What do I need to bring to the §341 Meeting of Creditors?
Short answer: four things
1. Driver's LicenseSocial-Security-Card
2. Social Security Card
3. Bank statement covering the date of filing
4. Last pay stub you received
Driver's License and Social Security Card
While it is important to bring all of these to documents to the Meeting of Creditors, it is more important to bring your Driver's License and Social Security Card than it is to bring your bank statement or your pay stub. The reason is this: the trustee must be able to confirm your identity to make sure that you are who you say you are.
People usually bring their Driver's License because they keep it in their wallet but there are a fair amount of people who forget to bring their Social Security Card with them. I've seen the trustees handle this in different ways. Some trustees refuse to hold the Meeting and file a Motion to Dismiss the case for failure to comply with the bankruptcy code.
Some trustees ask how far away you live and if it's less than an hour away the trustee may require you to go home to get your Social Security Card and bring it back to him that very same day. Generally when the trustees require this they will go ahead and hold the meeting anyway.
I have in some cases been able to send in a W-2 (which has your Social Security Number on it) to the trustee through email a few days later and that has satisfied them but I wouldn't count on it. If you cannot produce your Social Security Card the same day as your Meeting of Creditors I would expect to see a Motion to Dismiss your case filed by the trustee.
Bank Statement Covering the Date of Filing
When you file a bankruptcy the idea is that you are actually bankrupt so any money left in your bank account on the date of filing is not exempt and is property of the bankruptcy estate. If the amount is $100 or less the trustee will not do anything.
At the Meeting of Creditors, the trustee will look at the balance of your bank account at the end of day of the day that you filed for bankruptcy. Some trustees will actually have you circle this balance on your statement so it makes it easier for the trustee to see the amount.
So which statement do you need to bring? Let's use an example. Let's say you filed for bankruptcy on September 20 and your Meeting of Creditors takes place on October 20. You will need to bring a statement that shows the balance at the end of the day for September 20. Typically banks have monthly statements so you would need to bring your September statement.
Last Pay Stub You Received
There are two sections of the bankruptcy petition that require you to state your income–Schedule I and Form 22. The bankruptcy trustee must verify that your income, as stated on the bankruptcy petition, is consistent to what you are being paid.
"But I already gave my attorney my pay stubs!" you might say. You do have to give your attorney your pay stubs for a couple of months prior to the date of filing and he will send those onto the trustee. The trustee will also require that you bring the last pay stub you received before the 341 Meeting of Creditors.
So which pay stub do I need to bring? Again, let's use an example. Let's say you get paid on the 1st of every month and on the 15th of every month. And let's also say that you filed your bankruptcy on September 20 and your Meeting of Creditors takes place on October 20. You would need to bring just one pay stub, the pay stub you received on October 15.
Make your life, and your attorney's life, easier and come prepared with these documents to your §341 Meeting of Creditors.