If you file a Chapter 7 you normally go to court for just a short 5-minute “341 Hearing”. No, your hearing is not in Room 341. Rather, “341” is the section of the code that requires you to appear at a hearing where creditors and the trustee ask questions.
If your petition is clear, accurate, and supported by documentation the hearing will be very short and only last 5 minutes. A Chapter 7 trustee conducts the hearing to make sure your petition is accurate. Also, you must bring your social security card and a government photo id such as a driver’s license or passport to the hearing. If you don’t appear with these identifications the hearing will be continued or the case will be dismissed. The required supporting documents must be received within 14 days of the hearing. In fact, the Trustee can dismiss the case if they do not receive them within 14 days of the hearing.
Questions Asked at Chapter 7 341 Hearings
The normal questions asked at a 341 hearing may include:
- Did you review and prepare the petition with your attorney?
- Do you need to make any changes to your assets, income, debts, or expenses?
- What is your name and address?
- Did you transfer or give away any money or property within the last year?
- Do you understand what a reaffirmation and redemption is?
- Have you recently won the lottery or inherited property?
- What caused your bankruptcy?
- Do you understand what a chapter 13 is and did you consider it?
- Do you understand what a discharge is?
- When did you know you were bankrupt?
- Do you operate any businesses?
Louisville Kentucky Bankruptcy Trustees and the 341 Hearing
The Chapter 7 trustee is paid a small amount to review your petition about 70 dollars in 2020. He has to do his job and prove he properly reviewed your petition for accuracy. The Chapter 7 trustee can’t do that unless the petition is accurate and supported by documentation of your income, assets, expenses, and debts. If you make his job difficult he will simply not approve your petition until you satisfy him. This puts you through time, multiple hearings, and additional expense.
The Chapter 7 trustee also makes a minor commission on a sliding scale for selling any property that is not exempt. This is very rare. You should explain and disclose all of your property to your attorney so he can exempt it and you can keep it. Any property that is not listed can be seized. The exemptions in Kentucky are large so you normally keep all your property.
You should also tell your attorney if you have any judicial liens so they can be stripped while you are doing your case. Judicial liens are placed on a home when a creditor files a lawsuit and wins a judgment. If the case has to be reopened later to add debts, file the certificate for your second class of Debtor education, or to strip a lien, it will be more expensive than if you had done it on time.