Louisville Bankruptcy & Foreclosure Attorney

Zoom 341 Meeting of Creditors

In the Western District of Kentucky Bankruptcy Court, you will have a meeting of creditors, often called a 341 hearing, because it is required by section 341 of the bankruptcy code.  This is done by Zoom video, which is a downloadable app.  If you are using a desktop or laptop, the website for your Zoom hearing is www.zoom.us.

We suggest you download the app for your laptop or desktop from the Zoom website.  You can download the app for a phone or tablet from the store.   After installing it, you can follow this link to test your setup before your hearing. You must join the meeting with video through the website or your app, and a free account should do all you need.

The meeting ID and passcode are on the notice for the 341 meeting.  For an iPhone, do not use Zoom with Siri.  Instead, give your computer microphone and camera access to the Zoom app.  Unmute your microphone and start your video when the trustee calls your case.  You cannot join the meeting through the Zoom website if you are using a cell phone.  Tablets will also often have problems joining through the Zoom website. Mute your microphone until your case is called. Troubleshooting common problems is at the bottom of this page. You should have no problems if you test your setup before the meeting.

The Chapter 7 trustees and their Zoom meetings for the Western District of Kentucky Louisville Division.

Our Louisville division of the Western District of Kentucky has three Chapter 7 trustees in 2024 Mr. Wheatley is a CPA.  Mr. Keats and Mr. Reisz are both Lawyers and CPAs.  Each of these trustees have different login and passcodes which you will need.  The logins for their 341 meetings rarely change and they are normally sent to you before the hearing and they are on the 341 notice.  Your testimony at this hearing is under oath. Almost all of the Trustees have a CPA license or background in audits and accounting.  If your petition is well prepared the hearing should be very short and simple.  Examples of the Trustee questions you will be asked are on our website.

The Chapter 13 trustee and their Zoom meetings.

The Meeting ID for all Western Kentucky of Chapter 13s shall always be the same 798 722 8083. The Passcode for all Western Kentucky  Chapter 13s shall also always be the same 7071567638.  You can also just click this link to attend the Louisville Chapter 13 meeting of creditors. There is only one Chapter 13 trustee in the Western District of Kentucky Mr. Lawrence.  You will have Ms. Burden in Eastern Kentucky, and Mr. Black in Southern Indiana.  In the 80’s the Chapter 13 trustees were Mr. Brown, Mr. White, and Mr. Black.   Chapter 13 trustees will normally have more years of experience than the Chapter 7 trustees and a panel attorney in the office will normally attend instead of the Chapter 13 trustee.

You chapter 13 will normally be automatically approved in the Western District of Kentucky Bankruptcy court if the plan pays over 70% for Judge Lloyd, or 50% for Judges Stout and Merrill.  Judge Lloyd now holds a second confirmation hearing if the plan pays less than 70%.    You are essentially being audited to find assets and income in any meeting of creditors.  But a Chapter 13 confirmation hearing is held to see if the payments are the proper amount.  You are allowed reasonable and necessary expenses but not luxury items in your budget.

Your  341 meeting of creditors.

341 Meeting of Creditors hearing
341 Meeting of Creditors hearing

Your 341 meeting of creditors will probably be the quickest and easiest hearing you will ever attend if your petition is properly prepared and you list your assets, transfers, and income. Most hearings only last 2-5 minutes with six to ten hearings every 30 minutes.  Even though you gave us a copy of your photo ID and social security care please bring them with you to your hearing.  Trustees will verify your identity on the record just like we did when 341 meetings were conducted in person at the courthouse.

We send copies of your documents, picture ID, and social security card well before the 341 meeting to your trustee. For a Western District Chapter 13 we email copies of your photo ID and social security cards to 341 Docs@louchapter13.com.  It does not hurt to scan your photo ID and Social Security card for our district the day before the hearing to the above email.  We have already done that but sometimes it gets lost.

Ideally, we email IDs, Social Security cards, and your documents the same day we file the petition (the trustee needs those documents to prepare the case for the 341 meeting).  If we have to wait to email the ID, Social Security Card, or documents the day of or the day before the meeting, the meeting will be continued, or the case will be dismissed.  Debtors are not supposed to show their IDs on the computer screen during the meeting. If you don’t have some paperwork such as a car title and the case has to be filed immediately to stop a foreclosure we may file the case without a minor document but a case can be dismissed for the failure to provide documentation.

Where is the 341 hearing?

If clients do not come to our office or don’t have experience with Zoom you may have problems logging on.  If you think that you may have difficulties connecting, you should consider coming to our office for the meeting. I will always be in the office for these meetings unless I am forced to attend training or another hearing out of town.  If you absolutely can’t come to our office for your meeting of creditors it is possible to attend remotely but you should be prepared to use Zoom and please run the test for your app before the hearing to make sure it is running.

The 341 hearing is often the only opportunity the creditors have to ask questions.  If the trustee or a creditor suspects fraud they can hold a 2004 deposition and require you to turn over documentation.  This is an added time and expense you should not have to go through.  Section 2004 depositions are rare but they do happen in less than 1% of cases because the trustee may know or suspect a fraudulent transfer of assets, or failure to list assets, expenses, or income. Questioning in a 341 hearing will normally last less than 5 minutes Questioning a debtor in a 2004 can last hours or days.  The worst result from questioning by a Trustee will involve the loss of an asset or having a case dismissed.

However, if the questioning is by a United States Attorney General you should remember an Assistant United States Attorney is the primary prosecutor in a criminal matter.  In 35 years of practice before the bankruptcy court I have never had a client prosecuted criminally.

