If you are needing to file a chapter 7 bankruptcy here in Arizona you will be required to attend one court hearing known as the Meeting of Creditors. Sometimes this meeting is simply called the “341″ meeting – with “341″ referring to the section of the bankruptcy code that authorizes this meeting.
Anytime you are required to appear in court it is going to make you a little uneasy. I always tell my clients that there is nothing to worry about when it comes to your Meeting of Creditors (easy for me to say), however it really is a pretty straight forward meeting.
Will My Creditors Actually Be There?
Calling this gathering a “meeting of creditors” is a bit of a misnomer. 99 times out of 100 this meeting is between me, you, and your bankruptcy trustee. Your creditors are obviously entitled to appear at the meeting and ask you questions, however they are not required to and most creditors that do show up simply don’t understand the process.
What is the Purpose of the Meeting of Creditors?
It is true that one of the purposes of the meeting is to allow your creditors to ask you questions – if they want to. But the other reason, and really the main reason, is to allow your bankruptcy trustee to ask you questions about the documents you filed and any follow up questions the trustee may have on specific assets of yours.
How Long Does the Meeting Last?
In Arizona, there are typically 6 to 8 cases assigned to be heard by the bankruptcy trustee every 30 minutes. This means that the typical case has about 5 minutes of face time with the trustee. I will be there with you the entire time.
Where is the Meeting of Creditors Held in Arizona?
If you live in Maricopa County the meeting will be held in Phoenix. If you are in Pinal County it will be held in Florence. Below are a few photographs of the bankruptcy court in Phoenix:
The Phoenix, Arizona Bankruptcy Court
The bankruptcy court in Arizona is located in Phoenix on the southwest corner of Van Buren and First Avenue. Here are a couple of pictures of what it looks like:
Once you get in side you will see signs that will direct you to the hearing rooms for the chapter 7 Meeting of Creditors.
Again, while it is never any fun to give sworn testimony in a court proceeding, as far as court proceedings go, the chapter 7 Meeting of Creditors is nothing to lose sleep over (although you probably will).
And after it is all over, and we are walking out of the bankruptcy court together, you will likely say to me what most of my clients say, “wow, that wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be!”.