Meeting of Creditors (341 Hearing) Attorney | Columbus, OH

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The Meeting of Creditors (341 Hearing)

Meeting of Creditors Attorney in Columbus, OH 

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy procedure must include a conference between creditors and debtors, and this meeting is referred to as a “341 meeting.” Its name is taken from Section 341 of the bankruptcy code.  

The 341 hearing is the first important meeting to discuss your bankruptcy petition, and it will be held with your attorney, trustee, and creditors. 

If you have recently filed for bankruptcy or are thinking about doing so, you certainly have many questions and worries. It is best to hire an attorney to know what to expect to be ready for this meeting. 

This meeting of creditors can be intimidating for others, so seek legal counsel immediately. Contact our top bankruptcy attorney today to schedule your free initial consultation.

Why Do I Need a Meeting Of Creditors Attorney in Columbus, OH?

Hiring an attorney can be advantageous in your case. The following are the reasons why you should get an attorney once you are facing a 341 hearing: 

  • They will assist as you navigate your case – Your lawyer will outline the process for you and prepare you for it, including what the bankruptcy trustee and judge do and what your creditors can do.
  • They know the complexities of bankruptcy law – Your attorney knows the ups and downs of it, which will give you the advantage to win your case and achieve bankruptcy relief.
  • They will help you arrange and gather the papers needed -Whether you like it or not, you will provide numerous pages of financial information about your debts, earnings, expenses, assets, and most recent financial activities. Your lawyer will help you with the information you need to reveal, including how to value your assets, what counts as income, which costs are “fair and necessary,” which tax returns to provide, and other matters.
  • They can help you negotiate with your creditors – Your lawyer may be able to work out a reaffirmation arrangement or redemption with a secured creditor in Chapter 7 bankruptcy so you can keep your home or vehicle. In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, your lawyer will negotiate with your creditors to reduce the cost of your repayment plan by negotiating payment terms, the property value used to secure a debt payment, and interest rates.
  • They can help you give factual and true testimony – Under penalty of perjury, you must certify on your bankruptcy filing that the facts are legitimate to the best of your ability. You will swear or confirm that you are telling the truth at your creditors’ meeting and every time you appear in court. You need a lawyer on your side to make sure your testimony is accurate and complete.

Regarding a 341 meeting with the creditors, you need legal representation. It’s not advisable to maneuver the bankruptcy law alone. The Sheppard Law Office can fight for your legal rights. Contact our bankruptcy lawyer today for debt relief!

What is The Meeting of Creditors? 

The meeting of creditors is a hearing all debtors must attend in any bankruptcy proceeding. It is held outside the presence of a judge and usually occurs between 21 to 50 days after filing the petition. 

The petition and schedules submitted by the debtor are examined during the meeting by the bankruptcy trustee. The debtor must respond to inquiries regarding their activities, tax return, assets, debts, financial situation, and any other topic that could influence how the case is handled or whether they are eligible for a discharge under penalty of perjury (affirming or swearing to speak the truth).

Why is a Meeting of Creditors Important?

Debtors who have filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be heard at the meeting of creditors, supervised by the bankruptcy trustee. It has the role of elaborating on and verifying the specifics you stated in the bankruptcy papers. 

You can answer questions about the bankruptcy petition and the supporting documentation under oath during the meeting for the trustee and creditors. Sometimes, creditors will also inquire further about your financial situation during the discussion. 

The trustee will also try to identify any exempt property, and the trustee will work to find any additional concerns about the estate’s administration.

When Will The Creditors’ Meeting Begin?

After you file for bankruptcy, a creditors’ meeting is held between 21 and 40 days later. Your bankruptcy trustee will set up the meeting once you file your formal bankruptcy petition, and you will be informed of the date and time.

Where Will The Creditors’ Meeting Take Place?

A notification letter from the bankruptcy court should also specify where to go for the 341 hearing. Please remember that most 341 meeting places are inside a courthouse, so dress appropriately.

Who Must Attend the 341 Hearing? 