What is the Chapter 7 trustee looking for at the meeting of creditors?

Your Chapter 7 trustee is interested in 3 things.  An accurate petition,  finding non-exempt assets he can sell and if you have enough disposable income he will insist you dismiss your case or convert it to a Chapter 13.

A Chapter 7 trustee is paid one of two ways.  First, he is paid about 70 dollars for reviewing your Chapter 7 petition.  If you file a perfect petition it only takes him a short five minutes or so to determine that you have no non-exempt assets which he can sell.  If your petition is confusing he will have to do added work questioning you to understand the petition.  You will be required to amend the petition if the petition is not accurate.

The Chapter 7 Trustee is also paid about 25% of what he can sell and turn over to the creditors.  He is paid on a sliding scale of about 10% to about 25% depending on the value of the assets.  Over 99% of clients exempt and keep all their property in a Chapter 7.  Sometimes you don’t mind sacrificing a car to avoid the expense and time in a Chapter 13.

Giving up property to avoid a Chapter 13

But if you have given away property for less than what it was worth you can no longer save it with an exemption.   You can only exempt property you own.  You can’t exempt and keep the property you gave away or sold.  A Chapter 7 trustee will find assets he can sell in less than 1% of the cases.  But this can happen unexpectedly.  If you gave away property to prevent losing it to creditors the person who didn’t pay for it may be forced to turn it over to the trustee.

It is best to disclose problems to your attorney before you file.  Chapter 7 cases cannot be dismissed by the debtor after you file.  You can generally dismiss a Chapter 13 case at any time and protect assets or cosigners.  We also sometimes file a Chapter 7 before we file a Chapter 13.  By filing a Chapter 7 first you can eliminate having to repay discharged unsecured debts later in a Chapter 13.

What is the Chapter 13 trustee looking for at the 341 hearing?

The Chapter 13 trustee is almost always looking to increase the monthly plan payment.  The Chapter 13 trustee is paid about 4.5% of what you repay to creditors in your Chapter 13.   If you repay your car through a Chapter 13 you may be able to reduce your interest rate enough that you still save money.  However, your Chapter 13 must be affordable and the payments have to come from your disposable income.

In the Western District of Kentucky, your plan will normally be confirmed on the day of your 341 hearing.  In the Eastern District, your plan will be reviewed and confirmed in a separate confirmation hearing.

What happens during the 341 meeting of creditors

You will initially be placed in a Zoom waiting room.  Eventually, you are moved to the main 341 hearing meeting room, where another 341 meetings may still be in progress.  Have your microphone on mute until it is your time to testify.  Once there, you can observe other 341 meetings until it is time for your meeting.  Listening to  other hearings should make your hearing easier. When you are called, you should unmute your microphones, and make sure your camera is on.

Once that happens, they will be ready to conduct your meeting. Remember if your microphone is on everyone can hear you and the meeting is videotaped.  Do not think you won’t be heard or recorded.

Common questions they will ask are be on our website if you want to prepare.  This is a page on the questions they ask at a 341 meeting of creditors. Be truthful and do not brag about how much you make or what your property is worth.  We are interested in what the liquidation value of a home or auto is if you were to sell it quickly.

What should I wear to a 341 hearing?

DECORUM – Just a short reminder that even though the 341 meeting is not taking place in the courthouse, this is still a formal court hearing.  Business casual clothes will be acceptable.

Last Notes about your 341 meeting of creditors.

You are allowed to have necessary and reasonable expenses.  If you have a high medical expense or day care for a newborn be ready to document it. Both the creditors and debtors have to tighten their belts. If your expenses are not reasonable you may have to cut back. Your Chapter 13 payment was what you proposed and most of the time I file a reasonable plan amount that is approved.  However, a judge may think your communication expenses are too high and should be under 5% of your net income.  I can’t control which judge we get or the day of your 341 meeting. And a judge can raise Chapter 13 plan payments.

There are two things which can go wrong after your case is confirmed.  Read our page on dismissing your case and motions for relief from stay.  90% of the problems Chapter 13 clients run into happen from not making plan payments or car and mortgage payments after the Chapter 13 is confirmed.

If your Chapter 13 plan repays less than 100% you will need to file a budget and turnover your a part of your tax refund every year.  You can keep the earned income portion of your tax refund and the fees you paid to have the tax return prepared.   Now is the time to increase your deductions so you won’t lose your tax refund next year.

If you are filing a 13 you may want to read the pages on a motion for relief from stay and Trustee motions to dismiss.  Do not fall behind in mortgage or plan payments.  It will cost you thousands of dollars or cause you to lose a home.  Your payments to the mortgage company start on the month you file your Chapter 13.

Trouble shooting your Trustee Meeting on Zoom

Remember to test your device before the event using this link to test your setup

  1. If you are using an external camera, microphone, or both, plug them in before opening the Zoom application.
  2. Only one microphone and speaker system should be active per physical location to avoid a loud screeching sound.
  3. Make sure your device is connected to power. Avoid using battery power only (e.g., laptops, etc.).
  4. Make sure your audio is turned on in Zoom and turned on and up on your device. Click here for audio issues.
  5. Make sure your video is turned on in Zoom.  Click here for video issues
  6. Trouble joining a Zoom meeting:
  7. Learn how to use Zoom controls:
  8. Share-screen issues if you need to share documents but permission must be requested from the Trustee during the Meeting.
  9. Additional Zoom support
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