, has a child and has to be at the hospital, or is in the military and becomes suddenly stationed overseas. If a conflict arises, you might wonder what you can do.
When You Are Unable to Attend the Meeting of Creditors
You should always take the requirement to attend your meeting as seriously as possible. Be as proactive as possible and think ahead so that you don’t accidentally miss the meeting. Your attorney is your best guide in this matter and can help you if something comes up that will keep you from attending your meeting. If there is enough lead time and you know that the meeting will not work out at that date or time, your attorney might be able to speak with the trustee and have the meeting moved to another time; your circumstances might call for it and your request might be upheld.
Some conflicts are more easily excused than others, especially if something makes it impossible for you to attend. There are always options if something was scheduled for that time. The worst thing that you can do is fail to speak with your attorney and simply not show up for the meeting, which can lead to your case being dismissed and cause you to miss out on your chance for a bankruptcy filing.
Speaking with Your Bankruptcy Attorney Immediately
As mentioned, you should always speak with your attorney immediately if you believe that you will not be able to attend your meeting of creditors. If you are filing for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and know that this will be required of you, it is imperative to act quickly. Our skilled bankruptcy attorneys at MJ Watson & Associates understand how difficult it can be to face a bankruptcy case, which is why we do not want you to stand alone at this time. Please contact us to find out how we can assist you in your time of need at 817-877-2861.