Attendance at the 341 meetings is essential for anyone who has filed for bankruptcy. In situations involving both spouses, they must appear together. Your social security card or an original copy of a W2 with your social security number on it will be required by the trustee to verify your identity and social security number.

The appointed trustee and your bankruptcy attorney will be present during the hearing. No judge will be present at the conference, and most of those who apply for Chapter 7 bankruptcy never have to appear before a judge. The meeting is open to all involved creditors, but they rarely show up.

You’ll Be Placed Under Oath and Will Verify Your Identity

Every trustee and bankruptcy attorney has different stories about identity theft and its resulting problems. The bankruptcy system is based on verification including trust, so the trustee must confirm your identification.

Bring a form of identification with a photo and one that displays your social security number, such as your card or a pay stub. The trustee will also summon you to be sworn in when your case is called. 

Failure to Appear 

The trustee may ask for the case to be dismissed or take other legal action against the debtor for refusing to cooperate if the debtor does not show up and submit the needed information.

The bankruptcy process can be tiring, and meeting creditors take a lot of work and preparation. However, a creditors’ meeting is not a venue for creditors to pressure or humiliate bankruptcy filers. You need an attorney who can represent and defend you. Contact our best bankruptcy lawyer for debt relief!

Contact our Ohio Bankruptcy Attorney Now! 

Filing bankruptcy can be stressful. That is why you need an attorney who will represent you. We offer practical and individualized legal services to each client at Sheppard Law Offices. We can help you build a fresh start! We are committed to meeting your needs and will handle your bankruptcy case with care. 

Our best Ohio bankruptcy attorney will evaluate your case and assist you in every legal process, especially when you need to attend a 341 hearing on your Chapter 7, Chapter 12, or Chapter 13 case. We will help you prepare to answer difficult questions. 

Contact the Sheppard Law Office today to schedule your free initial consultation, or visit our Law Firm in Columbus, OH!

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Rules of Foreclosure Defense in Ohio

Ohio is a judicial foreclosure state which means the lender must go through the court system in order to foreclose on your property. This means that specific, procedural steps are required and if the lender violates any of these steps, your attorney will raise the issue with the court for remedy. According to the rules of foreclosure, the lender cannot begin foreclosure proceedings on your home until you are 120 days past due. Moreover, the lender must file a lawsuit in the appropriate county and must receive a judgment before they can sell the home and pay the debt with the proceeds.

This process allows your defense attorney to explore all alternatives and options that are available that will prevent your home from being foreclosed upon. These options include mortgage modification and foreclosure mediation.

Call Sheppard Law Offices today for more information on bankruptcy

Is Mortgage Modification or Foreclosure Mediation Right for You?

Mortgage modification is a process by which your attorney represents you before the lender to alter and reconstruct the terms of your loan in order to get you in a payment plan that you can afford.  Foreclosure mediation is where you and your attorney meet with the mortgage lender and their legal counsel before a neutral mediator. The mediator facilitates conversation between the two parties and makes suggestions to encourage the parties to reach a settlement with which both parties are happy. This settlement is then put into writing and becomes binding. The attorneys at Sheppard Law Offices are skilled negotiators who will negotiate methodically on your behalf during mediation and any other settlement conferences.

However, the longer you wait the less options you will have which will allow you to keep your home. Therefore, it is essential that you contact a foreclosure defense attorney right away in order to thoroughly explore all options that will provide you with the best outcome.

At Sheppard Law Offices, our attorneys are experienced in court procedure and will use that experience to defend your interest in your home. Do not be intimidated by a foreclosure action. Allow the skilled legal professionals at Sheppard Law Offices to defend you against creditors and represent you in the fight to keep your home.

We offer a free consultation and also focus on IRS Tax Issues, Chapter 7 & Chapter 13 Bankruptcy.  If you are ready to begin the fight to defend your home, please do not hesitate to contact our five offices located in Columbus and throughout the State of Ohio online or by dialing our toll-free phone number at (866) 769-0404. 

Contact Sheppard Law Offices and Attorney Kenneth L. Sheppard, Jr. to schedule your free initial consultation.