I Filed for Bankruptcy in New Jersey, and my Meeting of the Creditors (aka the 341 Hearing) has been Adjourned. What Does This Mean for my Bankruptcy Petition?
The Meeting of the Creditors is an important part of the bankruptcy process. In most cases, it is the only appearance you are required to make as the debtor, and its purpose is to verify your identity while giving the Trustee an opportunity to ask you questions on the record. It is also an opportunity for creditors to ask you questions if they choose to appear. Your bankruptcy cannot move forward without attending this meeting.
Under normal circumstances, you are required to appear in person in front of the Trustee. With the state of New Jersey self-isolating, the Trustees have been implementing various methods to avoid requiring debtors and attorneys from appearing in person. While some meetings are being held remotely, either by phone or by video conference, some meetings are being postponed.
For those Meetings of the Creditors which are adjourned, the entire timeline for the bankruptcy may be impacted and therefore delayed. It is possible, however, to ensure that any delays will be minimal by doing the following:
- Be sure that you have provided all the necessary documents to your attorney. This will ensure that when your Meeting of the Creditors is rescheduled and ultimately held that the Trustee already has in their possession the required information to hold the meeting. It will also ensure a more productive meeting and allow the Trustee and your attorney to immediately focus on your confirmation or discharge.
- Take your second financial course if you have not already and be sure your attorney received the certificate. The second course is required by the court for your bankruptcy to be closed.
- Be prepared for when the Meeting of the Creditors is rescheduled. If New Jersey is still in self-isolation, your attorney will advise you of how your Trustee plans to conduct the meeting. Some Trustees are holding the meeting via conference call and will request you to visit your attorney’s office. If this is not possible, you need to inform your attorney immediately. Some Trustees are holding a video conference using either Zoom or an equivalent application.
Please keep in mind that the court and the Trustees are adapting daily in an effort to keep petitions moving forward. This means that the procedure may change unexpectedly to improve efficiency. It is therefore important that you confirm your meeting and the procedure for that meeting with your attorney a day or two prior. Should you have any questions or concerns regarding your upcoming Meeting of the Creditors, you may contact our office at (973) 200-1111.